Every single person on the planet is different from everyone else - right down to his or her DNA. How empowering is it to think of yourself as unique; to think that you are the only YOU in all of creation! We don't always see ourselves that way. We don't necessarily want to be unique; we want to fit into the culture around us; have a certain look; wear the same type of clothes; listen to the same type of music. We want to be considered normal.
Devotions for the week of [January 25-31] focus on the question "am I normal?"
It's probably fair to say that your teen has asked this question from time to time.
- Do you have habits you consider weird?
- Which of your habits - weird or not - come from your convictions? (IE: daily devotions, praying before a test, movies you attend, moral behavior)
- Who determines what is normal for you? (friends, parents, grandparents, God)
- Reflect with them how God has blessed them with gifts, talents and abilities that manifest themselves in unique ways.
- Help them to see that they are OK as they are. Negative self-talk hurts, and much of it comes when youths compare themselves to other people, seeking approval.
- Be available as a parent to listen. Pray that God would give you the knowledge and words to talk to your child.
For the next 30 days, tell your child to practice being kind to themselves. Let these ideas help your teen learn to accept, embrace, and celebrate what makes them unique:
- Keep a gratitude journal - every day write 3 things you are thankful for; one about yourself, one about another person, one about the world.
- Have your teen make a list of what they believe about themselves and think about where each idea comes from. Then ask: Is it from God? Is it true? Am I judging myself?
- Challenge them to be different. Teach them that fear is a choice, but it's not wrong to choose sometimes. Tell them "fitting in" doesn't mean you are necessarily being yourself.
John 15:19b, Psalm 139:14a, Romans 12:2, II Timothy 1:5, 2:15, I Peter 4:10, Luke 6:31