Teaching Plan
    Self Image
    What is a self image?
    image is how you see yourself in relation to others. It may range from how you see
    yourself physically to being more about the perception you have of yourself (personality,
    interests and att
    itudes), which could also be called self concept. It is very important as it
    affects your self
    esteem and confidence.
    Self image includes:
    What you think you look like
    How your
    comes across.
    What kind of person you think you a
    What you think
    think of you.
    How much you like yourself or you think others like you.
    Why a conference on
    Building a Biblical
    Self Image?
    A Biblical Self Image is
    n’t based on
    the subjectivity of our own perceptions or the
    perceptions of oth
    ers, but is
    based on the
    ___________ ________
    of God’s word. If a
    person accepts that whatever God’s word says about him is true, then he
    very unlikely
    to suffer from low s
    esteem and fall victim to its destructive characteristics.
    e’s the rub:
    of Christian students believe the Bible is the infallible word of God
    and only
    of those students believe in absolute truth. An absolute truth being a
    truth that is true for all people at all times.
    Some facts:
    who do not believe in absolute truth are:
    36 % more likely to lie to a friend
    48% more likely to cheat on an exam
    200% more likely to steal
    more likely to use illegal drugs
    more likely to commit suicide
    216% more likely to be rese
    200% more likely to physically hurt someone
    200% more likely to watch a pornographic film
    more likely to be disappointed in life
    more likely to lack purpose
    more likely to be angry with life
    (“The Churched Youth
    Survey,” Dallas: Josh McDowell Ministry, 1994)
    These statistics certainly indicate how students perceive God
    , the Bible, and truth,
    but they also indicate how students perceive themselves. It is obvious that when students
    are left to determine their sel
    worth free of any
    absolute standard, they are

    _____ ___________
    their “self” perceptions
    will unavoidably fall short in
    multiple categories of comparisons.
    Even with a Biblical self
    image, people are prone to
    make value judgments a
    their self worth based on social pressures and the communicated (verbal and non
    perceptions of others.
    Let’s take a look at
    one of the most significant
    social pressures of
    The average American woman
    wears a size 10 or larger (not a 2 or 3, like your
    average model).
    Twenty years ago, the average model weighed 8% less than the average woman;
    today, models weigh
    advertisements bombard us everyday in magazine
    s, on billboards
    on TV, a
    in newspapers. One in eleven has a direct message about beauty...and
    that's not even counting the indirect messages.
    60% of high school girls with eating disorders or related symptoms do not believe
    they need counseling.
    percent of 1
    old American girls diet.
    Between 1996 and 1998, teenage cosmetic surgeries nearly doubled, from 13,699
    to 24,623.
    (Source: American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
    teenage boys have eating disorders, and as many as
    are steroid users.
    These pressures, along with cultural fluctuations on how to achieve personal
    importance, what constitutes an attractive personality,
    how can a person be sexually
    fulfilled, etc., all take their toll. They can be especially dest
    ructive f
    orces in the lives of
    teens which
    are desperately searching for self
    As Christian parents, then, how do we help our students develop a Biblical self
    image? And how do we reinforce the Bible’s message and create support structures for
    ur children?
    The Big Question: What does the Bible say?
    1 John 3:1 says, “Look at how great a love the Father has given us, that we should
    be called God's children. And we are!” (HCSB)
    This scripture is saying that the relationship God desires and desig
    ned us for
    is the
    loving relationship between a father and his children. Once we understand the depth of
    His love and the security of His commitment to us, we begin to fully comprehend our
    worth. We are God’s children!
    One of the finest
    of that
    love and commitment is found in Psalm 139.
    Bruce Narramore, Ph. D., President of the Narramore Christian Foundation, says there
    are four central ingredients in our self
    ___ ________ _____ _________
    This is the basic attitude we hold abou
    t our
    significance or value. We believe we are valuable and have a right to live.

    If we are to be happy and go through life with a minimum of
    problems, we need an assurance that we are loved and accepted and that we
    nfidence, which implies a basic level of trust in our own
    abilities and a sense of inner strength, is the quality that enables us to reach out
    and try new tasks or tackle new challenges.
    Closely tied to a feeling of confidence is our need
    for a feeling of
    security. Whereas confidence is more of an
    matter ("I can do it!"),
    security is more
    ("Others can be trusted" or "The world is safe.").
    Security relates to our environment and our relationship to it. It reflects our
    assurance that the world "out there" is sufficiently safe and ultimate harm will not
    come upon us.
    Let’s examine Psalm 139, looking for these key components.
    A sense of worth
    ss. 1
    By using this exhaustive list, the Psalmist indicates
    that God pl
    a high value on his life
    . The verses describe God’s intimate
    knowledge of him and his passionate interest in him. David realizes that God
    knows him (David) better than he knows himself. The thought of that is too
    wonderful for David to comprehend.
    It is incredibly validating (to a person’s self
    worth) that the God of the universe would be so involved in his life.
    12, 23)
    Nothing quite communicates love like
    David realizes that there is no escaping God’s presence. Ther
    e is no place one
    can hide. There is no condition which shields us from His
    Not even
    the darkness that cloaks our lives at times will keep His right hand from rescuing
    us. That devotion, that care, that attentiveness are all just extensions
    of His love.
    God would not for a minute want us to think that we were not his prized
    (vss. 13
    When the scripture says that God formed us and wove
    us, it is communicating the great care with which God crafts an individual. W
    David acknowledges God’s hand in his own formation, it causes him to burst out
    with thankfulness. Some of the most powerful words in scripture are in verse 14
    “I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your
    works are wo
    nderful, and I know this very well.” (HCSB) When David says that
    God’s works are wonderful and also says that he has been “wonderfully made,”
    he is saying, “I am wonderful, because God made me. There are no limits to
    in me
    If security is that feeling or sense of assurance that things
    will be alright, what could be more reassuring than knowing your days and breath
    are in God’s hands? From your beginning He has marked them. World events,
    ___________ _________
    , emotional trials, none of these will default God’s
    predetermined plan. I can live securely knowing that God’s hand and His hand
    alone controls all things.
    God has accounted for each of our human needs. Having a Biblical self
    means we understand
    ourselves according to God’s unalterable standard of acceptance.
    His word is the best mirror we could ever use.
    Bill Gillham is the President of Lifetime

    Guarantee Ministries. Bill has put together a list of scriptures which reveal the true
    identity of
    a child of God.
    What are some practical steps to building a B
    iblical self
    in my child
    ecognize your level of
    “…the human child is ‘talked into talking’ and ‘loved into loving.’”
    “…related into believing.”
    en Robert, “Becoming Attached: Unfolding the
    Mystery of the Infant
    Mother Bond and its Impact on Later Life,” (New York: Warner
    Book, 1994). Allan N. Shore, “Affect Dysregulation and Disorders of the Self,” (New
    York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2003).
    Out of 14
    influences listed by teens as having ‘a lot’ of influence’ on how
    they think and act, only one was listed by more than 50% of teens:
    George Barna, “Third Millenium Teens: Research on the Minds,
    Hearts, and Souls of America’s Teenagers, 1999
    The Barna Research Group
    78% of teens acknowledge that parents have a major impact on their
    thoughts and deeds
    George Barna, “Third Millenium Teens: Research on the
    Minds, Hearts, and Souls of America’s Teenagers, 1999 The Barna Research Group
    “In ter
    ms of faith, p
    arents were named 3 times as often (47%) as the next
    most prolific source of faith influence (16%
    4 out of 5 said that their parents
    were their greatest influencers
    “We must produce in our homes and community
    _________ ________
    of the very biblical truth we want to see incorporated in our kids or they
    will eventually reject that truth and walk away.”
    Josh D. McDowell
    Teach them what the
    Use the scriptures on the “True Identity” handout, from Psalm 139, and
    others you may find to affirm your child’s sense of worth
    to let him
    know he is loved
    , and to give him a sense of confidence and security.
    Children’s conceptions of God stem from day
    experiences with their parents.
    Maria Rizzuto,
    “The Birth of the
    Living God: A Psychoanalytic Study,” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
    1979). A. Vannesse/P. DeNeuter, “The Semantic Differential Parenting Scale,”
    in “Parental Figures and the Representation of God.”
    Practice encouragement,
    , and support by:
    your child
    Telling your child that you love them
    Spending time with your child
    The average born
    again church kid spends an average of only
    a day in meaningful conversation with their father.
    The av
    erage born
    again church kid spends an average of only
    a day in meaningful conversation with their mother.
    Encouraging your child to make choices
    Fostering independence in your children
    Giving genuine importance to your child's
    and listening

    Taking the time to explain
    Feeding your child with positive encouragement
    Encouraging your child to try
    new and challenging activities
    Promoting healthy
    Avoid damaging
    Refraining from using guilt motivation
    Refusing to impose
    Listen to Dr. Narramore. “The failure to let children gradually mature is one of
    the greatest causes of teenage rebellion in
    Christian homes. Because we are God’s
    representatives, we sometimes try to play God to our children.
    set all the standards.
    make all the decisions. And
    let children know their place. Each of these parent
    behaviors undermines a child’s identit
    How do I discipline my child without destroying their self
    Hebrews 12:9
    11 says, “Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we
    respected them. Shouldn't we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? For they
    disciplined u
    s for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our
    benefit, so that we can share His holiness. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but
    painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who
    have been trained by it.”
    The author of Hebrews is comparing and contrasting the discipline of earthly
    fathers and our heavenly Father. The earthly father disciplines according to what “seems
    (That which will change our
    disciplines us for our benefit,
    that we may share in His holiness.
    That which will change our
    The Greek
    word translated “benefit or good” is a word which means “to bring together.”
    earthly father
    ’s discipline brings respect
    , God’s dis
    cipline brings us together with Him. I
    may respect my father, but never be close to him. God does not allow for that option.
    His discipline is intended to help us understand Him and participate in His Holiness.
    Like all discipline, God’s version is not
    “fun,” but it leads us to a right way of life.
    When we discipline our children,
    our ultimate goal should be
    a changed heart.
    At the same time, “w
    e cannot allow children to ignore their sinful behavior. But
    neither should we destroy their self
    esteem. We
    must maintain a healthy balance. A
    proper teaching on sin should include the following five elements:
    It should teach
    ________ ____________
    of holy living.
    (Galatians 5:19
    It should show a child how we all
    ______ _________
    of these standards.
    It should show a child how valuable he is to God and distinguish between one’s
    being a
    and being a
    _____________ __________
    (1 Corinthians 1:1
    It should lead the child to
    , the answer to his sin.
    (John 3:16; 1:12)
    It should
    encourage the child to be obedient out of the motivation of
    , not
    (Ephesians 5:1, 2; 1 John 4:11

    “Help! I’m a Parent,” Dr. Bruce Narramore, Zondervan Publishing, 1972, pgs. 126
    a Biblical self
    image i
    n your child is
    the process of helping them
    develop their sense of self based on God’s word. It is helping them to resist the
    vacillating messages of culture and the opinions of others, and focus on the reality of
    God’s design
    and the exciting purpose for which they were

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