If you have kids or have ever been a kid then you know what it’s like when kids are embarrassed by their parents. Kids may feel embarrassed at any given time they are around their friends or simply in public. Kids feeling embarrassed by their parents is not a new or isolated idea. Such embarrassment is portrayed on TV shows and in movies.
Sometimes kids make up any excuse or walk longer distances to avoid being picked-up, dropped-off or escorted somewhere in front of their friends. Sometimes parents catch on and, in good fun, purposely embarrass their kids.
Why are kids often times embarrassed by their parents? Identity.
Kids share an identity with their parents. Whether a parent by birth, marriage, or adoption a child has a recognizable identification with their parents. Shrugging off potential embarrassment is easy if a parent isn’t the one making the public appearance. A kid can say, “That’s just my uncle,” and not worry about embarrassment.
The problem is not necessarily that parents are actually embarrassing. The problem is usually the child’s internal issue. Regardless of the child’s personal issues, the parents’ identity remains a part of their life. Even if there is a legitimate concern for embarrassment the identity factor exists.
As a child matures, the parental embarrassment factor becomes less of a issue. In a healthy home the parental identity becomes something the child embraces – and may even be proud of.
While parental embarrassment may be temporary there is an eternal perspective for Christians to consider.
Let’s go back to the start of this article – If you have kids or have ever been a kid then you know what it’s like when kids are embarrassed by their parents. As Christians, we know what it’s like to embarrass God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is easy for Christians to embarrass God with sin on a daily basis. That is, if we aren’t too embarrassed to be identified with Christ.
As with the children mentioned above, the embarrassment is our issue not God’s. If Christian identity is truly in Christ we should not be embarrassed to let the world know. We should not hide that identity from the world.
Jesus said, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33 ESV).
As a simple proof-text, Jesus’ words should cause concern for professing Christians embarrassed to be identified with Him. If you are a Christian who is embarrassed to publicly identify with Christ you might ask yourself why. It may be a good time to examine yourself.
Christians, consider how you would feel as a parent whose child is publicly embarrassed by you; then consider your public identity with Christ.