The other night, after the dishes were done, prayers were said, and kids were in bed, my hubby and I decided to sit on the couch and have a few minutes of quiet time snuggling and talking about the baby and what he or she was going to be like. I started to have a contraction. It was a little uncomfortable, but my vanity got a hold of me and I was complaining about how my abdominal muscles have separated. I paused for a breath and then quickly continued in my complaint about how I hoped it didn't get much worse so my post-pregnancy belly wouldn't be too unsightly.
Before I could go on much futher, my great hubby quickly replied, "God has made you just the way He wants you and you are perfect."
(What a great man to be married to!)
This simple statement of truth and love from my husband stopped my thoughts right in their tracks. I felt silly and childish. This wasn't my husband's intention, but it brought back memories of conversations I had as a young girl with my parents. Namely, my dad. My dad always told me that he loved me, that it didn't matter what other people think, and that I was beautiful. (Yes, I have a great dad too. Blessed.) It always made me feel better, but I never really agreed.
Now, I am an adult and I still have my struggles. Thankfully, I am much better than I used to be.
We live in an image and beauty obsessed culture and it is very hard to try to be unaffected by it. Everywhere we look and see what the world views as beautiful. There is this thought that we have to be perfect. Perfect body, job, house, car, social life, family, and so on. This is of course, unattainable. Unrealistic, really. Even models are airbrushed and celebrities have a hight rate of divorce, drug abuse, and even suicide. All their money and fame cannot (and will not) fill the gaping void in their hearts.
There is only one who is perfect and completely satisfying. And it is Jesus Christ!
The words of my husband have been ringing in my ears since that night and they, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have been causing me to do a lot of thinking and re-evaluation. And as it would happen, I came across in my reading, a wonderful passage of Scripture that speaks to this. And by this, I mean the struggle of trying to not love the world and conform to it's standards, but to cling to and love Christ with all my heart, soul, and mind.
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life- is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever."
1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
I now have a little girl of my own, and she is precious. The Lord has made her perfectly and there is nothing that I would change about her. Nothing. She is happy, funny, confident, loving, smart, and beautiful. I hope that she will always be herself and not let the world or it's cares change the way she views herself.
This is where prayer and a godly example of a Christian woman is so important. And who is her first example? Her mother. Me. I am humbled by this fact and I have been greatly convicted that there are things that I need to change in order to be the kind of woman I want my daughter to look up to. I surely don't want my insecurities to be passed onto my lovely little girl.
Here's a brief list of things that I've been working on and prayerfully trying to change:
~Do I care more about what people think than what the Lord thinks?
~Am I too concerned if people think I look good?
~Who am I living for?
~Do I put myself down or point out my 'flaws' in front of my daughter?
~Does my daughter see her mom pursuing Christ or trying to 'fit in' with the worlds standards?
The list could go on...yikes!
Lord willing, I will continue to check my heart for the 'why's' of all that I do. Isn't it amazing how everything always comes back to a heart issue? Praise God for His mercy and love and that He gives us new hearts that He will continue to mold and shape throughout our lives!
I want to pursue God with all I have and with His strength, be the woman that He calls me to be. I want to teach my daughter the value and worth of a godly life. I want her to love Christ with all her heart, soul, and mind. It is the Lord who ultimately will shape my precious girl into what He wants her to be, but He has called me as her mother to be the godly example of a Christian woman to her.
May I grow and excell in this noble calling and be the woman I need to be in my daughters eyes.
(I hope this is something that you can work on too!)
***I always find great motivation and encouragement when I read Proverbs 31. If you haven't read it in a while...what are you waiting for? Read it!