Friday, March 4, 2011

An Unfading Beauty

When I first found out I was having a girl, my immediate response was joy. I know girls. I am one, right? It shouldn't be too hard to raise a little girl. But as I look at the females on T.V., the movies, and even around me, fear creeps in. And one of my biggest fears is that my daughters will question their beauty, that they will compare themselves to Hollywood standards of beauty and find that they come up short. In short, that they will think they are ugly.

Growing up I never felt beautiful. I still don't, even though Daniel constantly tells me how good looking I am. And while I don't remember comparing myself with Hollywood stars when I was in grade school, I did wish I looked more like some of the popular girls in my classes. I would gladly have traded my red hair and freckles, buck teeth and baby fat for blonde hair, straight teeth and a tan, thin body. To look like everyone else. That is the goal when you are young and faced with pressure to fit in.

So when I came across this scripture recently, my heart smiled:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment...Instead, it 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" (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Here Peter is instructing women to develop their inner beauty rather than worrying about their external appearance. Far more important in winning over others is having an inner spirit of Godliness.

More than anything I want the beauty God values, to have "a gentle and quiet spirit" that never fades, that will only deepen as I age and the wrinkles and crow's feet appear. And I want my daughters to value and have this beauty, that they can cling to it during the tumultuous middle and high school years when their physical beauty is called into question.

Raising girls is more of a challenge than I had initially expected because it means coming to terms with myself and my own insecurities. I know God gives us our children for a reason, and He blessed me with two girls to help me grow and develop in areas where I personally struggle. I think that is why He gave me two girls and not two boys or one of each. How is God using your children to grow you?

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