Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stop the cycle of Low-Self Esteem

A few summers ago we were invited to enjoy the pool of some church friends, Kathy and Jack. We were excited about the invitation not only because it was hot out, but because we were socializing beyond our regular circle of friends. We were determined to broaden our social network and fellowship with other families in our church. Jack and my husband George were already good friends. This would be an opportunity for me to get to know Kathy better who appeared to be very shy and protected.

As I dug out my bathing suit from 3 seasons ago, I thought, who was I kidding? There was no way that I was getting in the pool. Did I really want someone from church to see me in a bathing suit? What would they think of me the next time I taught bible study or led prayer?  I did not want to leave images of my thighs on anyones brain.  It was ok for the kids and my husband to get in, but I would be comfortable watching on the sidelines. I brought the suit with me just in case everyone else was swimming, of course I didn't want to be rude.

When we got to their house Kathy did not have on any swim wear either. She told us that she hardly ever gets in the pool. So as the men gathered around the grill, and we sat under the patio umbrella we watched as our teenage kids laughed and enjoyed the pool .  Oh, how wonderful it would be to be an inhabited kid again.  The kids obvisouly did not care who saw them in their bathing suits, or what they thought. 

I admired Kathy's daughter who was growing up to be rather...shall we say "volumptuous".  I complimented Kathy on her daughters beauty that was quite evident.  Surprisingly she said, "If only she thought so."

"Are you kidding me?"

"No, I'm not she struggles with her body and low self-esteem."


This was not what I saw at all.  Kathy's daughter was confident, assure and beautiful. Every time I saw her in church or in the neighborhood she exemplified an awareness that was captivating.  I can imagine her doing great things.  And yet, her mother saw the opposite.  I wondered if Kathy was putting her doubts and thoughts of her own low self-image onto her daughter.

What are you saying to your daughters?  Most importantly,  what are they hearing? If we don’t take off the masks, the cycle will continue. We do our children an injustice by wearing masks. Then, we come to church and declare “amen” to the truth. But what is the truth? Our children know that the mirror has two faces. They know that sometimes home is not as sweet as the plaque hanging on the kitchen wall says it is.

We confuse our children as we teach them by example to fake it, to put on a front. Then when our teenagers become of age and begin to kick against the pretenses, we throw our hands up and say that we can’t do anything with them. It is not because they don’t want to obey. It is not because they don’t want to listen. It’s because the mask doesn’t fit!

A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, "your not as pretty as.... or "your not as smart as.....", and some believers even think its God telling them these things. My friend, nothing could be further from the truth! God NEVER tells you what a loser you are. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 12:47)!

What is condemnation?

Condemnation comes from Satan and is meant to tear you down. Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you've messed up. Condemnation is showing you the problem, but avoiding the solution.

Take off the Mask and stop the cycle of low self-esteem.

Naked and not ashamed,

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1 comment:

Sonya said...

Awesome! I really enjoyed this. The entire time reading it, I kept nodding my head saying..."Right"..Right". This is so true, it's time to break the cycle.