October 6, 2014

Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies

I read a blog last week that got me thinking.

The blogger said her mom never taught her to love her body but then went on to say how her mom was busy teaching her to love others and work hard and serve the Lord. So this woman has grown up with neither low or high self-esteem. And that's great...... BUT, I couldn't help but notice in the picture at the end of the post how thin she was. She was maybe a size 4, probably a size 2 and therefore probably hasn't had to deal with many of the self-esteem issues that fuller figured girls have to deal with. Now I'm just filling in the blanks here, so stay with me, I have a point. My point is, can't we teach our daughters to love the way God created them as well as teach them to serve the Lord????

Let me tell you a little about me:

My self-esteem hasn't always been great, in fact it's always been quite low. I'm a curvy girl, so no matter what I ate or how many sports I played in HS, I was always slightly larger than my athlete friends. So much of it's genetics. I get my curves from my mom and when I was in HS we were really close to the same size and weight. My mom has always had low self-esteem and although she's told me my entire life how beautiful I am, she's never had much good to say about herself. And here lies the problem. How can you say I'm beautiful and you're fat when we look so much alike????

And I'm not here to pick on my mom, because like I said, she's never said anything less than praises about me. And truthfully, I see most of my friends repeating the same thing, and most of my mom's friends did the same thing. For some reason we think we can have low self-esteem and somehow teach our daughters to have good self-esteem.

So how do we teach our daughters to love how God created them???? We teach them by showing them that we love how God created us!

As the mother of a beautiful 4yo girl, I have to be careful about everything I say in front of her. One thing I decided long ago was that my children would NEVER hear me put myself down.

Over the summer my kids walked in the room when I was changing my shirt. I had on a bra already, but my 6yo son quickly said, "Ewww."

I knew it wasn't meant to put me down or hurt me. It was simply that I'm his mom and a girl and my body looks very different from his or his sister's. But this was a teachable moment that I wasn't going to let pass. My response was, "This stomach carried you and your sister. So I assure you, there is nothing gross about this body."

I scuffed up his hair and that was the end of that, and my daughter was there to witness it all. And you know what, I was pleasantly surprised that I meant what I said.

I'm now 5 months pregnant with my third child and my body changes daily it seems. And I'm not gonna lie, some days it's hard when I see the numbers on the scale rising just a little too fast, or the really cute, thin lady at church has a smaller stomach than me and she's a month further along than me. So I turn to the scriptures and let the Holy Spirit speak to me IN TRUTH.

Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

I have to remind myself that God doesn't make mistakes and that includes how He created me. And my children love my ever growing body because they know what it will produce. My son hasn't said anything insulting about my stomach. He now showers my belly with kisses every day. My daughter is just amazed and can't stop touching my belly. They don't see that I'm slightly over-weight. They just see the beauty of creation as God sees it.

So I want to sum all of this up by saying, "Moms, your daughters (and sons) are watching you. Please don't insult how God created you because chances are your daughter will grow up to look much the same. Don't just tell your daughter she's beautiful, teach her that she's beautiful by loving yourself. She'll reflect what she sees, not what she hears."

And please, stop using the D-word and F-word in front of your children.
(This is a dangerous trend I see in so many of my Christian friends)

In our home we say healthy eating instead of DIET because that's what I want to teach my children. I don't want them remembering that mom yo-yo dieted. I want them to grow up knowing that healthy eating is important because we are to take care of the bodies God gave us.

And FAT is only ever a good word when you're talking about a juicy ribeye :) So don't use that word to describe yourself or anyone else for that matter. We are all His daughters and I'm sure God doesn't appreciate us slinging that word around either.

We reproduce what we are. So stay in the word and raise up a beautiful daughter of Christ. When this world and Satan try to tell you lies about yourself, find God's TRUTH in the word.


(Check back next week for the second part of this: "If We Don't Teach Our Daughters What Beauty Is, The World Will"