Sometimes it feels like the whole world is on a mission to beat down our kids’ confidence. Maybe they are teased by a friend or a sibling; maybe they don’t get the encouragement they crave from a teacher or coach; maybe their own insecurities constantly whisper, “You’re not enough.” And yet, when God created our children, he created them as his masterpiece; when he was finished, he stepped back and said to himself, “Oh, this one is very, very good.”
How can we arm our kids with the right kind of confidence? Sometimes it’s tempting to teach them to put confidence in themselves, and certainly there is a place for showering our kids with encouragement and compliments that build them up. I love telling my kids how beautiful, smart, and talented God has made them. How much I love them and—even more than that—I like them! But confidence that lasts comes from a different place:
Lasting, godly confidence comes from God and his Word, not from our own looks or achievements or popularity.
Lasting, godly confidence comes from the unchanging fact that God loves us no matter what. We haven’t earned that love, and we will never have to.
Lasting, godly confidence comes from the staggering knowledge that God’s love doesn’t fluctuate based on how well we behave or even how much we love God back. Of course God hopes his love will inspire us to give our hearts to him and follow his ways, but he doesn’t love us any less when we make mistakes.
If your kids need a dose of godly confidence, try these 13 scriptures. And hey—read them for yourself, too! I bet you’ll walk a lot taller after you’re done.
13 Confidence-Building Scriptures for Kids and Teens
1. Luke 12:6–7
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
2. Ephesians 1:3–8,New Living Translation
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
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3. Exodus 3:11–12; 4:10–12
Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. . . .”
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
*I have to interrupt the list here to make a quick observation: Notice how God responds to Moses. He doesn’t say, “Oh, Moses, stop saying that! Of course you are a wonderful speaker. You are hilarious, and you have the best anecdotes—I love the one about Pharaoh and the donkey!—plus there’s that fantastic vocabulary you gleaned from all those fancy royal tutors.” Nope. God brings the attention back to himself. The point is, God didn’t choose Moses because of who Moses was; God chose him because God himself was powerful enough to use Moses for his purposes. Deep thoughts worth pondering, right?! Of course this will sail right over the heads of our younger kids, but teenagers can begin to grasp this concept and teach themselves to focus more on God and less on themselves.*
4. Isaiah 43:1–2,4
But now, this is what the Lord says. . . .
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned. . . .
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.”
5. Zephaniah 3:17
“The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.”
6. Psalm 37:19,23–24
The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty….
The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
7. Psalm 71:1–3, 5–6
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;
turn your ear to me and save me.
Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go. . . .
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
8. 1 Samuel 16:7
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Related post: 13 Back-to-School Scriptures for Kids
9. Hebrews 10:35–36; 39–11:1
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. . . . We do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
10. Galatians 6:9–10
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
11. 2 Corinthians 12:9–10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Related post: 13 Scriptures to Help Siblings Get Along
12. Philippians 4:6–7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
13. Psalm 103:11–13
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
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