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WHICH MIRROR IS YOUR DAUGHTER LOOKING INTO?

Most of us have daughters , grandaughters or nieces. If not, there surely is a little girl in your life that  you just adore. When these girls were born, there was much excitement, frills, balloons and bows.

The splendour and splash of a little princess on the horison, is seldom eclipsed. Moms have only thoughts of their daughters being successful, happy , healthy and fulfilled.

Our little girls are then introduced to life , the way we see or experience it, as well as the way the world represents it. There is no doubt that our experiences, good or bad, colours our  “education” of our daughters. We naturally do not want them making the same mistakes that we have made ,so we try to direct their lives, sometimes not so gently, into the direction that experience and wisdom has taught us.

But alas! This does not always turn out as we’d hoped. Our pertinent little angel , actually has the audacity to have a mind of her own.  And speaks it! After all, we have taught her by our words or deeds, to “speak up for yourself”. We often neglect to teach them the beauty of SILENCE ( if we have learnt this ourselves ) . We teach our daughters that they can do anything they set their minds to, and they can , yet we don’t advise them to consult God about their plans first. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plansProv16:3

When I asked my daughter Sammy who she admires , she listed a few celebrity singers, actors, super heroes  etc. When I asked her WHAT she admired about them , her answers ranged from their beauty to singing ability  or super power etc. Sammy recently watched  “Supergirl” and “Cat Woman” and was impressed by their looks and superpower. Shailene Woodley  from “Divergent” also ranks as one of her favourites for the same reasons.This is not strange at all because if you were asked the same question, your answers would be similar.

Our younger daughters love the Disney princesses and we buy all the branded clothes ( I have too)  . We even dress them up in costumes so that they can pretend to be a princess even if just for a day.

We ourselves admire characters in popular series eg. like “Cookie Lyon” from Empire. She is rich, dresses fashionably and has power. We follow fashion icons , models and women with beautiful bodies, who are living a glamourous lifestyle because we secretly want that too.Why should our daughters be any different to us?

Our tweens are no different. They try to emulate what they admire because the world has told them what beauty is.The world out there has a voice, it is LOUD! It tells our girls what  they should be or look like. How many of our teenagers are taking numerous “selfies” copying a pose and a pout? This is because of the need to be affirmed. By posting pictures of ourselves, we are asking the world if we are beautiful. Our teenagers frantically check their social media posts to see how many “likes” they’ve received or how many “followers” they have  and if it has no or  only a few positive responses, their confidence plummets.

I told Sammy that she is the most beautiful girl in the world ( as most mothers believe their daughters to be). She  very emphatically told me that I was mistaken. She then promptly proceeded to google “the most beautiful girl in the world “and it popped out a few gorgeous girls.

The world is telling our girls what beauty is and they are buying it. What happens to the girls who don’t look a thing like these girls ? They grow up with a distorted sense of self worth. It cultivates a breeding ground for  envy, jealousy and low self-esteem. They see themselves as ugly and many choices which they make in life, are based on this false belief. Naturally, we cannot all look the same yet many girls are miserable, suicidal even because of their “ugliness ” as defined by the world.

What if we could shift the mind-set of our little girls. Girls between the ages of 3 – 12 are at their most impressionable. The voices that speak loudest to this age-group are the parents or significant adults. They ARE princesses! They need not pretend. They are daughters of the King of Kings! They don’t need a “prince”as the world defines one  because they have the Prince of Peace who loves them so much that He laid down His life for them. No other “prince” will love them like JESUS.

We should introduce REAL heroes to our daughters. Qualities such as BRAVERY,  LOYALTY, LEADERSHIP, PATIENCE, PRAYER and WISDOM should be admired and praised in front of our daughters.

The Bible has many women who embody these qualities and who were true heroes of our faith. Women such as Deborah the leader and Hannah whose open and honest communication with God, reveals the close relationship she had with the Father and which we all should strive for. Ruth’s loyalty, Esther’s patience and Abigail’s bravery are all to be highly praised and emphasised to our daughters. Many of us have not even heard the stories of these great women ourselves, let alone admire them.

The world has made “humility” synonymous with uncertainty or weakness. Many popular social sites and media platforms have promoted “confidence” in a woman’s abilities to be able to do anything as well as, or better than any man. However this confidence often translates into “arrogance” as it promotes reliance on self. God detests pride, even a proud look . Humility is to be correctly understood and taught to our daughters. Our daughters (and we ourselves) need to be made aware that humility is not weakness or uncertainty . We can be confident without being arrogant because what we are and  know for sure, is not based on our own intelligence, research or acumen but rather is 100% dependent upon the Grace of God. When we have this understanding of the truth of God’s grace, we can not be arrogant since we are acknowledging that all  we have and are is because of God.

Eph4:2 encourages us  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love”

We can and must shift the focus off of the world’s idea of beauty and heroism. Beauty is fleeting, but a good character is worth far more than rubies. Kindness to others is beautiful . It does not have to cost anything, a simple offer to do a chore that is not usually done, is an act of service. As Christmas is upon us, many girls are asking or thinking, “What am I going to get for Christmas?”  Why don’t we create a culture of asking: “What am I going to GIVE for Christmas?”. As we encourage our princesses to “look around” and see a need, we are opening our daughters’eyes to the needs of others and inadvertently tilling the soil of their hearts and planting seeds of compassion and gratitude therein. Taking the focus off of themselves, they are introduced to the JOY of giving.

We can teach our girls that we can “dress” to represent God by clothing ourselves with dignity and strength which He infused into us through His Holy Spirit.

If we hold up the correct mirror for our girls to look into, they will see true, lasting  beauty as God intended.                1 Peter3:4 tells us that beauty “should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

God does not look at outer adornment, but looks at the heart.

Many of us  remember what it felt like to feel “unpretty” or maybe we were the ones making others feel that way. What if our little angels grow up with a distorted sense of beauty? How horrified we would be, I’m sure, if your daughter believed someone’s lie about her. We therefore need to entrench the TRUTH of what God says about her early on. God says, that she is “fearfully and wonderfully madePsalm 139:14.

Give your little girl the gift of a good Children’s Bible and or devotional as well as books about heroes in the bible that she can emulate. As you teach her to look to God, she will always be radiant and God-confident.  We’ve heard it said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder “and since the Creator of the universe has His eye on her (always)He says”,  You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in youSong of Solomon 4:7

If we lay the basis of her beauty solidly, teach her to acknowledge God in all that she has and is,our  hopes and plans for our daughter’s life, as it aligns with God’s plan and purpose for her, will become a reality.

Has this post encouraged you to be more deliberate in establishing your daughter’s beauty and confidence? Feel free to add your comments and helpful insights as we raise Godly women, or let me know if you need prayerful support.(charlene@godsradiance.com)

God Blesss you

Charlene

2 Comments

  • Rochelle

    Very important article Charls thank you… my biggest fear is that my daughter grows up with having a low self esteem and no confidence as I had… I covered my insecurities very well but deep down inside I didn’t feel like the person I tried to portray. I always tell Trinity how beautiful she is, I try to sing her praises all the time I try to build her confidence up as much as I can because I would hate for her to ever have the downfalls I’ve had. This article is encouraging and I will make sure the role models she has are the one’s that will help build her character.. that for me is very important. She reads her children’s bible and it’s time I tell her about the real heroins 🙂

    • Charlene Foster

      Hi Roche
      Thank you for sharing. I too have had self-confidence issues all my life. I never believed I was beautiful and compared myself to others around me. If I only knew HOW beautiful God has made me by looking into His “mirror”(the Word of God), early on in my life, I would not have settled for less in many areas of my life. Our confidence comes from God and not ourselves. Trinity should KNOW that God Himself created her perfectly in His image: ” YOU CREATED MY INMOST BEING;YOU KNIT ME TOGETHER IN MY MOTHER’S WOMB. I PRAISE YOU BECAUSE I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE; YOUR WORKS ARE WONDERFUL, I KNOW THAT FULL WELL.( encourage her to memorise this verse)
      Encourage her to acknowledge that ALL she has and is, is beacuse of GOD. Humility is pleasing to God.

      Love you always

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