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Who is Labeling Our Kids?

Who is Labeling Our Kids?

School is back in session and even if the majority of learning takes place at home—our kids are subject to new influences and influencers on a daily basis. We do our best to make sure those who come in contact with our kids have a positive effect, but we can’t always be there to protect them.

One of the most difficult things for me as a parent is when someone else applies a label to my child. Labels are powerful things—for good and for evil.

I used to only think of labels in the context of manufactured goods. I read labels on food, medicine, and even appliances. These labels provide important information that help me make wise decisions. There are only two entities that have the right to apply labels to these goods—the one who manufactured them, and the one who purchased them. Yes, because I paid for them, I also apply labels. I have the right to share with others my opinion of what I’ve purchased—whether I think a product is good, healthy, or even dangerous.

For us as individuals, labels provide a similar function. They define our beliefs, our careers, and our worth. But there are only two who should ever be allowed to define us:

The One who created us and the One who purchased us and paid the ultimate price.

We can’t get away from a world that seeks to define us, hanging labels on us—and on our children—for everyone to see. And although they shouldn’t, our kids begin to view themselves through these filters of others, instead of the labels God has given us.

So this month, my prayer for my children is in regard to labels.

Dear Lord, You love my children so much. You created them, and then you paid the ultimate price to make sure they are forever Yours. You and You alone have the right to label them. And your labels are precious and life giving. You call them Your sons and daughters, beloved, and the apple of Your eye.

Today I’m asking that they accept these labels as the foundation of their self-worth. Don’t let them accept false labels from other people. Keep them from applying inaccurate labels to themselves. Instead surround them with friends and encouragers who remind them how precious they are to You.

Keep them from labeling and judging others harshly. Let them only speak words that will encourage and reflect Your love.

Guard them from any inadvertent labels I might apply to them in a moment of anger or hurt. Don’t let my words or my judgement become a filter through which they judge themselves. Use me to reinforce Your definition of my children. Remind us all how much You love us.

By: Edie Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including Soul Care When You’re WearyWhile My Child Away: Prayers for When We’re Apart. Married to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, they live in the upstate of South Carolina and have raised 3 sons. Connect with her on www.EdieMelson.com through Twitter and Facebook.

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