"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry or beautiful clothes.You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."
Everyday I do Lindley Belle's hair (usually the cutest little puppy dog ear pig tails). The very moment I tighten the last little piggy she twirls around and exclaims "pretty!" Then we find the perfect bow that matches her outfit. She says "show daddy!" and just that fast she goes running down the hall and into her daddy's office to show off her hair and outfit. From down the hall I can hear her squealing as her daddy tells her she is beautiful and tells her that her dress is so pretty. And of course, some sweet kisses and tight hugs are included.
Where did Lindley Belle learn to know her hair was pretty after I fixed it?
Where did she learn that she could run to her daddy for approval?
Who taught her that praise would follow putting on a pretty dress & fixing her hair?
Me. I taught her. I feel so proud.
From the moment I put a bow on her head (errr...when she was only 30 min old) and dressed her in a pretty pink outfit (the day we took her home from the hospital), I have added a little something "extra" to my voice when I tell her how pretty she is. As soon as she could walk, I began encouraging her to "show off" her outfit/hair/bow to her daddy because I knew he would add to how beautiful she was feeling.
Like any mother, I tell my little chunky monkey how beautiful she is as often as I can. No matter what she is wearing or how her hair looks. As does her daddy - a sweet gift for me to see in action.
Lindley Belle doesn't exclaim "pretty!" and twirl around and want to run to gain praise from her daddy when she is in her pajamas. Or when she first wakes in the morning and her hair looks like those precious babies from the pampers commercial. No, she has learned that hollering "pretty" and praising her beauty really only happens when we have fixed her hair and put on a pretty outfit.
Recently this thought has come over me: I am teaching my daughter the opposite of the gospel.
One of the most beautiful things about my salvation in Christ is that it has nothing to do with how pretty my life is or all the things I try to do to appear worthy of Him. It's actually quite the opposite. When I watch my daughter get so excited and run to show her daddy how pretty she is, I think "how great is it that this is not our relationship with the Lord".Can you imagine it? If everyday we had to go into another room, fix ourselves up until we feel worthy of His praise, and then run to the throne for his approval and acceptance. I know I would not be strong enough to keep that going. Daily I bask in the security I find in that my God sees me worthy of his Kingdom...thru Christ, NOT thru anything I have done or will do. I love this quote:
"You cannot do anything to make God love you less...but you also cannot do
anything to make God love you more."
Unfortunately, in this broken world, unconditional love is most likely something she will never experience, separate from a relationship with the Lord. Even as her mommy, there will be times (tear) that I will disappoint her and cause her to have insecurities about my love for her. There will be times she feels like she has to perform a certain way in order to gain "more love" from me. It breaks my heart to even think of a day she feels that way. But I know that day will come.
My heart aches for her to bask in the security of feeling beautiful in Christ, whether she's in a new Belle princess gown or early in the morning when her hair is a hot mess. Oh how I yearn for my sweet Lindley Belle to know the unconditional love of God.
P.S. Don't worry - I will still continue to let Lindley Belle find joy in running to her daddy to show off her hair and outfit. Because I know from personal experience that 29 years from now, Lindley Belle will be stronger and more confident in herself because of her daddy telling her that she is beautiful. I would never take that away from her. A father's love for his daughter is a sacred thing...you don't mess with it! :)