Ever since I decided to take a shot at this whole blogging thing, I have wanted to write this post. This topic is one that has been deeply on my heart since I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter, Hadley. And I thought it would be a good post to share along with our family newborn photos we had taken by East Oaks Photography – I hope it encourages you!
If you know me personally, you know that our family is very involved in our local church, and we have come to live our lives loving Jesus and people. And one of the things the Lord has worked on so gently in my heart during my walk with Him (I accepted Christ at 18), is the idea of my worth, my self-esteem and self-talk.
When I found out we were having a daughter, I felt this deep need and conviction, a burden almost, to ensure that she would: 1) always know where her worth would be found, 2) see her mom lead by example, and never hear me speak down about myself.
Seems like a simple concept, doesn’t it?
But that’s when I realized how, without even noticing at times, I would make negative side comments about my body, the way I looked, my abilities and compare myself to other women. I immediately dug into the Word to find verses to cling to to help battle those thoughts, and took action to change my self-talk, before Hadley was born.
I can’t stress this enough to my fellow mommas. It is our responsibility, obligation, and burden to raise our girls to know their worth and identity is not found in their pant size, the team they make, how many “likes” they get or how pretty people say they are. We have to go completely against everything our culture is screaming at them around every corner, and teach them the Truth. And it all starts by leading by example.
This is no easy feat! It requires us to first, believe these things about ourself. And the best place to start is going straight to the Word, and claiming the things God says about us ourselves, and teaching our children to do the same.
YOU ARE: treasured (Deuteronomy 7:6), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), deeply loved (John 15:16, Colossians 3:12), irreplaceable (1 Thessalonians 1:4), strong (Psalm 18:35, Ephesians 6:10), created with a purpose (Jeremiah 29:11), precious (1 Corinthians 6:20), a daughter of the King (Galatians 3:26) and worth more than rubies (Proverbs 31:10).
WAYS WE CAN APPLY THIS:
- Surround yourself and your children with women who share this conviction and mindset. I am so grateful for the incredible woman that I have in my life, that are shining, walking examples of believing these things about themselves. Surrounding our children with these people will help us and our children in ways we could never expect.
- Bring awareness to the people closest to you that this is important to you. I’ll never forget the day I shared this conviction with my mom. She received it with such grace, and encouragement. And she agreed that she would join me in promoting this type of self-talk in her own life, especially in front of Hadley and Audrey.
- Give yourself grace. I would be lying if I said I never mess up! Of course I’ll make a joking (or serious) negative remark about myself in front of Hadley from time to time. It’s a long road to completely change my thought life and self-view, and I have (and likely will continue) to stumble along the way. But giving myself grace and space to make mistakes, is so important.
- Find those precious, teachable moments. When I do mess up, or when something happens on TV or in public that is out of my control, I try to take the opportunity to talk through it with Hadley. Explaining to her that when we speak that way about ourselves, it breaks God’s heart. Because He created us! Of course, this teachable moment will vary based on your child’s age – but take advantage of those times to say your sorry, or remind them of their (and your!) worth.
The reason I write all of this is to hopefully encourage you too, to know where your worth and identify can be found. And also to challenge all of us mommas to be aware of the important role that we play, and the influence we have on our children.
My prayer is that our children will know so deeply who they are, that when they see their peers succeeding, they cheer them on instead of tearing them down or comparing. That they will never question their worth or identity, and will not look to the world to determine these things.
If you have read this whole blog post, can I just say thank you?! Thank you for hearing me out on this matter – I am by no means perfect at this, but it is certainly something I aspire to be better and better at. How do you encourage your kids to know their worth and be comfortable in their own skin? I would love to learn from you!