There is a woman whose identity to me is: “Mom of accomplished children.”
She has worked in a store where I’ve shopped for years, since we both had little ones, and every time I see her, her only topic of conversation is her children. Through the years I’ve heard about their academic accomplishments, what colleges they chose to attend, how two of them entered the medical field, and now I hear how each of them are excelling in their professions. I understand her pride and joy in her children, but when I see her, I instantly identify her as the woman whose children are excelling in every endeavor.
That is her identity to me because that seems to be where she finds her worth and value.
I’m all about sharing with you what I love. I’ll show pictures of my family, tell you the cute things the little ones have done, maybe even tell you about job promotions or accomplishments, but if that is all you hear me talking about, please let me know, because that could be an indicator that I’ve forgotten my true identity.
Do you know your true identity?
Your true identity is God’s image bearer.
[box]Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26–27)[/box]
Nothing else in creation is given this designation of being created in God’s IMAGE.
Your identity as a woman is to be God’s image bearer.
You as a woman, me . . . we are created in God’s likeness, in His image . . . we’re created to IMAGE GOD—to bear His reflection.
If we are created to be God’s image bearers, but aren’t fulfilling that, then we’ll be frustrated and empty. We’ll be experiencing “identity confusion.”
Are you experiencing identity confusion?
That happens when we’re attempting to live as something other than our true identity . . . looking to people or circumstances to fulfill us, rather than recognizing our worth and value to God, and allowing that to satisfy our longing for affirmation and fulfillment.
What we need to understand is that our value and worth is derived from our identity as God’s image bearer and when we forget that, when we look to other things for our worth and value, we stray into identity confusion and we quickly lose our bearings.
Operating in your role as a wife or mom, or functioning in your vocation as a nurse, school administrator, or CEO . . . all of these are merely roles or avenues through which you function in your true identity. But too often we confuse our role or vocation with our identity.
You may never have realized that your identity is God’s image bearer, and you may’ve looked for your identity in many other places.
Where do you find your identity?
For some women, they find it in their job, or even their husband’s vocation, or in their children’s accomplishments—but that isn’t your true identity.
Some women have experienced the trauma of divorce, or abuse, or you may be a single woman who struggles with the desire for marriage, but it’s not happening. All of those experiences will become our identity if we allow them to. You can take on the identity of the rejected wife or the mom of the prodigal. As painful as those things are, as much as they may shape or mark our lives—those experiences are never to replace our true identity.
When we lose our identity to horrific life experiences, it will plunge us into depression.
Missing out on our identity or experiencing identity confusion, leads to shame, guilt, bitterness, hopelessness, and depression. When we aren’t living out our true identity, we’re tempted to turn to other things to find our worth and value which leads to all kinds of destructive addictions. I’ve seen this happen in so many women’s lives, in my own at times.
Being God’s image bearer means that:
- You are formed by God with the purpose of reflecting who He is through your womanhood.
You may never have realized that your identity is God’s image bearer, and you may’ve looked for your identity in many other places: in your social status, your educational background, your job, or your husband’s vocation, or in your children’s accomplishments . . . but that isn’t your true identity.
What identity are you living out today?
Have you taken on an identity of shame due to childhood molestation, sexual abuse, or other horrific injuries?
Do you live with an identity of cynicism? Are you afraid to trust God or believe He wants what is best for you because of personal loss (job, health, loss of a loved one)?
Have you taken on an identity or persona of pride because of accomplishments in your career, your vocation or your education?
Your identity is much greater than who you are vocationally, or what your children do. You were created as a woman is to be God’s image bearer.
What identity, what image do people see when they look at you?