My question had apparently dumbfounded them.
No one answered. My two teens and my pre-teen remained silent.
So, I repeated the question, “Micah, Jake, and Caleb, what do you most like about yourselves?”
I continued, “It can be something about the way you look. It can be something that you enjoy doing. It can be something you enjoy about how you think and express yourself.”
This second set of questions seemed to unplug their thinking.
Micah replied, “I like my height.”
Jake followed, “Okay, then. Hmmm. What do I like? I like my feet!”
Who could not smile at Jake’s response?
Caleb took a moment longer and finally said, “I like my smile.”
What I thought was interesting about this exercise is that none of my boys appeared to have given much about what they liked about themselves. They literally sat in their chairs for a while and said absolutely nothing. This is not typical Happy Blue School behavior, let me tell you. The boys considered my question and took a while to answer.
Granted, how many of us are ever quick to answer, “I like ______ about myself.”
However, as I reflected on this short interaction more, I thought, “Why not? Why don’t we say or at least recognize what we like about ourselves more often? After all, we were created by God Himself.”
Instead of understanding our worth and our purpose, we may not even recognize the gifts were bestowed or the beauty and blessing of our personality, our character, or even our physical appearance.
Moses didn’t. In fact, when God Himself called Moses into service, Moses was quick to point out his inadequacies.
Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord,’ I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of tongue. The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” New American Standard Bible, Exodus 4: 10 -11
I can relate to Moses.
I tend to focus on my inadequacies. Instead of focusing on how I’ve been created, by God Himself, as a reason to accomplish His work on this earth, I often identify reasons for my disqualification.
I fail to recognize and understand that I was created for God’s glory and to display His work and purpose in me. I confess that I struggle to believe that God has a specific purpose for how I was created when I look in the mirror and see what I consider to be defects.
When I fail to live up to the expectations which I have of myself, I doubt my worth.
So, when I heard my three sons, every single one of them, sit in place and search for an answer about what they like about themselves, it was one of my oh-dear-mom moments. Have I projected my thoughts about myself so that my boys feel the same way – they identify their faults first? Micah, Jake, and Caleb didn’t indicate this. But it’s certainly something for John and me to plumb further. Both John and I tend to downplay ourselves and our work rather than boast or self-advocate. We desire humility, not status, position, or attention.
It’s one thing to be humble, though. It’s quite another thing to doubt purpose and significance.
I want my sons to know that they are significant and have purpose on this earth. They were created by God and for the glory of God.
What I may consider to be lacking, my God disagrees. He determined our height. He formed our feet. He fashioned our smiles. And because He likes them, we should too!
It is my desire to do a better job of showing my sons the character of God and His amazing love and delight in them.
By growing more in my intimacy with God and listening to His word, I desire to love Him, love my husband and children, love my family and friends and any one in my sphere of influence even more. My God sees us all as precious in His sight. By bringing my God honor in my day to day living, I pray my attitude and behavior not only helps me understand Him more, but helps my children, family and friends, understand Him better too.
It is my prayer that we each develop a healthier grasp on who we are and what we were designed and purposed for on earth!
So, do you like how tall you are?
Do you like your feet?
How about that smile?