Then I handed each child their picture.
Now, boys will be boys. Most of them made some silly face or showed their muscles. However, the girls smoothed their hair and prepared their most beautiful smiles. But as each girl received her picture, I heard responses that broke my heart.
I look awful.
Ugh, look at my hair.
I look fat.
And the list goes on. These are children. Ages five to eleven years old. Yes, even the sweet, beautiful, not at all fat five year old complained that she looked fat in her picture.
As I hear each comment I am thinking why on earth are these girls saying this? They are all so beautiful and not one is fat. Then it hit me. They hear it from us, their moms. Their aunts and grandmas. We look in the mirror and put ourselves down because of our looks. We see pictures of ourselves and complain about our weight, hair or skin.
We diet, take all kinds of pills, exercise and still complain of our weight. Now, good health is important, but good health and being a size six are two completely different things.
We spend endless hours on hair and makeup and spend money at salons and stores. We like to look good, of course. We want to look our best for our husband and to feel good about ourselves.
But friends, what message are we sending our children? That weight is most important? That we are not pretty unless we come in this perfect little package? That we are less of a women if we don't strive for this perfection? That our daughters must work to meet society's idea of beautiful? That our sons must only marry society's idea of beautiful? Anything less is failure?
Genesis 1:27 tells us that we were made in the image of God and Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God's handiwork. Oh my dear friend, you were made by God's own hands. He created you just the way you are. You are beautiful. You are His very own treasure. Just the way you look right this moment, God things you are beautiful.
We need to find our confidence in God, not in how the world says we need to look. We need to teach our children to have confidence in who they are in God. They need to understand that they are His treasure too. That He created them and loves them. How can we teach them this truth if we don't believe it?
We should teach our children to exercise for health, not size. We should teach them good hygiene and how to care for themselves. But in a way that we are taking care of the temple of God, not meeting unrealistic expectations put on by the media, which half of is fake anyway.
I am not telling you to stop exercising or throw out your makeup case. But I am telling you that it is time we stop spending so much time in a gym and in front of a mirror and criticizing our self and time to start spending more time in the Word of God. When your inside is beautiful and lovely, that beauty radiates to the outside. I can see a woman who may not be the most attractive woman according to the world's standards, but she is absolutely beautiful because of the Spirit inside of her. By the same token I can see a woman who is perfect by the world's standards but has an ugly spirit about her. Which kind of beauty do we really want? Which kind of beauty is most important for our children to understand?
See yourself as God sees you. Have confidence in who you are in Him. Know that you are beautiful, loved and treasured by the One who made you.