“…in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
A recent message Pastor Kevin preached from Genesis fell fresh on me in terms of parenting. I felt a sobering burden as a mom with girls. I know my girls are created in His image, but I also know it can be a long journey to believe that in your bones.
Of course I’ve thought about the issue of young girls and self-esteem and pray for my kids in this area, but it’s also not something that is not front and center in our lives yet. I know the days of school and peers and the world speaking so loudly are just around the corner. I think back on my own self-esteem issues, dieting by high school, an eating disorder in my 20s, and I find myself praying, “Oh Lord, please be gentle with them.” The Lord promises trials and struggles, and we are sinful, but…please be gentle.
We were at a birthday party over the summer, slip-n-slide, water balloons…fun for all! Afterwards, when I saw a picture of the kids together by the slip-n-slide, I immediately noticed the sweet, beautiful self-conscious-looking pre-teen girl with her arms folded in front of her, and I knew my littles in their Moana and Frozen bathing suits standing front and center with big smiles will be her in a short time.
So, as I think about the topic “created in God’s image,” there are three things I want my girls to know:
- What makes you pretty? I personally feel it’s ok, and good, to tell young girls they are beautiful (and smart and strong) because I want my kids to hear that in a healthy way. My girls will be first in line for anything princess or dress-up or fancy jewelry. When they look in the mirror and twirl and say “I look beautiful,” I of course agree, but quickly add, “you are beautiful no matter what you wear because your heart is beautiful…your kindness, your love.” Your heart makes you pretty, not your twirly dresses, my dears.
- Who told you that? Kids get a lot of messages. We all do! I pray my kids learn over time to always question, who told you that? Where is this message coming from? May they see themselves through the eyes of their Creator, not the magazine.
- His truth will quiet the world. The world’s lies are so cruel and so loud. So many things masquerade as truth and happiness. I pray the Word permeates my kids to their core, so they will hear and identify His truth over the noise of the world.
Fears and doubts and self-doubt are ever so present in all our lives, not just young girls. Next time the trials and lies of the world are too strong, be encouraged to turn to the Word. May our Creator’s truth wash over you anew and drown out anything else battling for your attention.