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One day, a group of students and their teacher travel to a zoo safari park to learn all about the different animals. During a fun jeep ride around the park, the guide shares fascinating information about lions, rhinoceroses, elephants, buffalo, and more, pointing out distinctive characteristics about each animal’s body and how those qualities make the animals special. Along the way, the children start to notice how their differences in appearance make each of them special too. Their teacher helps them reflect on their own body image and teaches them how they were created uniquely in God’s image.
Because bodies can be confusing and sometimes embarrassing to children, Justin and Lindsey Holcomb wrote God Made Me in His Image for parents to use in helping their kids understand how God made their bodies in his image. Parents and caregivers can use this powerful book, illustrated by Trish Mahoney, to help children understand their feelings about their bodies and help them accept them by highlighting God’s loving design of our individual physical characteristics.
God Made Me in His Image is part of the God Made Me series which equips parents to have important, impactful conversations with their children, helping them to grow in understanding of God, themselves, and others. Each book in the series contains a special section just for parents and caregivers that provides biblical guidance and offers additional information and resources for talking about the topic addressed in the story.
Justin Holcomb, PhD, is an Episcopal priest and professor of theology and apologetics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary. Justin is a City Network Leader for Made to Flourish. He serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments), Heart Support, and Leaders Collective. He has authored, coauthored, or edited more than fifteen books on numerous topics, including sexual assault, domestic abuse, biblical studies, and historical theology. He and his wife, Lindsey, coauthored the award-winning children’s book God Made All of Me and God Made Me in His Image.
Lindsey A. Holcomb, MPH, works at Samaritan Village, a safe home and therapeutic program for adult survivors of sex trafficking. She is a former case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence shelter and is the cofounder of REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade). Together, Lindsey and her husband, Justin, conduct a variety of training seminars on how to prevent, recognize, and respond to child, sexual, and domestic abuse. She is also the award-winning coauthor of Is It My Fault?, Rid of My Disgrace, God Made All of Me, and God Made Me in His Image. The Holcombs live in Orlando and are parents of two daughters.
Trish Mahoney is a graphic designer and illustrator in Seattle where she runs The Mahoney Studio with her husband, Patrick, also a designer and illustrator. They have two children, both budding artists too. Trish is the illustrator for the God Made Me series and The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible.
“Justin and Lindsey have done it again—creating an unbelievable resource that's rich, accurate, engaging, and just plain HELPFUL to us as parents trying to teach our kids to love and honor their bodies! I can't wait to buy an entire box to give copies to all of our parent friends!”
Jefferson Bethke, NYT Best-selling Author of Take Back Your Family
“Every single day, I sit in my counseling office with kids of all shapes and sizes who don’t like their bodies. Especially in this day and time, we want the kids we love to have confidence in who they are. We want them to see themselves as valuable at every level and deeply loved by God. This wonderful new book by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb will do just that. From the outside in, they bring the truth of who God is and how deeply he loves and delights in each and every child . . . including their amazing, God-designed little bodies.”
Sissy Goff, Director of Child and Adolescent Counseling, Daystar Counseling; author of Raising Worry-Free Girls and Brave: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Beating Worry & Anxiety
“This is an awesome resource! If you have kids, this is what they need. Who am I? Someone God made and called ‘very good.’”
Michael Horton, Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, California; author of Core Christianity
“In a world of bullying, anger, and disdain, this precious book reminds adults and children alike that each one of us, no matter our differences, has dignity and value as God’s hand-knit image bearer. Read it over and over again—for your children and for yourself.”
Diane Langberg, Ph.D., Psychologist
“In this Instagram age of ‘the most beautiful kids in the world,’ I’m immensely thankful for the Holcombs’ encouraging and insightful book. I wish I had had it when I was a child and hated my freckles. Rather than just telling kids are great because they’re kids, your children will learn that their beauty and importance come from a loving Father’s creative hand. Buy this for your kids and for all your friends’ kids too.”
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Coauthor of Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus
“The Holcombs have written a thoughtful and compelling children’s book that zeros in on the glory of how God has uniquely crafted our body and our self. But don’t be fooled—this is a brilliant theological treatise as much for adults as for children. They offer us a message about Genesis 1–3 that is more than a teaching tool for children—it is a reminder for us all to bless our Creator and be amazed as to who we are as his creatures. It is never too early to help children appreciate their bodies and never too late for parents and grandparents who read the story to do the same.”
Dan B. Allender, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling Psychology; Founding President, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology
“As a dad of two daughters, I’ve often found myself anxious and even overwhelmed by the competing images and messages they’ve received about their bodies, their appearance, and their acceptance. Mine are off to college now, but I’m still going to buy them God Made Me in His Image. I hope this extraordinary resource finds its way into your home.”
Chuck DeGroat, PH.D., LPC, Professor of Pastoral Care and Christian Spirituality, Western Theological Seminary
“Add this book to your kids’ must-have library. You and your children will benefit from what you will learn.”
Jessica Thompson, Author and speaker
“God Made Me in His Image is a poignant reminder that God paints our world in variety. This story helps children realize they are beautiful just as they are. It reminds them of the truth that God’s indelible image rests upon them. A positive, life-affirming book.”
Mary DeMuth, Author of Pray Every Day
“Although his appearance did not draw others to him (Isaiah 53:2), Jesus is the ‘image of the invisible God’ (Colossians 1:15). This image is glorious and brightly shines in the throne of heaven (Hebrews 1:13). In this book, Justin and Lindsey Holcomb help children see that their shapes, sizes and colors also bear the image of God and that nothing could be lovelier than that.”
Victor Vieth, Author of On this Rock: A Call to Center the Christian Response to Child Abuse on the Life and Words of Jesus
“Children are magically drawn to the beauty and diversity of creation. This is evident when you visit a zoo or a farm and observe children pointing and laughing with pure joy, mesmerized by a myriad of creatures. In this book, Justin and Lindsey beautifully translate the joy of creation to show how children can see themselves, uniquely created in the Image of God. It is never too early to impress upon our children the weighty significance this truth offers as the origin of their dignity and worth. God Made Me in His Image will delight children as they consider the unique body they have been given and the greater purpose for which they have been made.”
Brandy Miller (MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary), former fashion model, and founder of Redeeming Beauty (brandymiller.io)
“The Holcombs offer a valuable tool to help children know God their Creator. Everything he makes is good—including their bodies. I'll certainly use this book to teach my children (and me!) the dignity of every person made in God's image, no matter their shape, size, or appearance.”
Eric Schumacher, Author of My Last Name and coauthor of Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women
“Here is a colorful, engaging children's book based on good theology that creates an opportunity to talk with your kids (or grandkids) about the wonder of the human body, about legitimate differences between people's bodies, and about disabilities. There's nothing like it!”
Eric L. Johnson, Professor of Christian Psychology, Houston Baptist University
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God Made Me In His Image – Helping Children Appreciate Their Bodies is a timely topic that tackles the self-consciousness of bodies, especially the things that make us ‘different’. However, it’s more than the typical “you’re beautiful the way you are” theme. God Made Me In His Image does aim to boost children’s acceptance of their bodies and differences from one another, but lays down a solid Biblical foundation with the message. Ruthie and Mateo’s school bus trip to the safari proves to be a fun adventure of seeing animals (otherwise known as God’s creation) and learning about what makes them unique. We see a similar diversity among the children on the bus. Mateo’s big ears, Ruthie’s frizzy hair and freckles, and Willow’s birthmark. When the children visit the Big Five animals – the most famous of the African animals – they explore the differences among the animals to further celebrate uniqueness and beauty in God’s creation. The teacher uses Psalm 139 to explain that God put us together and designed us with a purpose. He knew exactly what he was doing when he created each one of us differently. The extra resources included at the end of God Made Me In His Image are helpful for parents and educators. One includes guidance about body image to help children accept and celebrate their uniqueness. The other includes facts and information about the Big Five animals in the story.