Tag Archives: worth

Worth in the Wrinkles & Grace for the Grey

One night a couple weeks ago my husband and I were eating dinner. It was just the two of us that night. I don’t know what we were talking about but I do remember when he looked up and out of the blue asked, “Do you think you will grow old gracefully or fight it as long as you can?”

Had I not just seen for myself that very day the grey hairs framing my face I wouldn’t have known what he was referring to.  But as it was I instinctively knew he saw exactly what I had – all those wiry greys! It was as if he read my mind because since seeing how obvious they had become I had been thinking maybe it was time to add a little color.

Fast-forward a few days to when I was looking over the headshots a friend took for me.  My husband’s question floated back into the forefront of mind. This time it wasn’t so much the greys bothering me, but the wrinkles around my eyes. It would be so easy for my friend to smooth those out a bit in the pictures. (And to be honest, in one she did). But apart from a miracle cream I don’t know about it, those lines in real life aren’t ever going to totally disappear.

My insecurities over these visible signs of aging got me thinking about how alike we women are to our daughters. Here we worry about how they see themselves and the pressure to be perfect, but we are no different. Whether we admit it or not, we too look to our appearance as an identity.

By this I mean we base our worth on how we look. Our weight, the wrinkles, the grey, the sag or flab, it can consume us. Only made worse when we look around and compare how we stack up to others. So at any given moment – at a party, the gym or scrolling through Instagram – we have those same thoughts as our daughters. I’m not enough. I need to be better. Everyone else is perfect. And just like our daughters, we also exert alot of energy trying to make ourselves enough, better, perfect.

Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with taking care of ourselves and wanting to feel and feel good. The problem is when our appearance becomes the measuring stick for determing our worth, and the worth of others too. What we turn to for our identity.  What we think if we attain or maintain will make us happy and give us life. And in its ruling over us, we will in direct and indirect ways communicate to our girls and others that appearance is where their value comes from too.

But if my true identity is found in Christ, then the extra pounds, the wrinkles, the grey hairs, my grey tooth (yes, it’s true I have one!) or whatever else it is that bothers you about yourself is not what defines us!

I’m writing this for myself, because what I saw in the mirror and reflecting back at me in the photos knocked me off this gospel truth. I didn’t want others to see the wrinkles or think I looked old because of them. But it takes a constant reorienting to remember who we are. One minute I know the truth and feel secure, and the next minute I’m looking to false sources to make me okay.

Because this is true of me, what better entry point to help our daughters see we are in the same boat. We understand her self-obsession because we too become self-consumed.  So what we both need is to see our false identities as the sin it is, and point each other back to who Christ is for us.

In Christ, I am perfect and perfectly loved. An his opinion, truly, is the only one that matters. If only I could always fix my eyes on this truth, maybe I could grow old gracefully (with colored hair or not)! By his grace. 

“Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed (Psalm 34:5).”

For more on this topic for teen girls, check out my book Face Time! Also be sure to subscribe for posts in your inbox, and follow me on Instagram!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Before The Teen Years: Your Kids are Not Your Identity

Your kids are not your identity summarizes #4 on my list of 8 Things Parents Can Do Now To Shape The Teen Years Ahead. In that post I wrote:

Seek to understand and love them for who they are rather than conform them to who you want them to be. Sometimes when our children have different personalities or interests than ours we try to push upon them the way we do things, or our hobbies. Without meaning to this can make them feel shame for not measuring up to your standard or for not being more like their sibling. If they do have similar interests, do not make them feel like they are in competition to your previous successes. Their performance is not why you love them, but if they grow up thinking it is, the idol of performance and perfection can drive them to despair as teenagers.”

One of my children does not care one bit about making weekend plans. It honestly doesn’t cross his mind. It’s not that he’s anti-social; he seems to be friends with all his teammates- just not “weekend friends.” For a long time this really bothered me. I thought something was wrong and he was missing out. But as my husband pointed out, if this is how he is wired, we needed to be careful not to heap shame on him just because he is different than how we are wired.

This is when I realized the problem is not him, but me. If I’m honest the reason his lack of a social life bothered me was because of how I thought other people would view him… and me. Not in the popular crowd, out being seen- worthless. How messed up is that! I was projecting on him my own false gods.

We do this with our kids because we see them as an extenstion of us; our mini-me’s. So easily their accomplishments, failures, successes, challenges, social life, sports, and obedience (as we discussed in the last post) can become our identity.  But how well they perform, what they do and who their friends with is not their true identity and should certainly not be ours.

If it is, we need to ask oursevles some probing questions: Are we living vicariously through them? Are we adding pressure for them to be a certain way? Are we making them feel like they don’t measure up (to us)?  Do we think the way we do things is the only way/right way? Are we imposing on them our own idols?

I don’t think it’s a great jump then to see what leads us to often becoming “helicopter” parents. But as we talked about in the first post of this series, we need to get to the root of the why we hover over them, try to control and to ensure their success and status. When we do we will likely find our own insecurities and sin mixed in with well-meaning intentions.

It is important we see though that much of the “help” we think we are offering to our kids is actually harming them. Studies show the following repercussions of helicopter parenting on kids:

  1. Lack of confidenece/need for affirmation
  2. Inability to cope with adversity
  3. Increased anxiety/depression/fear of failure and disappointing others
  4. Entitlement
  5. Undeveloped life skills/lack of independence
  6. Indecision

Our kids are not our identity. Let’s give them the freedom to fail without worrying what other people might think about them, or us. Let’s not revolve our worlds around them to the point they act as if life is all about them. Let’s not push them to seek their identity in performance, based off what they perceive we value and praise. Let’s point our kids to their true worth found only in Christ as we look to him for our identity as well.

Previous posts in this series:
Before the Teen Years: Getting to the Heart of Sin with Our Kids
Before the Teen Years: Living Redemptively in Our Homes
Before the Teen Years: Shepherd Hearts Rather Than Police Behavior
8 Things Parents Can Do Now to Shape The Teen Years Ahead

Face Time Podcast Episode 004: Affirmed in Christ Alone with Kelsey Glover

One week from today until the release of  my new book, Face Time: Your Identity in a Selfie World! So this is the concluding podcast of my mini-series. Have you enjoyed listening? I hope so!

With each recording, my goal was for the truth of who Jesus is to be heard. For it is foundational to freeing us from the lies of Satan and our selfie world that beg us to believe worth is found in something other than Christ. As you will hear from today’s guest, Kelsey Glover  (a recent Oklahoma State University graduate and youth ministry intern), none of the false sources we turn to – whether it be seeking affirmation from guys (or other people), our appearance or performance – are big enough or valuable enough to give us a secure identity. Hoping in anything but Christ will leave us empty.

To that end, she and I hit on the inexaustible topics of identity, idolatry, shame, redemption and boundaries in everyday living kind of ways, so don’t miss the truth she shares. In case you missed one of the other three recordings, I have posted each link at the bottom of the page.

Thank you, Kelsey, for your willingness to share your brokenness as  a testimony to the glory of God’s goodness and grace!

Show Notes:

  • Interested in the youth mininstry where Kelsey serves? Go to: Henderson Hill Baptist Church.
  • Scripture references mentioned: 1 Peter 2:9, Genesis 21:8-21 (story of Hagar), Romans 8:1, Matthew 5:29
Kelsey Glover is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State where she got her degree in Management Information Systems and Marketing with a minor in Religious Studies. Kelsey’s heart and desire is to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9) for all the days the Lord allots.
Want to go back to listen to previous podcasts?
Episode 001: Martha Kate Stainsby on Trying to be Good Enough
Episode 002: Mary Carlisle Crehore on Striving for Perfection
Episode 003: Kendal Conner on Creating a Gospel Grid for our Teens

Order your copy of Face Time HERE.