My daughter needs a haircut. Her hair is long and beautiful, a pretty golden blonde that I want to bottle up for myself. She always begs to wear it down, but I usually put it up in a ponytail to keep it out of her face. The other day, I surprised her and told her to bring me a headband instead of a ponytail holder. I brushed out her beautiful hair, put on the headband, and told her that’s how she was wearing it to school. She looked in the mirror, her face lit up, and she said, “I love myself mama.” Her words caught me off guard because they were so innocent and pure so I asked her to repeat them. ”I love myself.” Then she skipped out of the room beaming. I wanted to cry out of love for her.
Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves? I am not talking about a narcissistic, obsession. I mean an authentic acceptance of who we are in our own skin. Almost all of us struggle with so much insecurity, sometimes spilling over into self-loathing. I would imagine that even the most gorgeous women in the world have things they would change. Even many who seem to love themselves so much are compensating for something. And yet, despite what the media tells us, or what others around us say, we are each so beautiful.
It made me think how our Father must desire that we, his sons and daughter, love ourselves. Psalm 139:6 says,
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well.”
We see in Genesis 1:27 that we are each made in the image of God. And yet I often think I am too this, or not enough of that. I look back and am saddened over the hours wasted obsessing over the things I don’t like about myself. How sad that must make the One who created me and looks on me with love.
There is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves, but when we allow it to contradict what Scripture says, it becomes a stronghold in our lives that steals our joy. I don’t want that for my daughter, and God doesn’t want that for me. The next time I see new wrinkles and those wiry gray hairs, I may just look in the mirror and force myself to say, “I love myself!” And then make an appointment with my hair stylist to cover up those grays 🙂 Or maybe I won’t! Either way I am thankful that God’s Word tells me my inner beauty is more important than the external, and that my King thinks that I am beautiful. Isn’t that what matters most?