To my beautiful little girl, Kaia
Listen close, because this is something every girl should know. This is something that so few of us make it into adulthood really believing. But I tell you, my lovely princess, you are heart wrenchingly beautiful. I tell you every day because you need to know this in your core. You are beautiful because of the image you bear. You are beautiful because your character and spirit shine through your gorgeous brown eyes. You are beautiful because your small pink lips speak words of kindness and life and patience.
You are beautiful because God made you so both internally and externally. From the first time I sank my nose to your head, still soft pink with the silkiest dusting of hair and inhaled your baby scent, I was in awe. I tucked you softly to my chest and held your chubby body, curved round and still folded like a ball, while you nursed with pink puckered lips. I whispered to you how beautiful you are. I whispered that I would always love you.
You are beautiful because you were created with His perfect plan, knit together in my stretch-marked tummy by the hands of one who doesn’t ever make mistakes.
Always remember this truth. When the world tells you that you need to be skinnier, sexier, more. When the world tells you that you are not enough, you are lacking, you are deficient, look to the one who created you and know that these lies offer only counterfeits of true beauty. That what this world offers is vanity and a feasting of self. But no, you are beautiful, you always have been and you always will be. You are infinitely valuable.
I wish we lived in a world where I didn’t have to mention these things until you were much older but they are already coming at you. You are already facing these lies, even at 7. Even as I work to insulate you from these influences, it’s everywhere. It’s on the magazine covers as we grocery shop, it’s in other girls minds, it’s even in the church. My only consolation is that God offers you humility, modesty, purity, wisdom, and grace and these things make a woman beautiful. As you grow each year, I will teach you more about these ideals even as I pray to fully embrace and understand them myself. For now, these are the things I feel I must share.
Be a girl who values modesty. Modesty is not just about knee-length skirts or the avoidance of low-cut tops. Modesty is born in the heart. This is another thing I wish I could delay writing to you about but so many girls grow up with no sense of modesty and it pains me to see them in the church with hearts that love God but with clothes that love themselves and the world. We disguise immodesty with fashion, or cute, or stylish. We used the world as our compass to navigate what we should and shouldn’t wear.
I wish sometimes I could keep you seven and dress you myself all your days. I wish I could protect you from all temptation, and install a 50 ft. high electric fence around you to keep boys away but you are already rummaging through your closet and developing your own sense of style. I am reconciled to the fact that you will continue to grow into a woman and the only fence to keep you safe will be my petition of prayers, and that fence can be breached, for I am not guaranteed of your safety nor your salvation, although I long for those as only a mother can.
But I will tell you this and I hope it sinks in, because it’s coming at you, my love. If someday, you find that you are trying to be hot or sexy, you are off course. These are terms which manifest in the flaunting of something that isn’t yours to begin with. God created your body and until you marry, it is His alone. Hot or sexy are terms that inspire lust, covetousness, and consumption of this world’s ideals.
Your body is a temple of the Most High God. Adorn it with respect manifested in the way you dress and carry yourself but mostly in the desire to glorify Him with it. Your body is beautiful and precious and modesty is the way we honor its maker and our fellow brothers in Christ.
Don’t be the hot girl, with the title bestowed by this world, be a girl who is beautiful with your identity bestowed by God. Because in God, you are always beautiful.