Our emotional and mental well-being can be greatly blessed by a healthy focus on God's goodness towards us.
If we wake up to the full meaning of what it means that we are made in the image of God, we will realise how amazing that is! Grasping this truth can help us to maintain a well-balanced self-image and improve our relationship with others. It also gives us an identity, purpose and destiny. That realisation could really change us for the better!
Thinking about his blessings towards us and seeking a sense of his presence can help protect us against negative thoughts even when so much around us is falling apart and can help our minds to stay healthy. We are significant to God. Is there anything greater?
What Emotional Needs do we have?
- To love and to be loved
- Healthy sense of self-worth
- Identity and a sense of belonging
How can we meet these in a healthy way?
What happens when we don't? We face problems such as low self-image, fear, anxiety, insecurity, anger and shame.
- Reflecting on Our Image
- Is My Self-Image Built on Sand?
- Understanding people: Behind the masks
- Dealing with Fear
- Spies Overcome By Fear
- Unwanted child – Ishmael?
- Who’s up your family tree?
Emotional literacy is a term that is now being used in some places. It means to understand your emotions and how to handle them. There is a Family Links article on the training page of the web site if you require more information.
Reflecting on our Image
There is much talk about self-image and self-worth. We need to look at these in a balanced Biblical way. Human beings are made in the image of God, but also from the ‘dust’ of the earth. We often do wrong but we are always treasured as priceless by God.
A healthy self-image comes from dwelling on the belief that we are made in the image of God. And so is everyone else! It also gives us an identity, purpose and destiny. If we could grasp what that means, think how it could change us for the better.
Is My Self-Image built on Sand?
On what sandcastles do we often build our self-image and our lives?
The world encourages us to base it on the sandcastles of personal appearance, skills, popularity and possessions. These just get washed away in time. If we can help children to ground their self-image in the fact that they are made in the image of God, this will give them a strong foundation to their lives.
School Reports Get Outdated
Many struggle with life whilst they are at school but they go on to lead rewarding lives. This short resource is useful in sessions such as Self-image; Growing up; God choosing people;and Healthy Minds.
What does God value?
What might God ask you when you finally meet Him? And what won't He ask you? Are His priorities for our lives different from ours?
I challenged my youth group to rewrite a PowerPoint on this theme in a way that was relevant to their age and culture. It was rather fun. Take a look and then ask your group to write their own maybe.
Dealing with Fear
This session looks at what causes fear in our lives and offers a number of strategies. It includes some Bible verses but not a story. It is easily adapted for a wide range of groups.
Spies Overcome by Fear
This focuses on the story of Moses sending 12 spies into the promised land.
These games and activities support family themes such as the sessions
- ‘Ishmael – Unwanted Child?’;
- ‘Who’s up Your Family Tree?’; ‘
- Jesus Family Tree
- Parents Who’d Have Them!’ (Lifestyle page)
Ishmael: Unwanted Child?!
Is any child unwanted in God’s eyes? Surely not!
Was Ishmael just one of Abraham’s mistakes or did God have a plan for him too?!
I wrote this when I had teens in my group who were adopted. It takes a wider view of the ‘Abraham and Ishmael’ story, looking at its’ complexities and seeing Ishmael as a valuable human being, not just the result of Abraham lapse of faith.
Jesus had the full range of very colourful characters in his family tree. The first outline takes an overview of some of the characters God allowed to be in this special family tree. A potential Christmas theme.
The alternative outline looks at some of the people within Jesus’ family tree who themselves had to overcome the problem of having difficult parents or grandparents, such as Josiah who was the grandson of the evil King Manasseh who 'shed much innocent blood'.
We used the same theme but with a totally different approach with different groups.
Resources to download
Jesus had the full range of good, bad and 'ugly' people in his family tree. Maybe ours isn't so bad after all!
A look at some of the people within Jesus’ family tree who had to overcome the problem of having difficult parents or grandparents
Jesus and Tough Times
How much does Jesus understand about the things we go through? Was he ever bereaved, betrayed, rejected etc?
Suffering varies in its detail but results in the same type of pain. This PowerPoint shows that Jesus faced every type of pain and suffering that we experience, even if not all of the actual situations.
Images on this page supplied by:
Page image: Pixabay: Jill Wellington
Reflecting on our image: Fotolia: Rainbow © Stephen Coburn
Masks: Peter Lord
Ishmael: Chris Bowman
Microsoft clip art