Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My prayer for the irrelevance of beauty.

There have been so many beautifully written articles about self-esteem and body image in young girls. Ones about how to talk to your daughter about her body (don’t.) and How body image starts in the family. Having dealt with an array of eating struggles and insecurities, a struggle that stays with you for long after the ‘thick of it’ has passed, this is a subject that is important to me. I decided I would add my 2 cents, take it as you will.

My goal is not for my daughter (which I don’t yet have… pretend with me) to feel beautiful all the time, my goal is for my daughter to be too busy being strong, independent, caring, prayerful and hilarious for the word beauty hold an relevance in her life. I fear that in our attempts to protect our girls fragile self esteem, we may be cushioning them too much with comfortable words and not the truth. 

Don’t tell your girls that they are perfect in every way, (news flash: they aren't) Instead, lead by example. Be imperfect in front of them . Make mistakes—laugh at your mistakes. Say sorry for them. Don’t dwell on them. Give yourself grace in your weak moments in front of your kids. It will teach them to give themselves grace in their weak moments.
The best things we can do to ensure our daughters have a healthy body image—pray for them and love them. We have very little control over what our daughters are exposed to beyond our doors. We must pray without ceasing for their minds and more importantly their hearts. Don’t pray that your daughter sees her true beauty, or never feels fat, or never struggles with eating and weight—Pray that your daughters heart is ignited with love and passion for Christ and the will he has for her. Pray that your daughter enters into her school and her activities with fierceness about her that draws attention to her inward worth, to her king. Pray that your daughter is a prayer warrior and a faithful servant of God. Pray that your daughter falls madly in love with your Jesus, and that he becomes her Jesus. Focus less on your daughter, her body and her body image—and more on the power of your God.

My prayer is for a confident, gentle, loving generation of girls who have made beauty and all of the not-so-beautiful pressure that comes with it irrelevant in their world.

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