My one-year-old daughter lights up our home every day with her sparkly shoes, pink tutus, and shiny tiaras. She is 100% girl and has her daddy gladly wrapped around her little finger. Of course, I love the way she has fun dressing up, but my main goal is to help her become a godly woman. The world preys upon women, feeding them false beliefs about their appearance non-stop. I want to protect her from the damaging lies she’s bound to hear from the surrounding culture. Billboards, TV ads, and magazines at the checkout line portray photo-shopped models presenting an unattainable, superficial concept of “beauty.” Contrasting this message of “you’re not good enough yet” is Jen Wilkin’s encouraging and helpful post at The Gospel Coalition website. In it, she points out 5 lies that our culture tells us how we should perceive our bodies:
1) Lie #1: Your body is decorative. It should be used to attract the attention of men and the envy of women. What matters most is how it looks.
2) Lie #2: Your body's appearance is flawed but fixable. You are not the right size, shape, or color. But you can (and should) go to enormous effort and expense to change that.
3) Lie #3: Your body is a source of power. It can and should be trained, toned, and preserved from all signs of age. Its level of attractiveness or strength can and should be leveraged to give you dominance over and independence from others.
4) Lie #4: Your body is yours. You are its owner. You may neglect it, obsess over it, indulge it, punish it, pamper it, or alter it as you wish.
5) Lie #5: Transforming the outside will fix the inside. By making changes to your body, you can change the condition of your heart. You can have more self-confidence, better self-esteem, and greater happiness.
Furthermore, Wilkin points out 5 truths from Scripture to correct our perspective and help us to value wellness and usefulness above fleeting attractiveness. These are the truths that we, as Christians, should reinforce in our hearts. And as parents, these are the truths that our children need to see as valuable and lasting. What do you think? Are there lies about your body to which you often fall prey? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Alex Crain is the editor of Christianity.com
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