Monday, July 21, 2008

Beauty Treatment

Abigail became a hand model at the tender age of 18 hours. So, maybe not a model, but we were asked permission to allow her to be photographed for a spread they were doing in our local newspaper on hands. This is her hand with one of the nurses we had at our hospital.

As I realized a couple of weeks ago that I called her pretty girl very frequently and I thought of our joking about her being a hand model, I became aware of how easy it could be to unintentionally attach value with physical beauty. That is certainly not our intention as parents!

I am thankful to God that my eyes were opened to it. No, it doesn't mean I think there is anything wrong with physical beauty. That would be like saying God made a mistake. What I am saying is that my goal as a parent is to have a godly approach to it and to make sure my children are raised with an understanding of godly beauty. My desire is to see them grow as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside!

In a culture that emphasizes the outward appearance, we must consistently and frequently battle to have our kids look inward to the condition of their hearts. I could go in a million different directions with this whole topic, so I'm going to try to stay focused on what I originally intended to jot down.

Side note: This is where I begin to see how raising boys and girls is different. Not in character issues, but in actual gender differences. Differences do exist, no matter what the feminist movement tries to say. It's acceptable and a good thing. God made it that way.

We women have a need to feel beautiful. And yes, I will continue to tell my daughter she is beautiful, but I don't want her growing up feeling like her acceptance or worth as a person is based on it. Proverbs 31:30 reminds us:

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
What I'm trying to share is that I became very aware of how easy it would seem that I was praising her beauty. Her character has yet to really begin to show, but I want to make sure as a parent I praise my children for looking like Jesus, not their looks. I want to pass along a heritage to her that won't pass or fade, a heritage that will lead to eternal life with Jesus. I want this for all my children.