Do you wrestle with low self esteem?
Many women, mothers in particular, have very low self esteem. We can understand why. With all of the media out there promoting an unattainable body image and all of the products marketed to create a “better” you, how could we not feel as though we were missing something?
We could maybe even follow the source of our poor confidence back to deep childhood roots. It is a tragic scene when a father does not love his daughter properly or thoroughly. It is very difficult to overcome when a mother neglects to give her child the attention and guidance she craves. It is often easy to see where it all fell a part, and where the switch was flipped.
How do we protect our own daughters from the same issues we deal with daily?
I find that the world’s answer to this is very poor and extremely self centered. The modern psychologist will tell you that your daughter needs to find her confidence within herself. She needs to learn independence to hold her own and take pride in those things she is gifted. Parents are told to build up their children by telling them they can be anything they desire to be.
What does the Bible have to say about that?
All sounds well and good until you realize that line of thought is completely antithetical to God’s Word.
The Gospel does tear us down. It strips away that old man and his filthy rags, those rags we call our best works, and replaces that man with a new man filled with the Spirit. This new man is only able to stand in a Holy God’s presence because of Christ’s work. There is no self confidence in that, but only brokenness, contriteness, and even fear before a Holy God over recognition of sin.
Now do we walk around in a self-deprecating stupor all of the time? No! The Christian life is one of joy and freedom as well as obedience. It is a beautiful mixture all bound up in the love and Person of Christ.
It may be easy to say that we should just find our confidence in Christ, but these things are easier said than done. The world does not make it easy. Our past does not make it easy. We do not make it easy on ourselves.
We must pray through and find a way to hide our identity in Christ. When we cling so closely to our identity – its form and meaning – we have missed much of the joy of the Gospel. It is God who created us and we have nothing to be ashamed of when it is Christ where we place our faith. A lack of self confidence that results in heavy anxiety is a sin like any other sin that must be dealt with, laid at the foot of the cross, and overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit.
If we do not get it, we cannot teach it.
If we do not have a right understanding of the Gospel, sin, salvation, and obedience, then we cannot teach our children a proper understanding of who they are and what they were made for. We definitely cannot teach them their purpose in God’s plan if we do not understand our own God given purpose.
Every human being is purposed by God to glorify God. He created us, He sustains us, and by His grace we exist to honor Him (Ephesians 2:10, John 15:16). Only once we have the right perspective, can we then begin to live and walk by grace and in faith. It is only once we have the right perspective that we can then pass this on to our children.
John Piper writes in his book, Don’t Waste Your Life, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Our daughters do not need to hear that they should “become their own woman.” Our daughters do not need to hear that “confidence is the key to success.” We want to lead our daughters straight to Christ so that they will live for Him and we want to train them up in His Word because that is the key to eternal life. Christ is the key to true and eternal happiness. These worldly ideals and cliches will only get our daughters worldly pleasures and worldly heartache. Principles founded in the Scriptures and lived out in a faith filled life following Christ will bring joy eternal.
Is that not what we want for our daughters? Then why do we continually point them in the other direction by our actions?
- 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