From: Margi, wife, mom, attorney, married to a pastor
To: the gals in our church
Re: Self-esteem, part 2
“There’s my beautiful girl!” he said as he lifted her in his arms and drew her near.
She wrapped her arms around his neck and pressed close. Her heart swelled with joy. She had waited and waited for his return.
He loved her. She was sure of it.
“Daddy, I missed you!” Josie cried.
“I know honey, I missed you too,” Bill told her as her squeezed her one last time before she ran off to play. Her beloved Daddy was home. Her world was right. She was loved and she knew her Daddy thought she was the prettiest thing ever created.
I grew up in a home in which I do not recall my father ever saying to me that he loved me, or how proud he was of me, or that I was beautiful.
It is so incredibly heartwarming to hear my husband tell our 5 year old daughter how beautiful she is and how much he loves her. She will come from her room in an outfit of her own design. He embraces her and tells her how awesome she looks – stripes, florals and plaids all put together with hair akimbo. He tells her every day that she is special and how beautiful, smart and kind she is. He lets her know that what makes her beautiful is not just what is on the outside, but what makes her truly beautiful is her heart. She has a soft, gentle spirit, a precious vulnerability and a kindness toward others that we cherish.
I’ve asked Josie if she thinks she is pretty and she says yes. Josie is beautiful. I think she is the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever seen, but that’s not the point. The point is that she believes she is beautiful because she has been taught to believe in herself as a beautiful child – not just because she is beautiful outwardly, but also because she is truly beautiful inwardly. Bill and I pray that she will grow up knowing that she doesn’t have to fit a mold. She is beautiful because she IS.
I wish all women could have a wonderful man in their lives to tell them how precious and beautiful they are from the very little. The reality is that many of us have not had that and will not have that. Our fathers aren’t or weren’t good at doing so. Perhaps they didn’t care or didn’t know how to or didn’t feel it was important. Our boyfriends and husbands may not be the type to even recognize we need to hear those things. Maybe they think we no longer need to hear how beautiful and desirable we are.
As women we want to know, regardless of age, that we are desired and beautiful – to someone. We want to feel admired. Which one of us wouldn’t want to walk into a room and have people turn and stare at our beauty. You can see it in the blush that rises on the cheeks of a young girl when she is told how beautiful she is. You can see it in the sparkling eyes of a woman in mid-life when she hears someone say they never would have guessed her age and wow does she look good. Even ladies in the elder years smile and glow with feigned embarrassment when told that they are beautiful. We want so badly to be beheld as an object of beauty. Men have fought over women of beauty. They have competed to gain her graces.
To the men reading this I say: when was the last time you told the women important in your life that they are beautiful? I’m not talking about a perfunctory or expected compliment. I’m asking, when was the last time you made the women important to you really feel desired and beautiful? When was the last time you looked at your wife with that same desire, admiration and awe when you were dating and told her she is beautiful to you? When was the last time you told your daughter that she is beautiful? Oh, how we want to know that we are beautiful in your eyes.
We all want to know that we are valued and important and respected. For women we also need to know that we are beautiful. Trust me, if we don’t hear if from the men we love we will look for compliments and acknowledgment of our beauty from someone else. Let it be you, oh dear men in our lives whom we adore.
Okay, some of us have put on a few pounds, gotten a few wrinkles, had some surgery, gained a few stretch marks, lost our perky bodies. Some of us may not fit into the “norm” of what beauty is. Some of us are awkward and physically challenged. We still need to feel beautiful. We need to feel beautiful to you – the men in our lives. Do we know that we may not be a beauty like the movie stars and models? Perhaps. I think most of us are pretty realistic. Regardless. We want to know that YOU think we are even more beautiful than those cover girls because of the total package. We need you to tell us we are beautiful.
To those women who have no men to affirm them and their beauty, there is someone who understands us more than we do ourselves. His beauty is beyond measure. He is wealthier beyond belief and more powerful than any other. He knows true beauty. He is a connoisseur of true beauty. He tells us we are beautiful and loved. Of course it is our Heavenly Father.
- “The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Ps. 45:11