My sweet, sweet girl. Even now you seek affirmation of your beauty, your acceptance, and ultimately, of your worth. You are seeking it today when you’re three, and you’ll be seeking it when you’re thirteen and when you’re thirty.
Yes, yes, yes! You are beautiful! You are accepted! And you are worth more than you could ever fathom.
“Do I look beautiful?”
What a girly girl you are. You love princesses and ballerinas and tutus and dresses and dresses and dresses. Dresses every day. I just can’t dance without a dress, you say. You flit around on tip toes and talk in a sweet little voice and hold up the edges of your dress as you prance around the house.
Do you like my dress? you ask. Do I look beautiful?
Oh sweet child, yes. But your beauty goes far beyond your pretty dress and your painted nails. Far beyond your long curls and dimpled smile. Your beauty radiates from within you as I see your gentleness, your kindness, your compassion, your generosity, and your sweet spirit. Oh how very beautiful you are.
You are beautiful because you are made in the very image of God.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26a,27 ESV
You truly are lovely because you are infinitely loved by the very One who knit you together.
You formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14a ESV
Every fiber of your being is known by Him and nothing about you is a mistake.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31 ESV
“But I will still be beautiful?”
Sometimes, sometimes, you have to change out of your dresses. I insist you wear pajamas at night or pants on certain days. When it’s snowing or a damp, chilly day, I have you wear a long-sleeved shirt under your sleeveless gown or maybe a sweater over top.
You shake your head and step back. Your big brown eyes look up into mine, uncertain. But I will still be beautiful? you question.
Oh, baby girl. Your beauty goes so far beyond what you wear! Of course, of course. You are beautiful no matter what you wear. Daddy and I repeat this mantra to you over and over throughout the day.
You see ball gowns and sparkles and already your perception of beauty is forming. Today it’s swirly skirts and puffed sleeves. Tomorrow your perception of beauty will change. Maybe when you look at the length of your skirt or the amount of material we require to constitute a swim suit you can wear in public that you’ll again ask, But I will still be beautiful?
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV
“But I’m beautiful too!”
Watching you from across the playground, I saw the hurt and confusion in your eyes as she told you that you couldn’t be the princess because you weren’t as pretty. She pointed out her dress, her shoes, and her lick-n-stick butterfly tattoo… showcases to prove her point.
But I’m beautiful too! I heard you exclaim.
Even now I get choked up as I play your voice over again in my head. You were wearing a beautiful dress that day. Your long hair hung down in curls around your sweet face. You were beautiful in every physical sense. But child, you could have been wearing rags and covered in mud, but still you would be beautiful. Because your beauty and your worth have nothing to do with your outward appearance.
For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
It breaks my heart to know that one day you will question your beauty and your worth. When I tell you how beautiful you are, you will sigh, Oh Mom. You will look in the mirror, compare yourself to others, and feel insecure. My words of affirmation won’t be enough.
There will be times when others won’t see you for who you really are. They will look at your outward appearance. They will put you down out of their own insecurities. They will say hurtful things.
Like a mama bear I want to be there to defend you every time. To shelter you from any hurt. To encourage you and remind you of your true worth. But since we live in a broken world full of broken people, I know I won’t be able to… Not every time, at least.
But they are also made in the image of God. And He loves them. If only they knew just how much.
So tell them, sweetie. Any chance you get. Tell other girls just how beautiful they are. Not because of what they look like or what they wear. But tell them how lovely they are because they are loved by God Himself.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1 John 4:9-11 NLT
You are so loved, my precious precious girl. And yes, you are beautiful.