How many times have you told your child that they are beautiful? Have you paid attention to the look in their eyes when you say those words; “You are beautiful” or “You are handsome”. Hopefully you cannot count the number of times you have said it, because our children should hear it often. Having four daughters brings lots of emotions in our home, as I’m sure you can imagine! Depending on whether they are having a bad hair day or totally hate the outfit they are wearing, can determine how they feel about themselves that day. Clothing and looks are of course superficial tangible things, but unfortunately they have intangible affects on children and even adults. If children focus on the tangible dressings as a child to form their definition of beauty, they then grow up as adults believing the same principles. In our home, I make a conscious effort to tell them they are beautiful daily! Also, when I do, I incorporate both outward and inner beauty. For example, I may say, Olympia, I love your dress, you look so pretty. Afterwards she says “Thank you mommy”. I then respond and say, “I just know that you are going to do very well in your gifted class today because you are super smart!”
The bible does state is 1 Peter 3:3-4 “3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. “
But then we also see in the bible in the book of Esther, before the women could be presented to King Ahasuerus to become the Queen, they had beauty treatments for six months with oil and myrrh and for an additional six months with perfumes and cosmetics. So what is the bible trying to tell us? What do we tell our children, especially our girls about beauty? I agree with what the bible says in both instances. In 1 Peter the intention is for us to not just simply focus on the outer beauty. The outer is just an extension of the inner beauty that should be profoundly loud. Just focusing on the outward eventually fades and it doesn’t leave a lasting effect. This is what we see in Esther. King Ahasuerus had many beautiful women that went through the same beauty treatments as Esther, but Esther was the one that had in addition to outward beauty, a pure heart. This beauty is deeper than any outward appearance.
As a mother, I incorporate both biblical references in the raising of my four girls. I understand that what holds true over time is that if you look good, you feel good. For any job interview, you cannot show up in jeans and a T-shirt. You should come appropriately dressed. This helps build your confidence, causes you to look prepared, and shows that you care about how you represent yourself. Because of this, I make sure my girls are dressed nicely for every occasion. They are precious jewels! From their hair to their shoes, each day I make sure that they represent our family well! Even if they have an exam for school, I make sure they are dressed even nicer to help them feel more confident in taking the test! This will help them later in life when they have presentations or school events. They know to already dress for the occasion. The clothing my children wear look very expensive, but they are anything but that! I am the most frugal mother in the world! (Well I think I am). I shop sales, consignments, thrift stores, etc.. I literally purchase name brand labels for $2 – $4 per item! My girls are blessed to have a Virtuous woman as a mom…”21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all of her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.” Proverbs 31:21-22
As mothers, we know how we feel when we simply put on lipstick, or purchase shoes, or leave the salon. Well don’t you think our girls feel the same way? I refuse to look glamorous, but my girl’s appearances lack. That shows them that they are not important and that they need to seek the beauty affirmations from outside of the home. So I ask you as a parent, Do you make the daily effort to uplift your children so they can feel their inner and outward beauty? If so, this is great, you are shaping them for generations to come! If not, It’s never to late to start! Just start with these simple words; “You are beautiful!”