In Part 1 of this series yesterday, Protecting Our Girls From Vanity: Guarding Against Worldly Self Esteem, we discussed the source of eternal joy. Our world desires to see our children become self confident, independent, and happy. Where this modern ideal might not seem so bad on the outside, when it is unwrapped we realize it is devoid of God and His Gospel.
Teaching our daughters to seek self for assurance and happiness leads them away from the Cross. Teaching our daughters to seek Christ for their identity and joy leads them straight to life eternal with Him. We teach our girls these truths through the Scriptures and by our own example.
Mother, did you know that how you view yourself, affects how your daughter views herself?
It is very hard for us as women not to bear our emotions on our sleeves for the world to see. If we are struggling with weight one day we may exclaim to our husbands, “My backside looks like it owns its own zip code in these pants!” We may joke to others how we would be horrified to ever leave the house without makeup. We might even twist the remark against ourselves to sound complimentary in its own way, “I am so glad my daughter didn’t get my hips.”
Our daughters hear these words. Our daughters remember these words, and they hide them in their hearts.
Our body issues become their body issues. Our habits become their habits.
We talk a lot about modesty and such on parenting blogs. Modesty is only one small way to teach our daughters a proper body image.
What is the principle behind modesty? The principle behind modesty is that God created our bodies and they are meant to be used to glorify Him and not ourselves.
I have met mothers who dress to the nine and they look good doing it, mothers who have their faces and nails painted all year long, women who dye their hair to such an extent that they will even admit that they do not remember the original color.
I am not calling each of these individual practices a sin. I do not believe that wearing makeup, painting your nails, or dying your hair is wrong. I am more concerned about the heart behind these things and the lessons we are teaching our daughters through them.
It is perfectly good to enjoy a girls day out to the salon to get your hair done or to have a manicure and pedicure. I do this with my girls often. It can be a wonderful mother and daughter bonding experience. Enjoying these things can be very good, however, the tide turns when these feminine staples become not only a part of our routine, but a part of who we are as if we could not be fulfilled without them.
Are you painting yourself because you feel that God did not create you adequately?
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
Often we hide behind our colored hair, our tummy shapers, and our heavy foundation. We find flaws in every corner, lump, and bump. We see every imperfection, and instead of trusting God, we correct where we feel He could have made improvements.
God created us. He was intimately involved in our formation from conception, and when we continually attempt to “fix” that creation because we feel it is just not good enough, we are in essence telling God that He is just not good enough.
Once again I am not saying that any particular of these items and practices I have listed are bad in and of themselves, nor do I think that they are always improper to use. I am begging the question, what is your heart in using them? Where is your heart and attitude when you continue in these habits day after day, year after year?
What are you teaching your children about their Creator and His Image?
In Genesis 1:26 we are told that God created man in His image, in His likeness. Yes, now because of sin, this image is marred. However, when we understand that our God-given purpose is to glorify Him and our identity is to be found in Him and we were made in His Image, then we begin to realize that maybe that flicker of anxiety or even disgust when we peek in the mirror really is not the proper heart to have.
Make painting nails, makeup, and accessorizing a feminine and fun thing to partake of in your daughters eyes. Guard against causing such things to become a necessity in your own life and in your daughters. Sometimes when things become necessities it means they are becoming idols. Tread carefully, because your daughters are watching you, and often daughters become just like their mothers.
Mothers, point your daughters to Christ. Show them confidence in Christ, rather than a mother who is consumed with painting over God’s workmanship.
- Protecting our Girls from Vanity: Guarding Against Worldly Self Esteem
- Protecting our Girls from Vanity: Painting Over God’s Workmanship
- Protecting our Girls from Vanity: Embracing Our Age