According to a recent global study, commissioned by Dove, “only 2% of women around the world describe themselves as beautiful.” I greatly respect the work that Dove is doing in teaching young girls about self-esteem, image manipulation in magazines, and how to have a healthy life style. But, is their quest to teach girls about real beauty the answer? Whose definition of beauty are they using? How do you go about making a girl feel beautiful? More importantly, how do you teach a girl that she is beautiful even when she doesn't feel like it?
Many women battle insecurity their whole lives. So, as mothers, how can we be proactive about not passing that on to our children? What can we do to help our daughters understand their worth and beauty in Christ?
It begins with us.
From the very beginning, our children are watching us. They learn how to interact with others by watching our example. They learn what is right and wrong by observing our behavior. And, when it comes to beauty, our little ones will be watching us closely and listening intently.
When we look in a mirror and critique what we see – their little ears are taking it all in. So, before we can teach our daughters what makes a woman beautiful, we have to know it ourselves. We must begin looking to the Word and not the world for validation. Christ must be our standard.
Shift their focus.
Insecurity and conceit are opposite sides of the same coin. Both are forms of pride, which occur when we are completely focused on self. We need to teach our children to not focus on themselves, but on Him.
Charles Spurgeon said it this way: “It is ever the Holy Spirit’s work to turn our eyes away from self to Jesus; but Satan’s work is just the opposite of this, for he is constantly trying to make us regard ourselves instead of Christ.” (Spurgeon, Morning and Evening)
There is nothing more beautiful than an unwavering devotion to Christ. A heart that seeks, hands that serve, feet that follow, and lips that praise make a woman lovely in His sight.
Define beauty for them.
We, as parents, must define beauty for our children. If we do not, the world is more than willing to define it for them. And, although the world’s version of beauty is always changing, the Word of God stands firm in its emphasis on inner beauty.
From the Old Testament…
“Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (HCSB)
To the New Testament…
“What matters is not your outer appearance…but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 (The Message)
It’s time that we, as parents, step up and teach our girls where their worth is found. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the eye of the Creator who looked upon all He had made and deemed it very good.
Written by Stacy Edwards
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