One of the hardest things to do is raise children. There are terrible traps laid in our culture for both boys and girls — I won’t try to say things are worse for one over the other. But as the mother of two beautiful teenaged daughters, I worry a lot about how they think the world sees them, as well as how they see themselves in light of what the popular culture has to say about them as they mature. No matter how much we have tried to shelter them from the parts of the culture that are dangerous to them (and especially to their souls), unless we hide out in a cave and only associate with like-minded people, there’s no way that they won’t be at least a little influenced by the dominant culture. It’s everywhere, it surrounds us, and there are times that it’s so overwhelming that I freeze up in fear for the children God has given me to raise.
It’s really hard to see how women are viewed, in general, in Western society. They are truly objectified, and it only takes a quick look at the magazine racks to see this.
Magazines that supposedly are for strong, independent women teach them, instead, to be the very thing the least-worthy men want them to be: sex toys. Be sexy. Be available. Be skinny. Give yourself away to anyone, but don’t get attached.
My husband and I have worked hard to teach our girls that they aren’t valued because of how they look or what they can do, but for who they are: unique children of God. They have value because they exist. We love them no matter what (even if we don’t like what they do), and so does God.
But still, there is so much pressure all around.
The other day, I saw one of those click-bait links. You know the kind. They’re two-sentence headlines like:
This Boy Thought He Could Fly. What He Did Will Amaze You.
This Business Owner Was Slammed for Being Mean. What He Did Next Shocked Everyone.
This Mom Hates Click Bait. What She Found When She Clicked Shocked Her.
Seeing those headlines makes me automatically skip whatever is at the link. The headlines are so manipulative. Of course, they work on most people, so that’s why they are EVERYWHERE right now.
So about the fourth time I saw the link, I finally went to see the video. And it was really lovely. It’s something I want my girls to see, and if you have daughters, I recommend you show it to them, too. And don’t forget: they need to hear from you, the people who love them most, that they are pretty. Because all girls want to hear that from someone. Let it be you. Tell her.