I don’t like your face. Something you might hear on the school playground, or at a modeling agency, or when Rocky comes home after fighting Apollo Creed. This is a phrase few of us want to hear, unless we’re dressed as a zombie at Halloween. Well I heard this recently, from my 5-year-old daughter. And she wasn’t saying it to her brother. She was saying it to me!
I don’t like your face.
Ah, the honesty of a preschooler. They say it’s a beautiful thing. Oh it’s just darling. (insert intense sarcasm here) My honest beauty had more to add.
I don’t like your glasses or all of the dots on your face. I like Ms. Susan’s face better. (Ms. Susan’s name has been changed to protect the innocent mom who has a more attractive face than mine!)
Suddenly I felt like a model on a playground being beat up by Apollo Creed! Can I help it that I can’t see my way out of a refrigerator box without my glasses? Or that I have dots on my face from the rosacea caused by stress?
I was in a funk the rest of the day. I thought all of the soul cutting words came in the teen years, not from a kid half my size. I was a mishmash of emotions from surprise to uncertainty to sadness to fear to worry. I felt insecure because I’ve always imagined little girls thinking their mamas are beautiful. I had thoughts like,
What am I doing wrong here? Am I a bad mama? Am I ugly because of my rosacea?”
I was worried about our relationship. I have a couple of heart desires, and one is to have a healthy relationship as she grows – and to be close to her always. This connection felt jeopardized because she likes another mama more than me, simply because of my face.
This is where my worry began to spiral…I went so far as to worry about her getting tangled in sex trafficking because she would seek affirmation from someone who was prettier than me, who might lead her into a horrific lifestyle…who cares what mom has to say because she has glasses and red dots. I think my head was spinning at this point.
I know, extreme worries here, but this is where my unbridled worrying mind can end up.
Suddenly, the Holy Spirit smacked me upside the head. I realized that I was assuming WAY too much control over my relationship with my daughter. I can’t make her like my face more than someone else. She may not always like my parenting decisions. Whether I like it or not, she’s going to like other mamas, other people, and sometimes more than me. At times she may make bad choices because of it.
Whatever choices she makes, I know that God will always pursue her.
He will always chase after her, just as He does you and me. My job is love her, even if she doesn’t like my face. I can hold up my end of the relationship, and care for her, forgive her, teach her, pray for her, model for her what it means to be a godly woman. I pray that as she grows, God blesses our relationship with strength and closeness. Ultimately, it’s out of my control.
I also realized something else…I was putting WAY too much stock into what my daughter thought of me. I allowed her perspective of me to trump what God thinks of me. I let her words spin into fear and worry, to the point that I began to distrust God, who has her in the palm of His hand. I was making her an idol. What’s an idol?
Anything you fear, love, and trust
My dear girl is a tremendous blessing from God. But Satan tempts us to make good things into God things. Good things become God things when we fear, love, and trust the created things that God has given us ABOVE God Himself. We actually put them in the place of God.
Should I be looking to my 5-year-old to determine how I feel about myself? Or to God?
I think you know the answer. But we often don’t see it this clearly. It’s easy to let harsh words from loved ones become our standard of value. The challenge is to remember who we are in Christ – forgiven, cleansed, made whole, and ultimately, beautiful. I am a beautiful mama because Jesus has made me new!
Have you ever let someone’s words dictate how you feel about yourself?