This is me

There is a powerful song in the film The Greatest Showman called “This is me.” It is sung by the cast of Barnum’s Circus, each of whom is in some way a “freak”. Their lives have been defined by rejection because of what they look like, whether it be their extreme height (or lack of it), their impressive beard (on a woman), their birthmarks or their tattoos. 

But they refuse to be the labels others give them. While they might be bruised by how they have been treated, they know that they are more than a physical quirk or an outlier from the norm.

There’s something wonderful here that we want our own kids to emulate: to refuse to be defined by how others view them or treat them. And yet, there’s something dangerous here, too.

You be you

Our children are being asked to start from a blank sheet of paper. Who are you? Who do you want to be? What is your gender? What is your sexuality? Where is your value? How will you be famous? What difference will you make? Create your own path. Follow your heart. Stand up and declare, without apology, This is me. 

That is not freedom. That is a burden. What if the me I am today is not the me I was yesterday? What if I don’t much like the me I am today? Creating your own identity is elusive and it is exhausting. It leads away from confidence and towards crisis. 

That spirit of the age sounds so appealing. It may even seem loving. But it is not true. Our children’s hearts are at risk. We might feel overwhelmed, confused, and tempted to just give in. Or we might feel fearful and hear ourselves responding negatively to the world’s message by pointing out at every opportunity where it is wrong. 

But we have a better story to tell: one of redemption, hope, and purpose. We have the best, most uplifting story to give to our children.

A confident sheep

The better story is that they have been created in their maker’s image. Their loving heavenly Father tells them who they were made to be, who they are and who they will be. Once they understand, they can live free. They can make better decisions. They can be more confident. And, crucially, they can feel better.

As Christians, we are not defined by our appearance. We are not a collection of logos and brands. We are not our hairstyle, weight or disability. We are not the names we are called. 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:10-11)

‘Life to the full’. Which parent does not want that for their children? Jesus Christ claimed that it was found in him, as the good shepherd. 

“Others” come to steal, kill and destroy life—the shepherd came to give life, by laying down his life. This is not a trendy self-help philosophy or the latest breakthrough parenting book. This is flesh and bone. This is love and sacrifice. This best life is available to “the sheep”. 

This is an edited excerpt from, “Raising Confident Kids in a Confusing World” by Ed Drew. A longer version of this article appears in the May 2023 edition of Evangelicals Now.Ed Drew is the Director of Faith in Kids ( which exists to see confident parents and thriving churches raising children together to trust Jesus eternally.