One of the things that I have found to be challenging in raising a future women is teaching and training a healthy view of beauty. Since a very young age comments have been made by very well-meaning people about my daughter's appearance. Things like: “You are such a pretty girl”, “She is so cute”, “What a cute bow”. Yes, she is cute but that isn’t the thing I want her to focus on. Proverbs 21:30 says Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. As a mom, I want to focus on characteristics that will remain.
In the Ezer curriculum, we read that God creates women with a unique capacity to reflect His beauty and invite delight.
“When we come to the nature of femininity, we find that God’s writing is not just in the sky, on the earth, and under the sea, but all the way down to the female DNA. Biblical femininity is uniquely designed to reflect God’s heart of invitation. Women give voice at an essential level to God’s yearning desire to promote delight, welcome refuge, and catch the eye towards beauty. Something about her person-hood is stamped with a desire to be looked upon with delight. This can turn in on itself and become vanity, self-worship, or even exploited. Nevertheless, in its original creation and redeemed condition, the inviting impulse beats right from the heart of its Creator - God.”
In an attempt to help teach balance to this topic, our family has used the following concrete, hands-on activity to start a dialogue around beauty and its right place in a girl or women’s life.
|Admire the beauty created by God|
Start with a heart shaped vase, filled with pretty cut flowers. Admire the flower’s beauty, talk about how they are created by God to be beautiful. Enjoy the way they add delight to the day, appreciate God’s workmanship in them.
|Recognize that the beauty fades|
|After the beauty has faded away, the heart remains|
As the flowers continue to die and fade, take about Proverbs 31:30 and how beauty fades. It will be evident to show how the flowers are not the same as they were and that this is true about our beauty. Once the flowers die, the heart shape vase will be all that remains. It will be a concrete way to share that we want to focus on the heart, we desire to appreciate that God has created us to reflect His beauty. We should have a healthy respect that we are His workmanship, we were created by Him. But that we should not allow it to become an idol, that we value our appearance over our heart.
Enjoy this Valentine’s Day with your daughter. Celebrate the beauty around you and remember to focus on her heart and her unique capacity to reflect God in a way that is uniquely feminine and uniquely hers.
- Lee Anne Cavin, Children's Ministry Director