According to the most basic definition, “worth” is the importance or value of something in the world. Worth also applies to people. How your children determine self-worth may prove to be the filter through which they interpret all social interaction. Simply put, kids who “esteem” themselves interact with others very differently from kids who feel they have no value.
To engage your kids in a dialogue about self-worth, let me draw from a powerful word picture I learned from my friend, Louie Giglio, during our time of ministry together at Baylor.
Cut out a coupon from your local newspaper for a grocery item. Just a 50 cent coupon for a can of soup will work fine. Explain how a coupon works to your son or daughter. You buy the can of soup at the store, and they immediately give you a discounted price. But the grocery store doesn’t lose any money on the sale. They send the coupon to the soup factory, which then “buys” the coupon back from the grocery store for 50 cents. They “redeem” the coupon. To redeem is to buy back.
What is the value, or worth, of that coupon? The coupon is worth whatever the factory will pay to get it back. Worth is set by what someone is willing to pay to get something. In this case, the coupon is worth 50 cents.
Next read 1 Peter 1:18 together. Then ask, “So, according to this verse, how much are you worth to God?”
Finally, state the basic truth. “God paid Jesus for you. Therefore, you are worth Jesus to God. How much are you worth? What is your value on this earth? More than silver or gold. You are so valuable that God redeemed you. He bought you back, and it cost him Jesus to do it. You are worth so very much to God, and to us.”
This is more than just a lesson in good theology. It helps to establish a foundation of self-worth that you can build on daily with your children. Statements like, “You are special, you are loved, you are valuable, you are important to me” serve as building blocks of worth on which a healthy self-esteem can be constructed.
Then, when people in this world cruelly question the value of your child, he or she can stand firm, unshaken with a confidence that comes from knowing a love that establishes value. Imagine him or her being able to think, “I am important to my parents. I am valuable to God. It’s okay for someone to not like me. I am loved already.”