Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are You Comfortable in Your Skin?

Not sure how many have seen the Dove commercial going around, but what a great way to show young ladies (and old) that beauty is only skin deep. The actors/actresses, singers, entertainers, etc. that we see on television, in magazines, in concert are altered. They're altered to fit a perfection mold and although we all know this, we still tend to buy into it time after time. Women especially. Not that men can't or don't, but it's usually women (especially women who have had babies and have lost their pre-baby figures) who buy into this lie of looking flawless.

When will Hollywood say enough is enough?

I remember when I used to teach middle school. It was priceless seeing students walk into English class on their very first day of sixth grade, some excited, some petrified, some with stone-cold faces, unsure of what to do and what class came after this one. Believe it or not, I had some cry, some who couldn't stop giggling with excitement and some who just looked out of sorts. Well, those 'babies' are Seniors in high school now. Yes, Seniors. They're grown up and have one more year before they hit real world experiences. I don't know if they know it or not, but I STILL pray for them. They will always be my very first class and I will never forget them.

As they have grown up into fine young men and women, I see some of them have stayed grounded in their faith in God and that is priceless. Those students will become successful, reliable adults and one day (although it's hard to imagine!), great parents. They will look to GOD ALONE to guide them in life's decisions, not settling for what the world says is right.

One thing I miss the most about teaching is the small groups we used to have before classes began. This was once a week and it was such precious time. A time of prayer, a time of honesty and a time of growth. I miss those times. We could just be open and talk about what God expects out of us as Christians. I even had a few opportunities to lead some young ladies to Christ and I'll never forget those amazing moments (thank you Holy Spirit and Father for the opprotunities). I've been priveledged to watch some of them grow up before my eyes and many of whom I have unfortunately, lost touch with.

Sometimes, when I see commercials like these, I not only think of my own daughters, but of my 'daughters before I had daughters'. We spent five days a week together and I watched them learn and grow from little girls to young ladies. It is my prayer that none of them might fall into this trap of perfection. This trap that they have to be accepted by everyone and that standing up for the Lord and what is represented in Phillippians 4:8 isn't respected.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."

I pray "...that our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace." (Psalm 144:12)

As I watch young people grow I hope that they may also mature as

1 Corinthians 13:11 says...

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

I know I've mentioned the books Polished Cornerstones (and Plants Grown Up) before, but I'll use it time and time again to teach my own daughters and son with. Polished Cornerstones goes through Proverbs 31 and analyzes each characteristic in which God expects in a woman. Now, I say 'woman', but it's our job as mothers to begin training our little ones in these areas from the moment they can speak.

Let's take a look at Proverbs 31...

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

In breaking it down, a Proverbs 31 woman is...

Godly, reliable, honest, loyal, attentive, loving, submissive, peacemaking, humble, pure, patient, devoted, diligent, skillful, thrifty, uses her time wisely, a wise manager, feeds her family well, organized, goal-oriented, can make things grow, handles money wisely, is studious, memorizes God's Word, prayerful, self-disciplined, seeks wise counsel, committed to her church, determined, hospitable, merciful, evangelistic, just, prudent, domestic, gracious, modest, respectful, supportive, enterprising, thankful, trusting, courageous, controls her tongue, trins her children, teaches, is a good steward, reverent, joyful, family-centered and is exemplary.

I don't know about you, but that's a lot to muster up and ponder on!

Bottom line, God loves every baby, girl, young lady and woman (Yes, guys. You too!). He wants to see us succeed in these areas so that He can BLESS us and have us grow closer to Him. If we aren't concentrated in these areas, we will fall and rob ourselves of His blessings and most of all, our relationship with Him.

So, today's challenge:

Put away those magazines. Annalyze what you watch on tv tonight. Evaluate your friends and ask yourself if they are someone who is lifting you up go grown closer to the Lord, or if they're bringing you down, having you focus on things that are worldly and not of Him.

You ARE precious in HIS sight!

1 comment:

Matthew and Valerie said...

I remember looking in the newspaper at all of the high school graduates a couple years ago and realizing that all of my Englewood babies were all grown up and graduated. May was my first group of 8th graders at my new school and this May will be my 7th graders. I love watching my babies grow up and I still call them my babies even though they are in high school.