Friday, February 23, 2007

What Do You See in the Mirror?

Our culture is obsessed with appearances-of all kinds. Image seems to be all that matters, and it is so frustrating for parents seeking to teach daughters (and sons) about the true source of their worth. It has gotten so bad that even secular studies are showing the harm that these images cause girls.

Lately, my five-year-old daughter has become increasingly aware of what she looks like and what she wears. She has become concerned at points on what other people will say about her appearance. I can't believe she is already starting to think about those things. At five, I was clueless--of course, most of the clothing sold for girls now would have alarmed most parents when I was a child. Inch by inch, standards have eroded, and over time the effect on young girls growing up has been devastating. Parenting and teaching in this area must be very purposeful to help our daughters fight these terrible lies that Satan uses to debilitate women.

I was reminded of a study I participated by Chip Ingram on self-image, and thought I would share some great application for this topic.

It is important to realize that self-image, how we view ourselves, is important. A study of 5- and 6-yr-olds showed how they viewed themselves was a higher determinant of success than IQ. How each of us views ourselves is pivotal in the quality of our lives and the quality of of our ability to serve the Lord. We all struggle with questions such as:
Who I am?
Where do I belong?
Am I significant?
Am I ok?
What do people think of me?

Chip points out that many times we see ourselves as if we are looking through those distorted mirrors at carnivals and county fairs. Three specific distorted mirrors he describes are:
“my value depends on how I look”
“my value depends on what I can do”
“my value depends on what people think of me”

Until we see ourselves as God sees us, we are destined to feel inferior.

Until we can get away from basing our value on how we look, how good we are, and what others think of us, we are destined to feel inferior. We must see myself as God sees us. We don’t have to be in bondage to the distorted mirrors of our world. Chip describes how we can learn to see ourselves through God's eyes.

How do we see ourselves in the way God sees us?

See God’s view of you- His perspective.

a. You are UNIQUE!
Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image

Psalm 139:13-14 “For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb, I praise you because I am
Fearfully and wonderfully made.”

You one in 6 billion
Your DNA is different from everyone else on this earth

An artist paints an original piece of art and then prints are made.
God didn’t make prints.
You are an original!

b. You are LOVED!

Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness”.

I have to accept God’s love all the time, knowing that He knows everything about me and still loves me

No one can make me accept it; it is a step of faith.

c. You are VALUABLE!

1 Corinthians 6:20 “ you are not you own; you were bought with a price”

We are all slaves—slaves to sin-- destined to eternity without God
But were bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ

d. You are SECURE!

Ephesians 1:13 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, your were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”

Because of Christ’s death on the cross, we can be secure for eternity if we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

When buying a house, you have to put down “earnest money” or a deposit to secure the house-
Jesus was our earnest money for all eternity.


Ephesians 4: 11-13 (different gifts)

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”

God has a plan to touch people in this world and YOU are the one to do it!

You are important and have a special assignment on this earth-and it doesn’t depend on how smart or how beautiful you are.

But just knowing the truth isn’t enough and doesn’t change your life.
I will continue these thoughts next time, as this post is getting rather long!


Elise said...

This is beautiful and encouraging to me, as my toddler-daughter is before me always, and I remember how I felt as a young girl about myself.
The scriptures are perfect - I intend to print them off and save them all - and I look forward to hearing the rest of this topic!

Lauren S. said...

What a great post! I truly believe that as mothers we have great influence in this area. I do not remember hearing my mother complain about her body or obsess about clothing - EVER. While I am sure she did not always see herself as having a perfect figure or the most fashionable clothing, I never heard her mention these things. This certainly shaped the way I feel about myself. I don't have a Hollywood figure, and I am far from the cover of Vogue; but I am human being made in the image of God. I hope I can follow my mother's example with my own daughter to help counteract the horrible cultural influences she will face. Thanks for such a thoughtful post!

Leigh said...

I struggle with the performance meter from time to time. Thank you for this post. I will read it again from time to time whenever I am doubting who I am in Christ.

Also, the CD on my blog is from the book of Puritan prayers. If you go here you can learn the stories behind the writers of the songs. It is a CD filled with great music. I highly recommend it. Thanks so much for stopping by!

God Bless!

Cyndi said...

Kelly, these are such great thoughts. Thank you so much for posting this! I feel like I'm struggling with this issue anew as I'm guiding my 13 year old daughter... all my 13-year-old insecurities about "looks" are resurfacing, it seems. And with a forty year old face, now! Ack! So, I loved being reminded of God's perspective today, so that I can think on what is true.

I'm looking forward to "part 2." :)

Mike said...

Always inspring to read you post. I always try to remind myself that who I am is what I do, think or say when nobody's watching (or listening).

Have a great weekend. Appreciate an online visit when you have the time.


Susanne said...

Kelly this is awesome. True self-esteem comes from seeing ourselves in the way that God sees us. Not looking at ourselves higher than others but that He loved us all enough to give His life for us. It's not hung up on what the world would have us believe.

Chris said...

These are such good thougts. I am looking forward to the rest of it.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deidre said...

Great post, Kelly. This issue frustrates me so much. I guess because I struggled so much growing up with self-esteem, and I've had to surrender ALL areas to the Lord. I don't want to pass along anything negative to my daughters. The world will influence them enough without them also getting it at home.

Thanks for posting this. I'll be back to read it again and make notes.

Kim said...

That's a great post! While we were in Chattanooga over the weekend, my 8 year old daughter picked up something and was reading the label looking for the serving size. She said she didn't want to get fat...we had a sweet little talk about healthy vs. too skinny. It's scary raising daughters.

Jenny in Ca said...

Kelly, I am looking forward to part 2! I loved your scripture choices. Parenting 3 daughters, I am very aware of this subject. Can't wait to hear your further thoughts.

Jennifer said...

Wonderful thoughts. I have always felt fairly secure in who I am. I don't know why, but I do value the gift that it is. My daughter seems to feel the same way (she thinks that she is the best at many things, even if she does not excel if you look at it objectively). I am thankful for that as well.

Joy said...

Thank you Kelly,

I will make a copy of these verses. Many of us go through rejection in life. His Word is healing ointment that covers the scars.

Blessings, Joy

Susie said...

I can't wait to hear more of this! Oh, by the way, Beth Moore used your blog scripture this weekend at her simulcast and I immediately thought about your blog. It now means so much more as I come by to visit.

Paula said...

Great post. I struggle with these things myself. I hate that I worry so much about what society thinks I should look like. I must hand this over daily to God.

Kim said...

This is a great post! So much great info! I'll definitely be referring to this one a lot!