Focus on the Family

Raising a Child of the King: Identity as Children of God

We need to raise children that are aware of God’s love for them and who want to serve Him. As parents, we need to daily challenge them to grow and start out on the journey to spiritual maturity.

In the fall of 1940, bombs whistled through the cloudy London skies. Explosions decimated the city and left craters where homes and businesses had once stood. Thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth couldn’t hear her mother’s voice over the continual wail of the air raid sirens, but she could read her lips, “Get your coat!

Elizabeth helped her younger sister, Margaret, before wrapping her wool coat around her body. The princesses rushed from Buckingham Palace to a black car parked just outside the gate. A German bomb exploded blocks away, and Elizabeth’s ears rang as the plane that had dropped it roared overhead.

“Keep your heads down!” her mother instructed as the driver put the car in gear. Elizabeth lifted her head to peek through the window. London was on fire. Elizabeth, her sister, and thousands of other children fled the city for safety during Germany’s 57-day campaign to bomb London. This systematic attack against Britain became known as The Blitz. But Princess Elizabeth refused to cower in fear. She was the daughter of the king! She had a purpose—and things to do!

Helping Amid the Hurt

Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of King George VI, was too young to join the war effort when Great Britain entered World War II. Instead, she made it a point to send out radio broadcasts and encourage the other children who had evacuated from their homes. When she turned 18, she became the first female member of the royal family to join the active-duty Armed Forces, serving as a mechanic until the end of the war.

Elizabeth, now Queen, painted a strong picture of what it meant to be a child of the king. There are specific ways that a prince or princess is expected to behave, rules for how they should carry themselves, and obligations they must fulfill. Above all, they should be a positive reflection of their father, the king, and do their best to preserve the kingdom.

Unexpected Royalty

During the 1940 Blitz on London, a German bomb landed in my great-grandparents’ garden as they were preparing to evacuate. It failed to explode. My grandmother and her siblings went to live in a stranger’s home in the countryside along with thousands of other children, including Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.  

My grandma used to tell us stories of those days over afternoon tea and a plate of cookies. She used to listen to Princess Elizabeth’s radio broadcasts for encouragement, navigating the daily uncertainty of war, and mustering the courage to make it through with the confidence of a princess herself. Enamored with grandma’s stories and dressed in a pink dress and plastic tiara, I used to go running barefoot through the cornfields wondering, for hours on end, what it would be like to be a princess—like Elizabeth.

What if my parents were the king and queen? How would I have to behave? In what obligations would I have to invest my time? Would I grow up to be a kind and respected leader, or something quite the opposite? Would I be a positive reflection of my father, the king, and rise to the occasion to defend his kingdom when necessary? I’d probably need to be a bit less muddy and have some proper shoes, for a start.

Little did I know that I was already a princess—a true daughter of the King.

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King of Glory

The Bible describes God as King and Lord in countless places. David says, “Our God is a God who saves. He is the King and the Lord” (Psalm 68:20, NIRV). His Son, Jesus, is “called King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).

God’s kingdom is vast. It spans to the far reaches of our abilities to see and understand, and even then, we only catch a glimpse. From mountains to oceans, sprawling galaxies to clusters of atoms, to the heavenly and spiritual realms—God created it all! Heaven itself is a place with many gates and mansions, a city as brilliant as a precious jewel, with streets paved with gold. Can you imagine a place where something so rich as gold is considered as mundane as asphalt in light of God’s glory?

As humans, we are continually discovering hallmarks of His design. But God didn’t just create the heavens and earth, wipe His hands, and walk away. Instead, He reigns over every nuance of His kingdom. How wonderful that we have a creator and King who is present and engaged!

God promises that Jesus will return and will establish His kingdom here on Earth—the way it was supposed to be before sin entered into our lives in the Garden of Eden. Are we ready for His return?

If we are His children and have a relationship with Him, we shouldn’t fear that day. God not only created us from the dust of the Earth, but He calls us to have a deep relationship with Him. What’s more, He wants to bestow incredible gifts and inheritance on us as His children. Romans 8:17 (NLT) declares, “And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ, we are heirs of God’s glory.”

As Children of God, We Are Royalty

Logically, it stands to reason: If children of a king are princes and princesses, then because God is King, as His children, we too are princes and princesses!

YOU are royalty in God’s family. You and your children are princes or princesses in His kingdom. See the person next to you? Or the person standing across the room? They, too, are royalty in His kingdom. If we treated everyone around us like royalty, how different would our actions be toward each other?

The problem is that not everyone recognizes that they are royalty. They’ve forgotten that they are children of God and have a royal heritage. They wander through life in rags rather than being sure of their identity in Christ. We can come alongside the people who don’t realize they are children of God and remind them who they are. And it is critical that we teach our children from an early age who they are in Christ. We must raise them to be children of the King!

In Raising Up Dreamers, Shelia Erwin, mom of two award winning Christian filmmakers (Jon and Andrew Erwin), shows you how to nurture their talents and gifts from a position of trust and rest in God. Help your little dream-chasers grow up looking to glorify the Lord and not be gripped by the world.

Raising Children of the King

A Battle for the Kingdom

First, we need to recognize that God’s kingdom is under siege from a very real enemy. There is an ever-raging battle between God and the devil for the hearts of God’s princes and princesses. God sent His Son, Jesus, so that there could be abundant life. The devil, however, wants nothing more than to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).

The enemy is continually raining bombs into our lives and homes, much the same way that Germany did to London in the 1940s. Lies fly in our direction: There is no God. Even if there were, He wouldn’t love you. You aren’t worthy of love. These flaming arrows of the enemy seek to strip us of our identity in Christ. Therefore, we must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). It’s critical to teach our children to wear the armor of God and to be certain of their identity in Christ—that they are a child of God.

Teaching Our Kids Identity In Christ

It is essential that we teach our kids who God is and how much He truly loves them as His children. Leading our children to Christ and teaching their identity in Christ will help them to understand their royal status in the kingdom of God and will help them to deter the lies that the world throws their way.

We need to raise children that are aware of God’s love for them and who want to serve Him. As parents, we need to challenge them to grow and start on the journey to spiritual maturity daily. How can we do this? Shake up their routine. Get them to read a new book, join a Bible study, or attend weekly prayer sessions at church. Then celebrate their growth as they do new things. Luke 16:10 says that “one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

Psalm 139 describes how God has uniquely created each of us. He knew who we would be, and who our kids would be, before we were born. God knew that we existed before our mothers even knew that they were pregnant. We are so precious to Him. He loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die for our sins and so that we could have a relationship and an inheritance in Him.

Truths About Being a Child of God

Our kids need to know that their worth and their value comes from the King, not from the opinions of others. It is important to help our children recognize their identity in Christ. Here are a few truths to reflect on with your child about who they are:

  • God created me to be unique, and He knows everything about me (Psalm 139).
  • God created me in His image. There is so much that I have in common with the creator. My abilities to create, learn, and love others come from Him (Genesis 1:27).
  • I am part of God’s royal family and will live with Him for eternity (Romans 8:15).
  • God created me for a purpose and has given me all the tools I need to do good works for His kingdom (Ephesians 2:10).
  • I am special to God (1 Peter 2:9)
  • I am a citizen of heaven—of God’s kingdom! (Philippians 3:20)

What a Child of the King Does

The Book of James in the Bible talks about how we are not saved by the work that we do, but rather if we have a relationship with Jesus. Just like Elizabeth was not content to sit idly by, our kids can also get involved in sharing God’s love with the rest of His kingdom. Here are some ways that children can get involved:

  • Be strong
  • Be kind
  • Repent of sins and wrongdoing
  • Be welcoming
  • Share
  • Be generous
  • Be a Christ-Follower
  • Work Hard
  • Be a Peacemaker

Boldly Defend God’s Kingdom

Be bold in your faith, in coming alongside others, and defending God’s kingdom. It’s your kingdom, too, after all, as you have an inheritance in it! Show others that God’s kingdom is better by far than anything this world can offer. If we remember that we are God’s child, it gives us value beyond anything this world can provide. God’s love is constant, and His standards never change.

Ask yourself today:

  • Do I genuinely believe I am a child of God, and that I am royalty in His family?
  • What can I do to show my citizenship in His kingdom?
  • How can I teach my kids their identity in Christ?

Be assured that you and your children are dearly loved, deeply cherished, and that God esteems you as princes or princesses in His kingdom. By teaching your kids their identity in Christ, you are teaching them that their value comes from being a child of God, not from the world.

Every month, Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. provides parents with age-appropriate, Christ-centered content that can help children (ages 3-7) understand who they are in Christ. The August issue even contained several stories to encourage kids to live like a child of the King, including this one. Nearly 60,000 families use this resource every month to help their children grow closer to God.

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