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Helping Children Navigate Hard Situations

Do you remember being taught at school that plants need light to grow?  It is actually not true! How else do you think seeds manage to sprout and push up through the soil before they reach the surface?

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“Mom, I don’t want you to die, too,” said my 6-year-old one night. It was a bad night. Her dad was sleeping on the sofa in the living room while I tried to help her fall asleep in our bedroom.

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My husband, Joe, wasn’t dead but he sure looked like he was going to die. He had just been released from the hospital after surgery to remove part of his colon. For a month prior to the operation, he maintained a liquid diet to make sure his intestines wouldn’t rupture. Because of the danger of the surgery, we needed to buy as much time as possible for a better chance at a safe procedure with a good outcome.

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He survived the surgery and now he was home. Still, somehow my daughter was verbalizing what I was feeling – Joe looked half-dead and I was falling apart.

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Anxiety was keeping my daughter awake. This was her first time experiencing the nearness of death so personally. She needed to hear my comforting words affirming that her daddy was going to be okay.

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I couldn’t say the words she needed to hear. I had no idea if my husband was going to survive this ordeal or not. He was in a lot of pain, down to 147 pounds, and unhooked from the IV and antibiotics that had helped him look more alive in the hospital.

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What can we do to help our children grow in the midst of dark times?GROWING IN THE DARK | UNDETERRED.NET | ONEHOPE | LEIIZA GOMES

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Be an example to your children. You have heard this before: “Children are little sponges.” Well, they are! They will learn from you and incorporate what they see into their own lives. Teach them that they can find real peace in the darkest of times. But you can’t show them what you don’t have. Let them see you seeking God for peace. Seek Him together. This will be one of the most important life lessons you can teach your children.

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
Psalm 29:11

Be honest with your children. Talk about your feelings and your situation. Be a good listener and point them to the promises we have in Christ. God doesn’t want us to be frightened of the future.

Death is a hard topic for children, but it is a reality in all of our futures. God created a perfect world for us but sin corrupted it bringing sickness and death. And while that made God sad, He made a plan! Those who accept Christ as their personal Savior are going to live eternally with Christ in heaven. No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has ever even thought up what heaven is going to be like.[1] Our children need to hear this story and the hope of its ending.

Be consistent with your children. Show your children that we can always come to God no matter whether the problem is big or small. Remind them that God says we can come to him and He listens to us. He is our ever-present help in time of trouble.2 In your dark night, come to   God’s throne with your child to find the measure of mercy and grace you so desperately need.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

In our somber night God heard us.

Praise God Julee’s dad is now fully recovered! And she has been sleeping well ever since. While it was painful to watch her go through such a hard situation, it was beautiful to watch her tiny faith grow as, together, we fought fear with truth and experienced peace that can only come from God.

Here are some more great verses you share with a child who is going through a tough time:

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Leiza Gomes | OneHope | Undeterred.netLeiza Gomes has a passion to see children and youth find their true identity and purpose in Christ. Together with her husband, she served in overseas missions with youth in Germany and at-risk youth and children in Brazil. Leiza is both a graduate from the International School of Ministry in Boca Raton, FL and of Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s in Multimedia Journalism. She currently works as a Project Design Manager developing tools to share the Gospel with children and youth around world with OneHope.


[1] 1 Corinthians 2:9
2 Psalm 46:1

 

Soccer + Scripture: #Teamwork | Part 3

In soccer, like most sports, there are many ways to approach a game. A wide spectrum of tactics and play styles are available, and coaches like to develop their own philosophy about the game. They are often determined to select a style of play that will both define them and their team. All the time hoping and praying that their particular brand of soccer will bring success. But here’s what is interesting: seldom do you find a style of play that highlights just an individual player. Usually teamwork is the thing that is both emphasized and regarded in high esteem.

There have been several “soccer philosophies” throughout the years. A team from England called Wimbledon had a meteoric rise from non-league soccer to winning the oldest domestic cup competition in the world—the F.A. Cup. Their philosophy was what we call the “long ball.”  Simply thump the ball up field to your attacker and then bust a gut trying to support him. It often caused chaos, but that was often the key to its effectiveness. In the mid-90’s Everton FC had a rather low-skilled squad, but with plenty of heart. Managed by Joe Royle, this team fought for each other, and were affectionately labeled “The Dogs of War”. This ethos of teamwork characterized the entire team and resulted in them claiming the F.A. Cup in 1995. And then we have what is probably the greatest soccer style—when executed correctly—the short quick passing along the ground. Whether that is Brian Clough’s teams of the 70’s that believed the “ball travels faster than the man” or the Johan Cruyff inspired Barcelona of the new millennium with their “Tiki-Taka” one touch soccer. When a team is moving the ball along the ground at pace, it is poetry in motion. Not to mention expending less manpower because you are playing smarter rather than harder.

Soccer + Scripture | Undeterred.net

All these strategies about good game play remind me of what King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10:

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.”

Similar to the previously mentioned soccer tactics, we should endeavor to not work in silos. When we are determined to achieve a result by our own effort, while rejecting the help of others, we place ourselves in a poor position. Like the “Dogs of War,” the power in supporting teammates, friends or colleagues produces unbelievable victories. We can help each other through some difficult circumstances and pick each other up when we fall. It is the same with “Tiki-Taka” play style. You can conserve so much energy, last longer, go further and finish stronger. It is like that old African proverb,

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Teamwork is of vital importance in our Christian walk. We were not designed to be alone or work alone. We cannot succeed as the lone star of the team—we must work together.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

As you are parenting or mentoring a child to be a great team player, remind them that teamwork requires people to work cooperatively with others towards a shared purpose.

  • Talk about how great it feels to be a part of a team, and how upsetting it is to be excluded. Then encourage your child to look for those who are often left out and make sure they are invited.
  • Being competitive is admirable, but being a great sport and having a positive attitude in any situation is a great way to be a good witness to teammates and onlookers.
  • Practice teaming up by working on a project together at home—it could be artwork that everyone contributes to, planting a garden or coming up with a service project.
  • Play a board game in teams.
  • Organize a friendly game in your yard or park and have a chat beforehand on what it takes to be a good team and how each player can achieve excellent teamwork. Then extoll it when you see it!

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David GoundryRev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

Help kids go from complaining to content in 60 seconds

Recently my fashionista daughter was struggling with her outfit for church. And by “struggling” I mean complaining that she did not have shoes that “matched” her outfit.

My hippie child is morphing into a hipster daughter…the one who NEVER matches. She is fearless in what she wears–loud colors and prints mish-mashed together, even layered to achieve her intended look. So when she complained that she had no shoes to match her outfit, I was truly at a loss.

I cocked my head and looked at her hard for a minute. The issue wasn’t with the matching; the “issue” was something deeper.

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We lined up the four pairs of summer shoes she had to choose from and picked the “least awful” pair–some plain black flip-flops.

Then we sat down and had a chat:

me: Look at your flip flops. Can you think of three things about them that you are thankful for?

her: <haughtily> I have shoes.

me: Yes. I can’t tell you how many children I’ve seen in poorer countries who don’t have a single pair of shoes, much less four pairs to choose from. What else?

her: <a tiny bit less haughtily>They aren’t broken yet.

me: That is something to be thankful for. Do you know that in some places, you are not allowed to go to school unless you have a uniform and shoes? Some kids want to go to school so much that they wear broken flip flops or shoes that are too small and hurt their feet. It’s a privilege to have shoes that are not broken and fit you perfectly. Can you think of one more thing?

her: <begrudgingly> They are comfortable.

me: Who gave you those shoes?

her: God.

me: How do you think it made God feel that you complained about the good shoes He gave you?

her: Sad.

I was proud that she had come to a solid conclusion and could see the effect of her actions. By turning situations where we are prone to complain into a time to practice observing at least three ways we can be thankful instead, we are teaching our children to live out Ephesians 5:20:

“Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and has 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.

4 Drucker Principles for Better Parenting

I’ve been studying management principles by Peter Drucker to become better at my job. Any good thing in my professional life trickles down to my “other full-time job” as a parent.

Strong Biblical parallels naturally emerged from Drucker’s management principles that can easily be applied to parenting as well. Here are my top Druckerisms for parents:

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | Undeterred.net | Jenna Scott | OneHope

The critical, determining factor between families that struggle or those that succeed is if they have figured out how to make children’s strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.[1]

Every child has been created in God’s image. When we help our children figure out and operate from their God-given strengths, they bring glory to God. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better demonstration of mercy than figuring out how to make my kids’ weaknesses irrelevant!

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting | Undeterred.net | Jenna Scott | OneHope

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6

The delineation of right path in this verse implies that there are also wrong paths that we can errantly lead our children down. That’s frightening! But it’s also a strong reminder that in order for me to help each of my children find their right path, I need to study them. Then I can train them up in the way they should go.

4 Drucker Principles for Parenting_Scott-05

How can we know if we are being successful in how we are raising our children? We won’t really know unless we assess. It might seem strange to apply such a corporate business idea to your family, but this is actually straight from the Bible. One way we are told to assess is to look for the fruits of the spirit in our own and our children’s lives:

Fruits of the Spirit | Undeterred.net | 4 Drucker Principles

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control

“Work implies not only that somebody is supposed to do the job, but also accountability, a deadline and, finally, the measurement of results —that is, feedback from results on the work and on the planning process itself,” Drucker wrote in Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices.

But beyond simply measuring for fruitfulness, there is also a much-overlooked Drucker principle at play—relationship.

“Your first role . . . is the personal one… It is the relationship with people, the development of mutual confidence, the identification of people, the creation of a community. This is something only you can do. It cannot be measured or easily defined. But it is not only a key function. It is one only you can perform.”[3]

How is their relationship with you? How often do you take time to talk about your child’s spiritual development with them, putting accountability in place, and setting goals for their lives? How is their relationship with their Heavenly Father?

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The verse my firstborn shared when he got baptized and has framed next to his bed is 1 Timothy 4:12

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Not only is that encouragement for your children, it’s an admonition to us as parents. Our kids will grow fastest in their faith when we invite them to take an active role in it on a daily basis.

God has great plans for our children. And I’m thankful that He hasn’t left us without an instruction manual and advice from some great minds to help us on the journey!

Related:


Jenna has been in love with words all her life—especially God’s Word that helped her realize her need for a Savior in the first grade. She loves using words to help advance the message of OneHope. She is married to Dan and they have 4 children ages 8, 10, 11 & 13.


[1] Paraphrase based on Drucker, Peter F. (2009-10-13). The Daily Drucker (p. 47). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
[2] http://biblehub.com/commentaries/proverbs/22-6.htm
[3]Excerpts from http://www.druckerinstitute.com/2013/07/measurement-myopia/

 

Soccer + Scripture #Goalkeeping (Part 2)

Recently, the Juventus and Italian national goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon set a new record when he went 947 minutes without conceding a goal. Anybody familiar with the game of soccer or who has played it knows what a phenomenal achievement this is. It is made even greater by that fact that Gigi (as he is affectionately known) at the age of 38 is no spring chicken. After the game, he penned a love letter to the goal he has guarded for more than a quarter of a century. Here is the letter:

“I was 12 when I turned my back on you, denying my past to guarantee you a safe future. I went with my heart; I went with my instinct. But the day I stopped looking you in the face is also the day that I started to love you. To protect you. To be your first and last line of defense. I promised myself that I would do everything not to see your face again. Or that I would do it as little as possible. It was painful every time I did, turning round and realizing I had disappointed you. Again and again. We have always been opposites yet we are complementary, like the sun and the moon. Forced to live side by side without being able to touch. Team-mates for life, a life in which we are denied all contact. More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies. I’ve always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own. I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow.”[1]

Beautiful, isn’t it? The line that stuck out to me was, “I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies.” Such an emotional letter written to an inanimate object! If the recipient of the letter were “the heart” instead of “the goal”—it would read very differently!

Soccer + Scripture | Undeterred.net

In the Book of Proverbs we are told, “Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The school my children attend thought this Scripture so important that they declared it the theme for the entire school year. The headmaster’s desire is for the children to embrace the concept of guarding their hearts against things that come to oppose them.

We would do well to guard our heart like a goalkeeper protects his goal. Nothing causes a goalkeeper more pain and disappointment than picking the ball out of the back of the net. It’s one of the most horrific feelings in soccer. It carries with it a tinge of embarrassment and shame for failing to protect the thing that is most important in the game.

Among a generation that has no regard for what is bombarding and damaging their supple hearts, we must train up our children through prayer and the Word of God to guard their hearts. The enemy will attack them in this crucial spot. 1 Peter 5:8 advises us to, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” As we are training up our children, we must coach them to be like a goalkeeper and guard that which is the most precious to them.

Look up the following verses as a family and choose one to display in a meaningful place in your home and memorize together.

Philippians 4:6-7
Psalm 51:10
Romans 12:2
Psalm 73:26
Luke 6:45

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[1] http://www.foxsports.com/soccer/story/juventus-goalkeeper-gianluigi-buffon-pens-emotional-letter-to-goal-032116

David Goundry

Rev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

Soccer + Scripture: #FreeKicks (Part 1)

In soccer everyone loves a great free kick. That moment of anticipation between the player’s foot striking the ball and the net of the opponent’s goal bulging like an old onion bag. Whether it is watching David Beckham bend the ball into the top corner, Cristiano Ronaldo’s gunslinger pose before striking a ball that dips unexpectedly, Zlatan Ibrahimović cracking the ball so hard it is like watching Thor unleash his hammer or Roberto Carlos defying physics with his banana weaving heat seeking missile, we all love a great free kick.

But sometimes, in anticipation of the attacker booting a good ball toward the goal and praying it finds the back of the net, we forget to factor in…THE WALL.

If you watch closely you will often see the goalkeeper screaming at his defenders to make a strong wall; usually waving his fingers in the air to indicate how many players he wants strategically lined up in front of the net. Why? Because this defensive formation is paramount to whether or not the opposing team will be able to score. And nothing drives the strange species of sportsman we call “keepers” to lose their decorum like a ball flying through a gap in the wall and whacking the back of their net.

Undeterred.net | Soccer + Scripture

A gap in your wall is a terrible thing. Proverbs even warns against the dangers of this exact scenario.

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.—Proverbs 25:28

As parents, we do everything we can from birth to keep our precious child safe. We put up baby gates and install cabinet locks and outlet covers until they can safely navigate and make safe choices on their own. The same vigilance applies to keeping our children spiritually safe. Until they are able to do it themselves, we must build up strong walls of prayer.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. –Colossians 4:2

So many times in God’s Word we are commanded to be diligent and faithful, constantly in prayer. When we fail to do so, we have gaps in our walls. And it won’t be long before the opposing team finds that gap and exploits it.

We need to make sure that we are standing in the gap in prayer on behalf of our children, teaching them to pray without ceasing so they can fortify their own walls.

It is imperative that we raise the next generation as children who pray so that they will grow into adults who love to pray and recognize the critical importance of prayer. Model and encourage prayer at home and in every situation. Make sure their wall is strong and if there are gaps, stand firm together with them in those gaps. Keep the wall strong so the enemy has no opportunity to break through and score against us.

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David Goundry

Rev. David Goundry was born in England before moving to the United States. He uses his abilities to teach, mentor and “prepare those who will go.” He enjoys traveling to many countries with the message of Jesus Christ to the children and youth of the world as well as an “ever-present” on foreign medical missions through International Christian Institute. David and his wife Luiza serve together in the music ministry at their church and have two children, Sarah and Samuel.

4 Ways to Get Your Kids Thinking About Outreach

Outreach is important! It’s the first step to evangelism. Kids can be involved in outreach. Kids should be involved in outreach.

Tell your kids that they can reach out to the people in their spheres of influence and share the love of Jesus with them! Get them thinking about their spheres of influence. Where do they spend their time?

There are 3 big areas for kids – home, school, and community. Get your kids thinking about how they can reach out to people in their families, to friends at school, and to people in the community, and then give them a tangible reminder that they can reach out to people and share the love of Jesus with them.

 Home

Outreach happens in your home with your family. Be on the lookout for ways to share the love of Jesus with your immediate family and your extended family. Start with people you know. Maybe your Grandma needs some help with yard work or your aunt needs your help with babysitting.

 School

Outreach happens at school with your friends and even with kids at school who are not your friends but could use your support and encouragement. Look for ways to share the love of Jesus with kids at school. This may mean sitting with the kid at lunch who is all alone or telling your best friend about Jesus and how a relationship with Him could change their life.
Abacus School

 Community

Outreach happens in your community with your neighbors. Take some time to check out your neighborhood. Look for ways to share the love of Jesus in your community. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who could use help shoveling snow from their driveway or raking the leaves on the lawn.

Spend some time brainstorming with your kids about ways they can reach out at home, school, and in their community. Encourage them to be specific.

 Tangible Reminder

After you have gotten your kids thinking about outreach, give them something tangible to help them remember that they can reach out with the love of Jesus. Some ideas could be a Wordless bracelet. Make the bracelets together. Use beads that are the color of the wordless book – gold/yellow, black, red, white, green. Teach the kids what each color means and encourage them to wear the bracelet as a reminder to share the good news of the gospel in their spheres of influence. Another idea for a tangible reminder would be a zipper pull with John 3:16 written on it. Again, this is a tangible reminder for kids that they can be involved in reaching out to those who need to hear about the love of Jesus!

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JanelleJanelle grew up as a pastor’s kid on the prairies. She attended Canadian Bible College (now Ambrose University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Religious Education majoring in Christian Ed. She has served in Children’s Ministry for 17 years in large churches and small and is passionate about Jesus and kids!

 

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40 Verses to Pray Over Your Kids

Praying Scripture over our kids is incredibly powerful! As we pray for them, we are reminded of how deeply God loves them and wants them to know and trust Him. He is very clear about this in His Word!

The Bible is packed with demonstrations and declarations of God’s love, faithfulness, and power. We know that God honors His Word. It is alive and active Hebrews 4:12, and as we align ourselves with what God has spoken, our prayers are permeated with strength and truth. Our own faith increases as we agree with God’s Word over our children’s lives!

Here is a preview of the 40 verses to pray over your children:

Undeterred.net | Prayer Downloadable

 

 

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111116977276274.cXIsYg4oxbn2wurCqtcO_height640Danielle Dykert is the Vice President of Product Development at OneHope. Since joining the OneHope team in 2010, she’s had the privilege of designing countless Scripture engagement products for children and youth, including books, films, curriculum, websites, and apps. Danielle has a BA in English Literature from Taylor University and a Master of Nonprofit Management from Florida Atlantic University. She is passionate about excellence in design and engaging children and youth around the world with God’s Word.

6 Bible verses to build a child’s confidence

A child’s self-esteem begins to develop at age 3 or 4[1]

Parents have a huge responsibility of speaking life into their children’s lives and to ensure that, like other parts of their development, their self-esteem is growing and thriving. Without healthy development, a child’s spirit will likely shrivel up and life will become a monotonous routine.

UNDETERRED.NET | KID'S SELF ESTEEMHealthy self-esteem in a child’s life must be rooted in Jesus and His Word.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Satan wants nothing more than for our children to consistently look for self-esteem in all the wrong places. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy every part of our child’s spirit and joy. But the “I” referenced in John 10:10 is the one that came to give life, and not just life, but a life filled to the brim with joy, hope, and love. The “I” is Jesus. The “I” is the One who whispers love and draws us to Himself and His love letter, the Bible.

“Kids don’t need self-esteem, they need God-esteem. If they esteem God they will understand their value but not make too much of themselves.” –Dannah Gresh

UNDETERRED.NET | BIBLICAL SELF-ESTEEM FOR CHILDREN

Next time you see your son or daughter slumping into feelings of insecurity based on other’s opinions of him or her, remind them of the Truth found in the Bible.

  • They are created in the “image of God” Himself Genesis 1:27
  • They are flawless in God’s eyes Song of Solomon 4:7 because
  • They are the “workmanship” of a perfect God Ephesians 2:10
  • They were created with intention and on purpose! Down to every last hair on their head Luke 12:7
  • God created them and knows them better than they know themselves. They are His children 1 John 3:1
  • They are more valuable than they will ever realize Matthew 10:31

The world defines self-esteem as “a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities”[2]. While others struggle towards this healthy sense of self-worth, the Bible places all of those “feelings” in the person of God. It says our self-esteem is all about Jesus, and it’s not a feeling; it’s a fact.

Teach your children to see themselves through the eyes of the One who created them from the pages of His book. Using the Bible as the basis for self-esteem will help develop a humble, God-fearing spirit that roots their confidence in Christ alone.

Click the button below to download a worksheet your child can use to look up verses in the Bible and build their self-esteem!

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Print out and decorate this truth. Hang it on a mirror as a reminder that God has made you amazing! Memorize this verse and be sure to share it with others who might be struggling with their self-worth.

PSALM 139 | UNDETERRED.NET | SCRIPTURE COLORING SHEET

Get a coloring sheet version of this verse by clicking the button below!

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[1] http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/self-esteem_different_ages.html
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-esteem