Love this week’s Friday Funny from Tiffany. See you back here next week! Nicole for the girltalkers
Today was a cleaning/laundry day and while performing my duties I had the song ‘House of the Lord’ on my mind so I sang it out periodically not having a clue anyone noticed. There is a line that says, “Your Shepherd’s staff comforts me…”
Upon passing by my three-year-old daughter’s room I heard her gently singing, “Your Shepherd’s PIE comforts me..”
I praised her for singing to Jesus and asked her to sing it again to make sure I had heard correctly and yep, shepherd’s pie!
Guess it really is a comfort food!
Vacation with Mike’s family this week. They have a beach and a pool but somehow the outdoor shower is the hot spot!
Q. I am 18 years old and would like to know how to be “just friends” with the guys in our church, but don’t know how. Can you give me any advice?
A. It wasn’t so long ago that I was navigating my way through the teen years and into early adulthood. One issue always lurking in the shadows was “friendships with guys.” How do these relationships look different from those with my girlfriends? How much time do I spend with them? Is it okay to hang out one on one or talk on the phone?
I always wished for a simple set of rules—a little list of “do’s and dont’s” that I could carry around in my pocket. These rules would guarantee that I would no longer have to worry about that little conscience of mine. However, I learned early on that this one was a wisdom issue, and that Scripture was the primary source for that wisdom.
In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Paul tells Timothy that he should, “Treat…younger women like sisters, in all purity.” Now if the guys are going to treat us as “sisters in all purity,” then we in turn must act like sisters, in purity! Here in this verse is wisdom we so desperately need. We must ask ourselves—do I treat my guy friends as I would my own brother? Am I walking in absolute purity toward all young men?
For myself, I realized that my heart often had many competing motives at work in my relationships with guys. Instead of thinking and acting like a sister, I sometimes found myself wanting attention from a particular guy. I also wanted other girls to think I had a sufficient number of guys that called me “friend.” Often, the motives behind my relationships with guys were not pure, or God-honoring.
That is why it was so helpful that my mom and I kept a running dialogue on this issue. We didn’t have some kind of formal debriefing once a week, but talking about my guy friends was a regular part of our lives. These conversations were most critical for me in the accountability that they provided and the counsel that my mom brought. For those of you who may not have a godly mom, I would encourage you to have these types of conversations with another older, wiser, woman in your church. We aren’t called to live the Christian life alone. We need the help, encouragement, and counsel of others.
I also quickly learned that my friendships with guys needed to look quite different than my friendships with girls. I recall one pastor telling me: “Janelle, guys read into things just as much as girls do. When a girl shows consistent attention to one guy, it can cultivate affection in that guy’s heart.” While I may have been considering my guy friends as brothers, they may have been thinking that there was something more. That’s why my mom always exhorted me to relate to all guys as “another woman’s husband.” This little phrase was a very helpful heart-check when it came to relating to my guy friends.
All of this said, friendships with guys are not wrong. In fact I would argue that as a single woman, friendships with godly, mature young men who are committed to purity are a gift from the Lord. Paul is obviously assuming that Timothy will relate to other young women in the church, but he makes clear what those relationships ought to look like. As one of three girls (until my favoritist little brother arrived on the scene 12 yrs. after me) I’m very grateful for the guys that were my “brothers” during those years. If we pursue the biblical principles of purity and brotherly love, we can enjoy godly friendships with godly guys as blessings from our heavenly Father.
~from the archives
As a parent, we must do our best to protect our children from the influence of our culture’s false and destructive messages about beauty. But how? Here are a few suggestions:
Guard their heroes.
Children collect heroes: people or characters they want to be like. This means that we as parents must watch over and wisely supervise our children’s affections. Who are our child’s heroes? Who do they admire and try to imitate? Often, children’s first heroes are the characters they see on television or the toys they play with. As they grow older, they may look to athletes, actors, or musicians. These personalities can shape the development of their desires and beliefs in profound ways.
As our children identify with these “heroes”—wanting to dress like them, talk like them, be like them—they imbibe the messages about beauty that these characters display. Consider: what do the TV, music, and toys you allow in your home say about the beauty of God and the inner beauty he requires? Do the characters in your children’s favorite television shows flaunt their immodesty or vanity? Do the toys they play with promote an ungodly perspective of physical beauty? As parents, let’s wisely help our children choose their heroes.
Guard their childhood.
Children are beautiful, largely because they don’t know it yet. A young girl is fascinated by the world, not trying to fascinate others with how she looks. This lack of self-awareness is a gift from God and meant to be enjoyed. But sometimes, as parents, we prematurely interrupt our daughters’ blissful ignorance by paying excessive attention to how they look.
Let’s seek to guard our daughters’ childhood instead of following the cultural trend to prematurely rush young girls into womanhood. Be discerning about your daughter’s unique temptations to vanity and self-focus. Intentionally limit the time, money, and conversation you spend (or allow them to spend!) on their appearance. If necessary, consider delaying certain beauty enhancements such as jewelry or cosmetics. Focus their attention on God and others. Start out as you mean for them to go on.
Guard their friendships.
True friends teach us to love true beauty. Conversely, vain and self-focused friends may encourage those sinful tendencies already at work in our hearts. A wise mother will carefully watch over her daughter’s friendships. Consider: what do your daughter and her friends talk about most when they are together? What are their favorite hobbies and activities? Does time with friends make her more consumed with herself, with the latest styles, with being physically beautiful? Let’s help our daughters choose friends wisely and to become the kind of friend who influences others to serve and to obey God. This may mean limiting the time two girls spend together, or taking a more proactive role in choosing their activities when they are together.
As moms we should seek to create a culture of friendship between our daughter and her friends that promotes and cultivates true beauty. Friendships that are built around trusting God and doing good works will help our daughters grow up to be truly beautiful.
Talking to Our Children About Beauty, Pt. 2
Talking to Our Children About Beauty, Pt. 1
Showing Beauty to Our Children
Teaching Our Kids About Beauty
Cuz life is just hard sometimes.
Claire’s Aunties, Mom-Mom and Mommy
So we had just a little bit of fun at the fair!
Stephanie has a two-year-old whom she loves to pieces, but who whines a lot. Ashley has five children at home under the age of nine. Both wrote to ask “how do you stay patient with young children?”
I can certainly relate. Impatience is a common temptation for us as moms. So, as I always do, I asked my exceptionally patient mom (she raised me after all!), and wrote down a few of her suggestions. This is not an exhaustive list, just a few things she’s passed on to me that I have found most helpful:
Identify temptation points
Recently my husband and I realized that we were most tempted to be impatient when we had to get our four children out the door. Identifying this temptation-point helped, not only so we could prepare our hearts to be more self-controlled and patient, but also so we could streamline our process and get an earlier start. Less temptation for everyone. Less impatience from Mom and Dad.
More often then not, when I find myself growing impatient with my children, it is because I have not been clear about the rules or boundaries. They are simply following my lead. So why am I getting impatient with them? My impatience is often a clue that I have slacked off in one area or another. It is time to get back to basics and train or instruct ahead of time and then be consistent to bring appropriate consequences. Being consistent helps me guard against impatience.
Don’t do stupid things twice
This one is for me. I am always repeating my own stupid mistakes. But Janelle is the opposite. She’s a fast learner. For example, a little while ago her two-year-old Hudson became obsessed with balloons. He would throw a fit when he saw a balloon in the store. He would even start screaming in his car seat when they drove past balloons outside! Once she realized this, Janelle made strategic decisions to avoid balloons where possible. She took alternative routes home and avoided certain sections of the store, unless she was prepared to buy a balloon. Point is, if you know your toddler is going to throw a fit in aisle three, if possible, don’t go to aisle three for a while. Wait until your consistent training at home makes it possible for you to go to the store without a meltdown. Do whatever you can to avoid walking into situations you know will be tempting for you and your child.
I read a great post on this by someone, somewhere, and now I can’t find it. The upshot was that when we cultivate a heart of gratefulness to God for the precious gift of our children, it counteracts the impatience in our heart. So if we find our impatience is rising, how’s our gratefulness? Let’s thank God for the amazing gift of our children and it will be much easier to be patient.
There is something about going to God in prayer that reminds us just how patient our heavenly Father is with us. This produces humility in our hearts, which in turn, produces patience toward our children. And we need God’s help. So let’s pray. He is eager to help us to model His patience toward our children.
~from the archives
Not only should we talk to our children about God’s definition of beauty, we must also teach them to recognize beauty’s counterfeit: the charm and outward beauty that is fleeting and deceitful (Prov. 31:30).
Our children are desperately in need of discernment. We must train them to recognize the false beauty messages of the world that assault them on a moment-by-moment basis.
This means, in age appropriate ways, we begin to talk to them about the unattractiveness of immodesty or vanity that they may observe and encounter. Our words should counteract and undercut our culture’s deceitful messages about physical beauty.
Finally, there are words that are better left unsaid. Drawing our children into negative dialogue about our appearance, “Do you think Mommy looks fat in this dress?” “Mommy wishes she was young and pretty like you,” etc., will only give ungodly shape to their developing beliefs about beauty.
Commenting about others to them, “Can you believe what she was wearing?” or “That girl really needs to lose some weight,” is not only unkind but teaches our children to judge others based on outward appearance.
Not only do we need to be careful how we speak to our children about beauty, we also must be careful how we speak in front of them, even when we think they aren’t paying attention. Little children have big ears. Conversations with our husband, with a girlfriend, or mutterings to ourselves that communicate an unbiblical message about beauty can all make an outsized impression on our children.
Also, we do not serve our daughters by dropping subtle hints (which are never as subtle as we think) about their appearance. If we observe that our daughter needs to change her eating habits or care for her appearance in a more God-glorifying manner, then we can provide practical diet help or graciously show her how Scripture should influence her beauty pursuit. But nagging and carping will only stoke discouragement or resentment.
By contrast, as our daughters grow older, humble and age-appropriate admission of our own struggles with beauty can go a long way toward helping them make progress in their own pursuit of biblical beauty. As we help our daughters see how we are seeking to apply God’s truth, we can impart to our daughters the discernment and conviction they need.
Up Next: Guarding Our Children for Beauty
Talking to Our Children About Beauty, Pt. 1
Showing Beauty to Our Children
Teaching Our Kids About Beauty
Thanks, Erin, for sending in this Friday Funny. Have a great weekend y’all! Nicole for the girltalkers
I have a “Friday Funnies” story about my kiddiwinks all the way from Australia that I’d love to share!
My 3 and 1/2 year old daughter was questioning me as to her whereabouts prior to her birth, I replied with the age-old “You were a twinkle in God’s eye.”
She questioned me further “and where was Sam?”
I replied the same “he was a twinkle in God’s eye too.”
“Another twinkle sweetie.”
“No Mum, God only has two eyes, he was a sniff in God’s nose.”
Ha! Can’t fault the logic there!