This last Sunday, as we were getting ready to head out the door for church, I was talking to someone on the phone, in front of my children, and I made the comment of “ugh, I look horrible today.” It was more of a mumble under my breath, but both my boys heard it and they both looked at me with a confused look on their face. But that’s not when it hit me; it actually hit me a whole day later when I was drying my hair and thinking about how lifeless and “icky” it looks to me: be careful of what you say about yourself around your children.
As you may know, my husband and I have two pre-teen young men that we home school. So just about every instance during the day, our boys are learning something: a life lesson, a heart lesson, or a business lesson. Whether they believe it or not, they learn constantly. So, when it finally hit me that I had said that aloud in front of them and their weird glances back to me where a lesson for myself: I can pick out every physical imperfection of myself, but to my boys, I may be the most beautiful woman they know. So their weird glances were because they were trying to right their reality with the phrase I had just said. If your children think you are absolutely beautiful, which they do because you are their mom, then when we say these things about ourselves out loud to them, it confuses them. In their minds, we’re beautiful, but because they take everything we say for absolute truth, then they’re getting confused on what defines beautiful.
So, what is beautiful? Is it movie-star perfect? No blemishes? Is it your hair always being perfectly done? Is it designer clothing that makes you look like a million bucks? Or is it our children’s version of beautiful: hair up in a messy ponytail, with your little hairs sticking straight out, t-shirt and jeans with blemishes on your face? Or maybe you have toddlers running around, so you’re beautiful is sweatpants, sweatshirt, messy hair that hasn’t been brush in a couple of days because you’re up all night and up all day chasing cuteness overload around and haven’t had time to yourself to take a shower.
The bible says that “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.” (1 Peter 3:3-4). Whatever your situation is or how long it’s been since you’ve been able to shower, or even the dark circles under your eyes, don’t forget that no matter how horrible you may look to yourself, your children think you’re the most beautiful gem in the world. Because we are mothers, and our beauty shines forth from inside us because of the amazing love we have for our children.
So, today, let’s choose to shine bright for our little ones, and teach them that beauty comes in every single package, and teach ourselves to always think of ourselves how our children see us.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8