“I just hate the world, Mommy…” she said.
“What?? Why?” I inquired.
“I weigh 20 pounds more than all my friends. A few of them are on diets. I don’t think I’m fat, but I’m not sure. And I keep thinking I should be dieting, too,” she replies.
“And did you know there’s girls that put feathers in the back of their throats to make themselves throw up so they’ll be skinny?” she added.
“Okay, so you know what? You are absolutely right to be frustrated with the world. So much around you tells you that you aren’t good enough and that you have to look a certain way, but that’s not right, is it? Who are these girls who are dieting?” I asked.
She told me.
“Well, they’re 9, 10, and 11. And they have cute little girl bodies – and yes they are a little on the chunky side, but most kids are until they start to mature – and everyone does that at different rates. YOU are nearly a foot taller than all your friends, so I’m not surprised you weigh more than they do. You do know you are the height of a 13 year old, right?” I said.
“Yeah, but still, it’s like I feel this pressure to be thinner than I am…” she replied.
“Where does that come from?” I asked.
“The enemy?” she said.
“Yes. Don’t listen. And don’t give in to those voices. They’re lies.”
We talked about bulimia and the horrifying physical consequences that result… although I didn’t give a name to the disease for her – she is too young, in my mind, to need to know its name…and I felt a little sad about this loss of innocence.
We don’t do a very good job keeping the “little” in our children – we seem to try to grow them up quickly. At warp speed we buy them adult clothing, put them into more mature situations than they should be handling, expose them to adult-themes all too soon.
And it makes me nearly half nuts to watch parents hand their kids a video game to switch their brain into passive mode, getting them (mostly boys) to shut up and calm down so they can carry on their adult conversation, or do whatever. Parents cave way too easily to the demands of the video/screen addiction of their kids, failing to set limits on the amount of time their brains are being rewired by these devices.
Dare you to read the concerning data on video gaming here. Double dog dare you to not ignore it. Triple dog dare you to set some limits (like an hour of outdoor physical exercise (not just sitting outside playing a handheld!) daily earns your kid a half hour of gaming) or get rid of them in your home.
There’s a quote on a sign at the bottom of the hill that goes up to my house – it says, “Do not pray for easier lives, pray to be stronger men.” It’s by JFK. This morning I am burdened for wives that are tearing down their homes with their own hands – our words destroy our little boys, our teen boys, and our men. They want to delight us and be heroes, and we constantly let them know they’re not measuring up. It takes years to undo the damage we do with our words…The result is rampant in the culture – boys are scoring lower on tests, going to college at a lower rate, and make up 2/3 of the special ed students… Grown men are checking out and choosing online gaming and internet pornography to dull their senses enough to survive the world they live in.
Double dog dare you to read why here: http://www.parentingoldschool.com/media/the-demise-of-guys-why-girls-rock-while-boys-mold/ . The other issue we’re seeing as a result is absent fathers, and men who won’t stand up for what is right, but are angry. Proverbs 29 today has a ton to say about this.
Recently, on two separate occasions, my husband got his righteousness on. I won’t go into the details, but he “called a spade a spade,” and rose up to protect his family. As a woman (and not a wussy one, I might add), his behavior spoke to something within me – and I deeply admired him.
I also told him that.
Know this truth – your husband will never rise up to become a man of righteousness unless you respect him, admire him, and encourage him – even when he doesn’t “deserve” it.
And the last time I checked, I didn’t “deserve” his love, and neither do you. We’re all a bunch of sinners. Extend the same grace you want to receive.
Ladies, WE need to rise up to do what is right in our homes, to create an atmosphere that will bring out the very best in the men that live with us. We need to communicate respect, in accordance with God’s Word in Ephesians 5:33. We need to help and not nag our husbands (check Genesis and Proverbs). We need to pursue our husbands sexually (yep, that’s in the Bible, too), and we need to stick with it and keep the vows we made. We need to figure out what Biblical submission looks like and do it (and sorry, but no, it’s not what you probably think – it doesn’t make you a doormat). Otherwise we destroy our men and sons, creating an environment for passive and lazy men.
We need to stop fussing about the things we think are big now, stop pointing our fingers at our husband’s inadequacies, and get busy figuring out what God wants US to do and doing it, so that we can go help other women get this right. MUCH is at stake – look at the data, and run the progression out in your head. Where will we be in 20 years if we keep doing what we’re doing now? As our family units are destroyed, so goes our country.
We CAN change our families – and we need to.
Remember, there was a day when I rated my marriage a “2” and was bitter, discouraged, broken-hearted, and angry about how things had “turned out.”
Truth was, I wasn’t obeying God’s commands for wives.
Ten years later, after I figured that out, my marriage was radically different than it was.
I want that for you.
I won’t lie and tell you it’s easy, but it is possible.
And totally worth it.
Dare you to spend some time with the Father today, perhaps chewing on the Proverbs above. Double dog dare you to join us in this prayer today …
Father, Your ways are not our ways. We cannot love and respect without Your intervention, without Your help in the day to day moments. Lord, we are so swayed by this culture, having bought too many lies, we can’t even see it. Help us know what to do, help us get to know You such that we can obey Your Word in the middle of interactions. Help us obey Your commands. Help us stick with our marriages. Help us build each other up, instead of being selfish. Lord, fill us with You so we don’t feel so empty… our longings for our spouse’s behavior change is really a recognition of the absence of You in our hearts… In doing these things, Lord, we trust Your glory will be revealed. We want the families and marriages You intended, but cannot get them on our own. Please help us do all these things in Your strength. In the name of the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
So glad you are on the journey with me…
Love to you,