We have this thing at our house that we go through with Hannah and Maddie whenever they come to us, asking if we think they are pretty, or if we like their outfit, or anything along those lines:
"Mommy, do you like my dress? Does it make me look pretty?"
"Oooh, it's very pretty. It's looks so nice on you. But what is more important: pretty on the outside, or pretty on the inside?"
"Pretty on the inside!" (we've done this a few times with them)
"That's right! And who makes us pretty on the inside?"
It warms my heart when they answer with such enthusiasm. It doesn't diminish their thrill with their twirly dress or their bouncy pigtails, but they can flounce away knowing they have a Savior that can make them pretty throughout even with their dress looks less than spectacular, or their hair hangs limp.
I know they are only 3 and (almost)5 but I want to keep feeding our girls this truth, and keep sheltering them from the lies for as long as possible. So that when they are exposed to the lies of this world, they will see them for what they are. Deceitful lies of Satan.
The teenage girls that live with us have been fed this baloney from little on up. Some of it has been twisted to the point of perversion. And we see the sad consequences walk through our doors. Girls who are 12 and 13 dressing to please the lustful eye, attract that male attention. Shopping in stores that would have made me blush just to walk past at their age. It makes me cry and my heart feel heavy to think of the innocence lost at such an early age.
It makes me want to step up all the more. Be that role model to show them that there is more to life than getting that next guy, finding some boy to complete you. Trying to be "loved" in all the wrong ways because that is really the only kind of "love" that you have been shown.
I think it is important to raise our daughters up with the Truth. But I believe our call goes beyond that.
Who is it that you could be reaching out to, mentoring, teaching the Truth to?
And truthfully, it goes across the aisle as well.
If our boys aren't taught to treat girls the way that Jesus loved girls, then this is all lop-sided and bound to fall apart.
Because alongside these teenage girls who think that only thing they are good for is sex, there are boys who think that the only thing girls are good for is....sex...and doing their laundry and dishes - no lie, this is what one of our 13 year old boys told us recently.
We see the sad truth in all 6 of our teenagers that are currently living with us: all 6 of them come from a home where their 'mom' is not their mom at all. It's either their grandma, sister, aunt, or foster mom. Not a single one of them comes from a home where a dad is present. All of these children have missed out on the opportunity to see how a man should treat a woman, value a woman. And see how a woman can thrive and find peace in knowing they are loved for who they are, not just by a husband, but by a loving Savior.
I guess that is where Paul and I come in. Some kids have commented that we are the first married couple they have ever lived with, or seen live together. They often ask us if we ever fight, and if we ever yell or throw things when we are angry.
Because, well, that is all they know.
People, we are called to be lights. And sometimes it is as simple as speaking kind words to your spouse, dressing modestly, showing respect to your husband in front of others. And telling our sons and daughters what Jesus values, and how that is so much more important than anything this world can offer.
C'mon now. We can do that, right?
Below are the two articles that I have read recently that have sparked this post in me. A shout out to the girls and a followup to the boys as well. Excellent reads, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read them both.