I was mid-mascara and trying get our family out the door for church (which any mom knows is an act of Congress) when my five-year-old walked in with her shoulders slumped, chin down, and bottom lip quivering. I bit my own lip so as not to laugh at the drama and asked, "What's the matter, girl?" Her cute little pout begged the question.
"Oh Momma, I want my hair to be yellow. But it's just yucky brown."
It seemed funny at first, but then I caught my breath knowing that in the world of a kindergartner, this was a big deal. I asked her what she thought was so special about yellow hair. And, of course, since her best friend and her favorite princess are both blondes, she just knew that yellow was the most beautiful hair color in the world.
I told her that I completely understood, and that sometimes I wish that I looked differently, too; but, that we all have to fight the lies that Satan whispers to us telling us that the way God made us isn't good enough.
I asked her, "Do you ever hear the beautiful flowers saying, 'I wish I were purple and not plain old pink..." or the puppies saying, 'I sure would like a longer tail and fluffier ears..." This made her giggle. I stared into her dark brown eyes in the mirror where I too was wishing and working to be more beautiful, and said, "When someone gives you a present it doesn't matter one bit what color or shape the wrapping paper is, it's the gift inside that counts. You are God's masterpiece, a beautiful work of art, a gift from God to me. The wrapping of your skin, your hair, your shape and size? They aren't what determines your true beauty. We've got to fight these lies together, okay?"
In a whispery voice she said, "Yeah, we've got to fight that sneaking snake and his lies."
I've continued to wrestle with the fact that such a baby girl could be insecure about something like hair color. I guess I thought that this would be a teen issue, but I'm reminded that the battle for our hearts and minds starts early and doesn't relent. I mean, every time I look down at my 33-year-old legs, I have a choice to feel shame over cellulite or honor the strength these legs provide. And every time I look in the mirror I can either scrutinize new wrinkles or savor the years I've been given. I can wish or I can give thanks.
I want to help my daughter know her true beauty and worth in Christ apart from externals, so I am starting with ME. I am asking God to help me regard Christ as most beautiful and Him as the one worthy of all our attention. I am using verses like these to re-frame my thoughts so I can repent of vanity and insecurity.
And, of course, now every time she sees me putting on make-up, she sweetly says, "Momma, you're beautiful just the way you are. Now can I borrow your lipstick?" Because, hey, it's still fun to be fancy when you don't doubt that your true beauty is found in Christ!
@Kitty_Hurdle is a wannabe Summer Mom to a precious 8-year-old boy and 5-year-old girl. Join her at www.joelandkitty.com as she learns to parent with laughter, love, and grace, regardless of the season.