As mothers, we all have our parenting fails. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes these issues seemingly come out of left field, and we are completely blindsided. I have not one, but two teenage daughters at the moment, who are amazing, awe-inspiring creatures (if I do say so myself). Earlier this year, I came to the realization that they were being taught something in a Christian environment that I knew nothing about. I could have taken the time to research what they were being taught, but I didn’t. Thus the epic fail on my part.
Our daughters are living in a sin-saturated world which would love to gobble them up if it could. But today, I would like to talk about something internal, something that our daughter’s need no help in perpetuating. If we leave our girls to themselves, this problem can fester into a form of idolatry, ensnaring our daughters in a trap that is not easily escaped.
Now, what could I be talking about?
Loving Self, which is better known as Self Esteem
All human beings are born with a sin nature. If you watch a two-year-old for any length of time, I’m sure that you know what I’m talking about. Everything is about them. And the thing is, they can’t help it. That is how their brain is wired. And unfortunately, our adolescent and adult brains behave in the same manner.
Teenage girls are know for being full of angst, and for loathing themselves. (It doesn’t have to be like that, by the way.) The thing is, when we see this “loathing,” we are quick to label it as a case of “low self-esteem, when in actuality, their self-esteem is incredibly high. They have been consumed with their selfishness and need to be lead to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I’m going to be quoting an article about Loving Self that I found online below. The following is taken from an actual counseling session.
“I hate myself because I’m so ugly.” – Girl being Counseled
“If you really hated yourself, you would be glad you were ugly. In fact, you may even seek out ways to become uglier…if you really hated yourself.” – Counselor
While this may seem surprising, when we complain about our faults, we are actually displaying a very high sense of self-esteem. Think about it. If we really hated ourselves, then we would want all of our faults and then some! Instead, when we talk about hating ourselves, we actually have a high sense of self-esteem.
Self-esteem is not the answer.
The answer to this problem is concentrate our thoughts on Jesus. To really and truly abide in Him. If we love our lives so much that we take the time to dwell on our thoughts, then we risk losing it.
Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
John isn’t talking about hating our physical attributes here, but to hate our condition in this world and to long for eternity. If we spend our time hating our physical attributes, then we are in actuality spending time concentrating on things on the flesh, instead of Christ.
Teaching our daughters to love themselves isn’t the answer. Reiterating their beauty, or to teach them to fall in love with themselves is not the answer. No, that contributes to the problem. We must point to Jesus, and teach them that all of their needs are met in Him. We must teach them to really yearn for Him, and for an eternity spent with Him.
Boy, do I fail in this area sometimes! But I hope that my girls know that their true worth is found in Him, and not in anything this world or physical body offers. If we teach our girls that, then we are headed in the right direction.
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