what defines your identity?
The Simplify Series invites us to evaluate core values and goals for living beginning with the question: What defines your identity? According to recent research done by the Barna Group, 62% of women of faith base their identity on their motherhood. 13% of those polled said their identity is found in being a disciple of Christ, 11% find identity in being a wife, and even smaller percentages are attributed to career and church membership.1 Do you find yourself among these results?
I can understand why the overwhelming majority of those polled picked their role as mothers for the basis of their identity. We women are very good at nurturing and protecting life, so we highly regard all that is demanded of us in this role. However, I do see a problem with the results: I do not view motherhood as a core value upon which to base my identity. You see, we have a value assigned to us long before we ever become mothers and even before we were formed in our own mother’s womb. The Father in heaven says, “Before I formed you, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Our identity that began pre-conception has the potential to continue throughout all eternity if we believe upon Jesus Christ to be our Savior. In that case, your identity and my identity is found in nothing less than this:
We are children of the King!
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16). So, our identity is found in our relationship with the God of the universe. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
What happens when we seek definition for our identity based on earthly relationships? Eventually, there will be a strain to that relationship due to our expectation of the person or group of people to communicate our value. If it is your children who provide the basis of your identity, then you require their steadfast ability to fulfill your need to be valued. If it is your spouse, then he or she is the one who must validate your worth. But, if I know people, we can be pretty fickle. We get grumpy, hungry, selfish, angry, and on it goes. In our less-than-spiritual state, we’re not loving others well. Do you take it as a stab to the heart every time someone fails you, especially the someone upon whom you base your identity? It’s common to cycle in and out of hurt feelings when we look to earthly relationships for value.
What are we to do? Look to the Father for your worth that comes from being His child.
He is eternal and promises that His steadfast love will not depart from you (Isaiah 54:10).
He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9).
He’s good (Psalm 119:68).
He never changes (James 1:17).
He never forgets you (Isaiah 49:15).
He keeps watch over you (Psalm 34:15).
He did not spare you His own Son (Romans 8:32).
As a child of God, you have an identity. You are His, and out of that relationship, earthly relationships can flow beautifully!
I’m going to live it showing that I believe it! I am a daughter of the King.
1 Black, Amy and Kinnaman, David. (2012, August 17). Christian Women Today. barna.org. Retrieved June 15, 2013, from http://www.barna.org.