"If I could ask one thing of you, it would be this: would you please teach your sons how debilitating it is when my daughters are called ugly?"
I've been praying for my daughters' future spouse since before we brought each one home from the hospital. I've also been praying for you, his parents. One day we will share in a wedding ceremony, first birthday party, and holidays. I pray that you are able to stay the course. To hold strong as you parent; and most of all that you raise your son to chase Jesus before he ever meets my daughter. May you "not become weary in doing good." (Galatians 6:9) We are in this together in a lot of ways, aren't we?
Parenting is one tough gig. It's not for the faint of heart. But then again, you know that already.
As a mom of only daughters, I live in "girl world" all day, every day. I have a theory that parenting boys is tough stuff when boys are young. They run constantly, they punch things (ugh. I can't deal with violence), and they never stop moving. I believe that parenting daughters becomes tougher to parent as they enter teenage years. They constantly obsess, compete with other females, and try desperately to "earn" acceptance in a world that constantly tells them that outward beauty gives them value.
A girls deepest desire, according to Stasi Eldredge in "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul" is to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”
You see, a girl equates her beauty with who she is. She determines her value based on how beautiful she believes herself to be. I know that you feel the pressure that this brings too as a woman in today's world. The sad thing is that beauty (as defined by society) uses impossible standards.
Society has been telling your sons that my daughters needs to look airbrushed, a certain size, and the picture of perfection. There is no way that any of us will ever live up to that standard of perfection. Not me. Not you. Not my daughters.
Mom, you remember what it was like, don't you? The moment when you were left feeling completely vulnerable; as if you'd been dealt a mortal, wounding blow. The moment that a boy your age called you ugly. The moment you realized that you fell short. In those moments, as females, we are left grappling with the question, "am I worthy?"
If I could ask one thing of you, it would be this: would you please teach your sons how debilitating it is when my daughters are called ugly? I know to boys, arguing takes on a very different look altogether. Boys can say things to other boys, even become physically aggressive with other boys and within ten minutes it's as if it never happened. Would you teach them that, for girls, these wounds last a lifetime? Would you teach them it's great to joke with my daughters but not in that one area?
I'm doing my best to raise girls who are confident because of their inner beauty. I don't want them to think they have to stoop to levels that demonstrate their "beauty" in the eyes of the world in order to gain the attention of your son. I am working hard to show them that their identity is found in WHO God has made them to be. They are chosen, created for a purpose, and formed by the very hand of God. They are women of virtue who will make excellent partners for your sons one day. They will be secure in their beauty in every area.
Let's parent with the future in mind. One day, our kids will be married and endeavor to do great things for God's Kingdom. I can't wait to see them grow their own families and to teach their own children their value in the eyes of their Heavenly Father.
I am committed to teaching my girls it's not ok to chase your sons or to cause your sons to be tempted in ways that are beyond their control.
Will you commit to teaching your sons that demeaning the appearance of my daughters causes her to become less than God desired that she be?
Let's plan to share a cup of coffee one day as we commiserate on what parenthood was like and how we are glad to be out of the active (day to day hands on) stages of it. I can't wait to see how God brings us through.
And so, my dear partner in this circus we call parenting, what would you tell me as I parent your sons future bride?
“A mother's heart is a vast and glorious thing. My mother's heart was expansive, having been enlarged by suffering and years of clinging to Jesus while being misunderstood, dismissed, and judged by those she loved most. Me included. It had cost her to love, had cost her much to mother. It always does. But she would tell you that it's worth it, that there is no other way.” Staci Eldredge "Captivating"