My day started happily enough. Summer was being ushered in on the backs of warm, dry breezes and life was good. Until I came face to reflected face with every aging woman's kryptonite: your body in a swimsuit. I'm a generally optimistic person but this was one time I would rather take the cup half empty instead of filled up and bursting at the nylon seams. Milk does a body good. Having provided it to four eager babies, not so much.
During my recent physical, I bemoaned my mounting ailments and
gravity-laden parts to my doctor, hoping perhaps that she had a
prescription that could make everything better. She assured me that I
looked quite good for my age, this while doing my semi-annual pap test. I
guess the up side to being old enough to have birthed four children is
bragging rights to a beautiful birthing canal. How's that for inner
Gravity-laden or not, I'm proud of who I am, how God made me, and what He created me to do and be.
It wasn't always this way. Growing up, my mother always warned me against my steady diet of fashion magazines, cautioning me that photos from a centerfold can lead to discontent in my center, my soul. I kept binging on the images until my own became too much a priority and my reality could never match my fantasy.
These days our children don't even need to open the pages of a magazine to feel physically inadequate. The top rated shows for kids are those with tweens bedecked in full make-up and hair extensions as their starlets. The grocery lines are full of magazines mocking the cellulite or the excess baggage of even the thinnest stars. Commercials during all the sporting events boast beautiful women, capitalizing on their beauty, mocking their supposed lack of brains.
This is the definition of beauty today? These are the
role models for this generation?
I want something more for my kids. I want them to be someone more. I need a hero for hire. I need a role model who could show them how to walk worthy, a tall order only a super model could fill.
As I read my Bible one night, I found her. I found him.
I found the mother of Moses, who saw that hers was not an ordinary
child. Seeing something special in the innocence of his baby eyes, she
wanted something different for him. So, she hid him away. She sheltered
him from death and then instilled in him a powerful sense of justice.
He, the remarkable son, refused to be but a child of this world,
turning away from the privilege and the comfort that was his. He chose
to suffer that he might bring justice to a hurting people.
I found Joshua who courageously believed that there could be more to life than what God's people were willing to settle for. He believed that God had bigger plans, better plans, a better land prepared for them.
There was Daniel, brilliant and handsome, who resolved not to defile himself in an environment toxic to his beliefs. He purposed in his heart to stand apart.
Ruth was a beautiful woman who didn't find humility and service below her. She looked to the needs of others over the pursuit of her own desires.
An oddball from the start, there was John. He didn't exactly dress to impress and his diet was, shall we say, unique? But his words, a voice crying out in the wilderness, drew people by the flocks. His message made others listen. His passion made them want the Truth that he shared.
This is who I want my children to emulate.
As Moses' mother did, I want to believe that my child in no ordinary
child. That they are meant for more than what the world would offer
them, more than what the world would have them settle for.
I want them to possess a justice that compels them to stand up for
those without it. I want them to have a courage that turns away from
apathy and lethargy, a courage that demands that they fight for what God
desires for them.
I want them to understand that beauty and brilliance are gifts but they do not define you, they do not complete you. I want to warn them that following after solely those pursuits can lead to a slippery slope of conformity and arrogance. Instead, I would that they would humble themselves, that they would never believe themselves to be above any service.
To be a voice of Truth, to be one pointing others to God, that would be a enviable future for my children.
My desire is that they would walk like David who, though he slipped
up time and time again, knew the love of his God surpassed any other's. I
hope that they can hold fast to the truth that forgiveness is only a
call away and that they would never give up pursuing after God.
As a mom who can do little to shape their external features, I want
to do all I can to shape their inner beauty. By providing them with
alternative models to point them in the right direction, maybe it is
possible for them to walk a different walk. Maybe one day they too could
be super models to a generation of children desperate to know how they
can love God and live in this world.
At the very least, they can always claim themselves as heirs to a legacy of people with inner beauty.
After all, their mother sure did
have one good looking birthing canal.
a student of life, learning daily through the unconditional love of her God, her husband, and her four children. a lamb to her Good Shepherd and a shepherdess to her young ewes, all the while hoping that somehow, someway her life brings about change in the lives of others that will last for all eternity. Read more from Dina at A Worthy Life.