May I be honest with you? I have yet to meet a girl or woman who is perfect and can boast of faultlessness. Yes, I have seen many that might appear extremely pretty on the outside with fashionable new clothing, a great hairstyle, polished nails, and ultra-white teeth. But, before the Lord, there is no amount of polish, hairspray, airbrushing, or Photoshop that can cover who we really are on the inside. The world sees what we want them to see but the Lord perceives our heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
In this final thirty-second chapter, in The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood, there is an important heart-to-heart conversation. This frank discussion is about seven shortcomings that can “blight the rose” and, thankfully, what to do should it be discovered in either of your lives.
Before you even begin, I encourage you to pray about this time with your daughter(s) before you do this chapter. Ask the Lord to prepare both of your hearts for the careful examination that will be taking place.
- Is there indecision? If so, then look at the problem squarely in the face, and fight through it with the unswerving faith in the Lord to give you wisdom. Remember, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave on the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1: 5-6
- Is there self-consciousness? This is the sister of irresolution and causes “ingrown eyeballs”! The female with this malady can be cured by training her to look after the welfare of others. In a social situation, there is no quicker cure for self-consciousness than keeping busy and focused on others! Encourage your daughter to “.. not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Romans 12:3
- Perhaps the problem is a sharp tongue. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The girl with a sharp tongue must first guard her thoughts against being critical and purposely search for the good things in others and speak about them! “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
- What about an “inordinate love” of beautiful things? I believe women are created to be drawn towards beauty! But it becomes problematic when it evolves into something excessive. This state of excess allows for the weeds of pride and vanity to grow. The symptom of this scourge is to focus intently upon the most current, the name brands, the latest and greatest…you fill in the blank. There is nothing more beautiful than a happy, satisfied heart. “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” Psalms 27:4
- The spirit of dissatisfaction. This fault makes a girl ever so restless and uneasy and never ever satisfied with anything. There is a godly dissatisfaction which is an attempt to improve and be the best you can be to the Glory of God! But when this spirit of dissatisfaction reaches its most virulent state, it mars her happiness now and makes her unable to enjoy what God has for her in the future.“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6
- Selfishness is the sixth fault to spoil the beauty in your girl’s life. A girl who exhibits selfishness looks always to her own pleasure. It might come across as a girl who is so enthusiastic about her youth group, FCA club, Mission work, that she is rarely at home to help with normal household responsibilities. According to Mrs. Hale, the author of Beautiful Girlhood, the work should be divided fairly amongst all involved. The ultimate remedy for selfishness is found in this verse. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.“ Galatians 2:20
- Sensitivity is the final great fault. Sometimes, especially if your daughter is extra sensitive a well-deserved rebuke, a word of correction, or even a mere suggestion can hurt the overly sensitive so deeply that they will be reduced to tears. She takes it personally and is wounded….DEEPLY! I understand that it is difficult to deal with a daughter that has this sensitive spirit and the fear you might have is that her spirit will be broken. Don’t let this issue remain unattended! Gently guide your daughter by seeking the Lord. Ask Him why she is so sensitive and for ways to fight this weakness. Remember, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” Hebrews 12:11
The last several months, we have taken a glorious journey through Beautiful Girlhood with our daughters and it probably has been as rigorous for you mom as it has been challenging for her. In each and every chapter, you have been challenged to a higher standard. Most of you have sensed the Lord’s calling and drawing you into a deeper relationship with Him through the study of the Word and prayer. The goal of our study in The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood is not perfection but progress!
Let me conclude our delightful time together with a quote by Martin Luther.
“This life therefore
is not righteousness
but growth in righteousness
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be
but we are growing toward it,
the process is not yet finished
but is going on,
this is not the end
but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory
but all is being purified.”
Praising God that I am a work in progress!