The New Generation of Secure Parents. Day One.

By Megan

As I’ve struggled lately with my sense of value and worthiness and significance, it’s come fully and forcefully to my attention that the time has well and truly come to face these issues in myself head on. What once were a flock of annoying crows that’d swoop down to land on my tiny acre to peck away at my self-esteem at random intervals now present a threat much much more sinister and to someone I ultimately worry more over and care more about — my sweet daughter, who, by the way, in my estimation, should never, EVER doubt her own beauty, intelligence, grace, kindness, worthiness or significance because she’s, well … perfect! (Ahem.)

Which is why, when my pecking flock of crows and I heard about Beth Moore’s most recent book, So Long Insecurity, You’ve Been A Bad Friend to Us, we loaded ourselves into the car and drove, cawing and flapping with anticipation, to the bookstore to pick it up. I devoured almost the entire book yesterday as I lay in bed enjoying Round Two of the Stomach Bug from Hades, but I still have many days, perhaps weeks, of processing to do, re-reading and highlighting and circling and extracting, but I’ll tell you right now, Christian parents (even Dads, yes, because Beth does devote two chapters to the top insecurities with which men tend to grapple) who deal on any level with insecurity will do very well by their kids to take a nice long gander between the covers of this book.

In your life, do you currently face or have you faced any of the following issues?

  • Instability in your childhood home
  • A significant loss
  • Rejection
  • Dramatic Change
  • Personal Limitations
  • Hypersensitivity

If you have, chances are these issues have created in you a tendency to feel insecure, which in turn causes you to respond in some pretty unhealthy ways:

  • By constantly comparing yourself to others and never measuring up
  • By making nearly everything in your life a competition
  • By becoming a control freak
  • By being consumed with jealousy or suspicion
  • By rejecting and ignoring the blessings bestowed on you to only see how God/life has failed you
  • By confining and hiding yourself away
  • By causing you to make BAD choices in order to gain acceptance

And the list goes on and on. And people? I’ve dealt with/am dealing with every single one of those issues and seen them manifested in my life in every single way I listed PLUS TEN, because I am creatively insecure like that and I’ve made sure to leave no sick, pathetic stone unturned in my quest to let Satan’s lie rot my life like a festering boil. Seriously. What scares me most is that Bean just keeps getting older and more insightful and here’s this woman going ahead of her, her number one role model in life, stumbling around in all this garbage and setting the worst possible example for her. I just can’t do that anymore. There is simply too much at stake.

I submit that insecurity is an obstacle around which a person CAN NOT successfully parent. It’s too indelible, pervasive, too controlling and causes too much self-absorption and fragment-of-focus.

Parenting, I imagine, would be hard enough for a perfectly healthy, secure human being. For one damaged and swayed by the fierce pull of profound self-doubt, it can’t be anything but a constant mental battlefield for parent and child. The message, daily, even as we work to instill in our children a God-given sense of purpose and worthiness is this: Believe as I say, not as I do. You are God’s perfect you, created in his own image, fitted for great things and designed to be an example of his glory. But I am not.

And it won’t work that way.

And I’m preaching, I know, and I am not a preacher, so I’m stepping down from my soapbox now. But I hope that if, as you read this post, there was a tug at you, a “yes, that might be me, possibly, although boy I don’t think I’ve got it as bad as SHE does!” you will take the time to dig a little deeper into yourself and see where you may need some work.

The world continues to find new and more malevolent ways to tell our children they’ll never measure up, doesn’t it? My hope is that I can be part of a generation of parents who finds a way to counter those messages and barrage our kids with the God-spoken truth:  That they’ve been created with the strictest attention to the very least detail, and that with a simple invitation, God will perfect what he’s started in them and through it all, He will be their stalwart source of strength, dignity and security.

Come on! Are you coming with me?

Megan also blogs at FriedOkra.

11 Responses to The New Generation of Secure Parents. Day One.
  1. Heather of the EO
    February 22, 2010 | 12:47 pm

    What an amazing post. YES. YES. YES.

    This is something I’m pretty much drowning in working on right now and although that’s hard, it is not as hard as running from it.

  2. Kelly
    February 22, 2010 | 1:17 pm

    I’m loving your posts on insecurity, Megan. It’s such a universal problem and it’s so foundational. Every spoke of our lives is affected by it. Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability, friend.

  3. Melissa
    February 22, 2010 | 3:00 pm

    This sounds like an absolute MUST for my Mom’s Group to do next. I don’t think it’s something I can do alone and get the full benefit, you know? I need someone else to pull things out for me, and remind me that I’m not the only one that’s experiencing this (which Satan tells me EVERY. SINGLE. BLESSED. DAY!!!)
    Thanks for posting this, and I look forward to reading what else God has for you to tell us about this book, and this journey! :o)

  4. Shiree
    February 22, 2010 | 3:14 pm

    Amen and Amen and AMEN! Thank you for this post. I’m getting that book and looking forward to her telecast on this topic April 24th. Thank you again for being faithful and brave enough to share.

  5. Michael
    February 22, 2010 | 4:36 pm

    We are mortal and fallible and I know of no faith that suggests we can be perfected in this world.

    This means we will all have insecurities and doubts, fears and pain. We cannot eliminate it from our lives and we should not suggest to our children that such an achievement is possible.

    Rather, one of the greatest lessons is to persevere IN SPITE OF the insecurity. Heroes aren’t unafraid, as a rule. They persevere in spite of being afraid. Or insecure. Or fallible.

    It’s not pleasant, but it’s terribly human, to be insecure. The lesson for our children is that this is normal, but not fatal. Showing how to act in spite of insecurities, needs, selfishness, desires, peer pressure…..that’s the key.


  6. Megan
    February 22, 2010 | 6:14 pm

    Great thoughts, Michael. I totally understand where you are coming from. No easy cure, must deal with life as the imperfect creatures we’re destined to always be. OH YES. Welcome to my world!

    But to everyone who reads this post, let me be clear(er)! My message was not meant to convey that any of us, men nor women, heroes nor mere mortals, will ever be perfect or free from doubt, pain or fear in our lives — only that generally the deep-seated, overwhelming insecurities many people deal with come from certain experiences in their lives and that left unaddressed, those insecurities can lead to some very poor outcomes in life as often they push or pull us to respond in destructive ways. Addressing these issues takes a huge amount of courage and risk, but the cleansing and wholeness it can bring about when done (in my humble opinion and faith – I don’t know for sure because I have a long way to go!) together with God will bring us, as people and as parents, closer to God’s ideal for our lives. I’ve got my set of experiences that have brought me to a place of aching insecurity (my parents did, as well), and I want to deal with them myself vs. visiting them on my kids (via my parenting), who will most certainly have their own set of issues to deal with. I’d also love to be able to teach both of my children (and frankly, anyone who crosses my path!) not to tie their security to other mortals, but to God. Lastly, I believe that through healing and re-claiming our God-given security, we’ll all (our children and ourselves) be able to get through the inevitable pain, doubt and fear life will bring with much more grace and dignity.

    I can’t say it as effectively or powerfully as Beth Moore does, but then again, she’s Beth Moore and I’m just me (both we’re both insecure, so hey, I’m in good company!). I hope my inarticulateness (is that even a word?) won’t keep this post from striking the right chord in the hearts of the people who needed to hear the message (however jumbled it is) and showing them that they aren’t alone and that there are resources out there to help them figure a way out of the pit insecurity has helped them dig themselves into.

  7. Cheryl
    February 23, 2010 | 10:35 am

    just beautiful 🙂

  8. Hannah
    February 24, 2010 | 12:23 am

    Wow! You’re so courageous to post this, and I’m so grateful. I needed to read this, and I think I need to read that book!

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