ATLANTA — Actor and producer Kirk Cameron says there are three things parents should do to help their children find their identity in Christ in today’s post-modern, social-media obsessed culture.
“I would tell parents to be the kind of confident, wholehearted, full of faith Christian that you want your children to become,” Cameron told The Christian Post. “Let them see an example in you as a mom or dad.”
“Second, I would advise staying in a relationship with them,” the father-of-six continued. “So many kids that go astray, you look at their relationship with their parents and it’s usually broken. It’s not healthy and strong.”
“Number three, make the word of God the center of your home and what you teach them,” Cameron advised. “Our generation is struggling with this issue of identity. We need to ask ourselves, ‘if this was taken away from me, would I question who I am? Do I define myself by my looks, race, gender, talents or resources? And ultimately, find our sense of identity in who God says we are.”
Cameron spoke with CP at the red carpet premiere of “Overcomer,” the forthcoming Kendrick brothers film starring Priscilla Shirer.
The movie tells the story of a successful high school basketball coach who loses most of his team due to an economic crisis in the community. As he transitions to become the school’s track coach, he struggles with the nature of his identity and what happens when he can no longer find worth in his work. The sports-themed movie asks moviegoers to consider the question: What do you allow to define you?
“I appreciate ‘Overcomer’ because it’s based out of truths in the book of Ephesians,” Cameron said. “The Gospel is central in the movie. It talks about a relevant issue that kids need to think deeply about.”
Cameron, who played Mike Seaver on “Growing Pains” from 1985 to 1992, became a Christian in his late teens. Since then, he’s devoted his life to furthering the Gospel through films such as “Fireproof” and “Revive Us.”
“You hear people say all the time, ‘I went to California to find myself; I’m really struggling with my identity,” he told CP. “That’s why I love this movie, because it’ll open up a conversation between us as parents with our children to talk about what it is that truly defines us.”
Although it’s billed as a faith-based movie, “Overcomer” is “good for everybody” — Christians and non-Christians alike, Cameron said.
“It’s a great conversation starter about a really important subject for everybody,” he said. We all struggle with finding who we are. Especially with social media being such a central part of our lives, we’re forming our identity and self-worth on the opinions of millions of people who don’t even know us, and our values from people who don’t have a biblical worldview.”
Aryn Wright-Thompson, who stars in the film alongside Shirer and Alex Kendrick, also addressed the negative effects of social media on young people and advised her peers to “take a break.”
“We live at a time where social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter really influence us,” she said. “We need to take a break. I took a break for a month and I felt so much better. Even subconsciously, you hear you’re not good enough — it’s important to take some time and realize you are good enough because God loves you. I already knew that, but I needed to be reminded.”
“I could tell how much better I felt about myself,” the teen continued. “Take a break from social media. Stop taking yourself for granted, because God loves you.”
“Overcomer” opens in theaters nationwide on Aug. 23.