My Dearest Daughters,
From the moment you were each born Daddy and I looked into your crying faces and thought you were beautiful. Even with eyes that were barely open, matted down hair and wrinkly-pink skin, we were smitten.
We will always find you beautiful.
And we will tell you. We will compliment your appearance. We will encourage you to look your best. We will try to help you know how to dress and wear fashionable clothes. Eventually you’ll be allowed to wear makeup, if you want.
As much as we might speak this truth to you, most likely you will not always feel beautiful.
You will struggle with comparing yourselves to others’ appearances. Whether your friends, girls you pass by in the halls at school, movie stars or fashion models online or in magazines–the struggle to compare will be real.
People might say hurtful things to you and may even tell you that you’re ugly. And if you’re not careful these spiteful words will cut deep and leave wounds that may take years to heal.
You will want others to find you beautiful. But don’t compromise your beliefs or your standards in order to hear those words.
As we fight this beauty battle together, please keep these things in mind.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God’s design of you is beautiful. Your hair color, the size of your figure, your smile, those freckles that dot your cheeks at the end of the summer. Every square inch of you is a beautiful creation of a loving God. You are made in God’s image and if you can believe that, truly believe that you — even your body– is one of His masterpieces, then you will be better prepared to fight the inner battles of insecurity about your appearance.
Beauty is fleeting. It’s hard to imagine this when you’re young, but trust me, whether with age or bearing children, our bodies change. I have the saggy boobs, stretch marks, squishy sides and wrinkles to prove it. And if something isn’t going to last, it’s really not worth placing a lot of emphasis in it. No, we don’t want you to make yourself unattractive, but placing too much importance on your appearance will have negative results on your heart, and can even be harmful to your mind and body.
True beauty begins in your heart. This is a counter-cultural approach to beauty. The world says in order to have worth and value you must be pretty, have great skin, be a certain size and turn heads when you walk through a crowd. God says, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Are you a girl who is characterized by kindness, gentleness, love and patience? Do you treat others with respect? Do you look for ways to serve? Are you humble? These are the marks of true beauty. Because these qualities don’t fade, they only grow more beautiful with time as God shapes and molds your heart to mirror His.
So, we will allow you to look pretty and compliment you, yes. But we will also be careful to keep a proper balance in how we talk with you about these things.
I will praise your wise choices and your behavior more than I will praise your outfit or the way you styled your hair.
I will also allow you to have your own style at times, mismatching your clothes, not forcing you to always have what I would consider a perfect look.
These choices I make are all in an effort to maintain a healthy balance with you. I want your value and worth to come from God’s view of you, not mine or the world’s or that boy that you might one day want to impress.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
May this be the desire of each of our hearts: to fear the Lord above all else.
And may we be more concerned with our hearts, “…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:4
I love you, my beautiful girls.