I’m beginning to think self -esteem is way overrated.
A few months ago, I heard Korie Robertson speak at Story line Conference in Chicago. You know Korie, Duck Dynasty wife, beautiful woman, wife to Willie? She wrote a book, which, lamentably, I have not yet read, but I feel confident enough to go ahead and recommend to you: Strong and Kind: get it here.
Anyways, she said something that really struck me. She said we as a society have created very child-centric homes and as a result, we have begun to treat children like little gods. we’ve gone to such great lengths to make them like themselves, they’ve become obsessed with themselves. She said the very principle of self esteem means to esteem oneself. Why on earth would we be teaching that to to people? This isn’t to say we should all walk around covered in ash, hating ourselves, but it begs us to refocus. Korie said they instilled in their children a sense of confidence not in who they are, but in whose they are.
As a daughter who is much loved, I have no need to build myself up and become obsessed with my appearance, because I am a daughter of God, and as such, my life is longer about me. When we realize our existence is not about me me me me, we become so much more effective and we find ourselves with dramatically less time to hate ourselves.
Case in point: I used to weigh myself a lot. Every time I gained or lost a pound, I would flip out and strategize to lose that extra two pounds or keep it off. I was weighing myself early in the morning and and praying to find a number I liked. It was ridiculous. Several months ago, I decided to stop weighing myself, and focus more on taking care of myself. I don’t remember the last time I stepped on the scale, but my clothes fit, I like myself a lot more, and I think about my weight a whole lot less.
This is not to say I just throw on clothes and think only of the poor; no, I love fashion, but I don’t find my sense of purpose of beauty from what I wear. What if we taught girls to cherish the body that God gave them, realizing it’s a gift to be stewarded and not a shrine to be worshiped (or worse yet, an object to despise.)
What if we refocused from an obsession with self confidence and rocking whatever size you are and who cares what you wear, it’s YOUR body?? What if we taught girls that you were bought with a price, so we should honor God with our bodies? And as a result, we should honor our fellow man by being tasteful, because here again, it’s not about us?
How do you think this would change the world we live in?
I think we would buy fewer magazines, and maybe think of others more. We would eat well, so we would have energy to love well, and we would dress well, because our clothes would be a reflection of the respect we feel for ourselves, not a reflection of the attention we wish were getting.
I have a dream.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20