"You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless." Song of Solomon 4:7b (MSG)
The words on Facebook glared back at her. "You are so ugly! You are fat, annoying and I hate you!"
Lindsay just sat there, staring at the screen, baffled. "What did I say? What did I do?"
Maybe this has happened to one of your children, or in some way they've faced this same type of painful rejection. Maybe you have felt it yourself. I recently spotted a t-shirt at the mall that read "You're no one until someone talks about you." What a sad state of affairs.
Growing up in a world where "Mean Girls" and "Gossip Girl" are movie and TV titles, it comes as no surprise that "mean" defines many females today. How can we guard our hearts against this? As a mom, what can we do when our children's hearts are crushed by meanness?
Feeling unaccepted is nothing new. In Song of Solomon 1:5a, we are introduced to a young girl who felt this way: "Don't look down on me because I am dark..." (MSG). She felt rejected. Those feelings are so opposite of what we and our children want to feel. We long to be accepted.
Matthew Henry concludes about this passage in Song of Solomon that we, as represented by the young girl, are "often base and contemptible in the esteem of others, but excellent in the sight of God."
We can counteract the poison of meanness by remembering who we are in God's eyes. I am excellent in the sight of God and so are you. Song of Solomon 1:5b reveals the tanned girl's acceptance of this truth; she knows full well that her Lord finds her lovely. When I know that I am accepted by the Lord, it puts me exactly where I need to be to slough off insults and to help my child do the same.
When my daughter was in sixth grade, she was 5'10". One day as she got off the school bus, I noticed she was holding back a flood of tears. Once again she had been made fun of for her height.
On that day, her youth pastor wasn't there. Her teacher, counselor and small group leaders weren't there either. But her mom was. I began telling her how her Father saw her. Sharing truths like these:
- "My beloved is mine, and I am His..." (Song of Solomon 2:16a, NKJV).
- "You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless" (Song of Solomon 4:7b, MSG).
- "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord" (Psalm 45:11, NIV).
I poured these truths and others into my daughter that day and continue to remind her of them still. I put them everywhere so that together we can read them over and over again. When we feel rejected, these words remind us that we are, in fact, accepted! I pray they will be a sweet reminder for you, and perhaps your daughter, today.
Dear Lord, help me to be purposeful in putting Your truth about who I am into my heart and mind so that am not swayed by the opinions of others. And when the time is right, I can pour Your truth into the hearts and minds of my children and friends. When my child feels rejected, help me remind them that in You they are accepted. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Create a list of verses such as the ones above and below to have on hand to review or to share with your child when they are hurting.
Choose one verse per week and memorize it with your child. You can speak it to them as they are eating their breakfast in the morning, when they come home from school, and before they go to bed.
If you have your own set of "mean girl" stories, share them with your children so they can know you understand and have been there too. When we're vulnerable with our children, we create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable to open up.
Do I have a strong understanding of how Jesus sees me? How can I pursue learning more about His heart toward me?
Are there young girls or young moms in my life who need me to come along beside them and help them see the truth in this devotion?
Zechariah 2:8, "For this is what the Lord Almighty says, '...for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye...'" (NIV)
Nahum 1:7, "The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him." (NLT)
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