girltalk Blog

Aug 19

Talking to Our Children About Beauty Pt. 2

2013 at 7:32 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Beauty | Speech

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



Related Posts:

Talking to Our Children About Beauty, Pt. 1

Showing Beauty to Our Children

Teaching Our Kids About Beauty

Aug 12

Talking to Our Children About Beauty

2013 at 7:12 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Beauty | Speech

If we want to teach our children about biblical beauty in a world of beauty gone bad, we must show them a godly example of beauty, and we must talk to them about beauty.

God uses words to tell us about beauty and we must use words to tell our children about beauty (Deut. 6:6-9, Prov. 31, Eph. 6:1-4).

We need to tell our children of the beauty of God. Let’s talk to them in simple terms about the beauty of God’s character. Even a small child can begin to learn about the beauty of God’s sovereignty over the planets and the seasons and the seas, the beauty of his wisdom in directing our lives, and the beauty of his goodness in the daily blessings we receive.

Even more important than telling our daughters how beautiful we think they are is telling them how beautiful God is.

Sure, it can be helpful to counteract the degrading messages about women in our culture with biblical teaching about the dignity and beauty of every human being as made in the image of God, but most of all, we want to direct our daughter’s attention outward toward God’s beauty.

In fact, an overemphasis on our daughters’ outward appearance—no matter how affirming—can reinforce their sinful tendencies to vanity and self-focus.

More than confidence or security in their own beauty, we want our daughters to be enthralled with God’s beauty. When our daughters are captivated by the gospel, they will find freedom and confidence that will rise above all insecurities.

Secondly, we should talk to our children about the beauty that is pleasing to Godthe hidden beauty of the heart (1 Pet. 3:3-6). Let’s tell them about the importance of putting their hope in God, like the holy women of the past.

And point out examples of true beauty. Go on true beauty hunts! Teach them to be keen spotters of true beauty in Scripture, in literature, and in the godly women they know.

As we talk often of true beauty, we will be shaping our daughters’ aspirations and our sons’ opinions of beauty.

Up Next: Talking to Our Children About Beauty, Pt. 2

Related Posts:
Teaching Our Kids About Beauty

Showing Beauty to Our Children

Apr 7

Appropriate Words

2008 at 6:58 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

More on words. Nicole took this one…

We’ve been studying words this week from a message my dad gave on Ephesians 4:29 entitled “Encourage.” We’ve learned that we are to put away all corrupting talk and instead speak edifying words. But not only should our words be edifying, they should also be “appropriate” or as it says in verse 29: “as fits the occasion.”

Stockxpertcom_id801400_size0 As women, we generally give due attention to our dress. When invited to a party, dinner, or event, we take great pains to ensure we are wearing proper attire. We would never attend a formal event in sweats, or waltz into a pool party in high heels.

However, I am not always nearly so careful with my words. I don’t stop to consider whether or not they “fit the occasion.” And yet, unlike my dress, words are of the greatest significance. For “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21)

That’s why Ephesians 4:29 is a much needed reminder to stop and listen before I speak. Proverbs 18:13 says: “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” And all to often I play the fool. Instead, I must consider the person to whom I am speaking. And I must choose the precise words that would serve them in that particular conversation.

First Thessalonians 5:14 is the “dress code” for our words. It tells us what words are appropriate for what occasion. “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

So let’s ask ourselves: does our child need to be admonished or forgiven? Does our friend need to be warned or comforted? Does our husband need to be counseled or encouraged?

We take great pains to dress appropriately for our own reputation, and yet when we speak appropriately, we bring honor and glory to God and bless those who hear.

“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23).

Apr 4

Edifying Words

2008 at 3:52 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

Back to Mom today:

Yesterday Nicole talked about the words that shouldn’t come out of our mouths (corrupting talk). Today we want to consider the words that we should be speaking.

In our Ephesians 4:29 verse we are commanded to communicate edifying words: “only such as is good for building up.” Edifying words are words that identify how God is at work in someone’s life. Philippians 2:13 tell us that “it is God who works in [the Christian] both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

C.J. said in his message entitled “Encourage” that, “We have the privilege of discerning where God is at work and drawing attention to how He is at work in their lives. And God is at work, all the time.” These ways that God is at work my husband likes to call “evidences of grace.”

One way to identify evidences of grace: Begin by reading the lists of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and the gifts of the Spirit (Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Cor. 12:1-11). Then look for one of these specific signs of God’s activity in the life of someone you know (start with those you live with!) and tell them about it. No doubt, by the end of this day, you’ll be more aware of God’s constant activity in the lives of His people. And you will have obeyed this Scriptural command to build others up.

Apr 3

Corrupting Talk

2008 at 6:12 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

Nicole continued our little series on words with a post entitled “Corrupting Talk”.

Before I left for vacation, I cleaned out my refrigerator. Generally, I try to toss leftovers before they turn rainbow colors and sprout biological plant life. But it’s not unusual for me to find four half-used containers of sour cream coated in blue-green fuzzies.

Stockxpertcom_id5236651_size0_4 This fridge-cleaning illustration does in fact relate to our ongoing series on speech (see yesterday’s post). For any experience with rotten food will help us to better understand Ephesians 4:29. In this verse we are commanded to, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…” In this instance, “corrupt” is a word used to describe spoiled or rotten food. It not only stinks, but it also spreads. Not a pleasant thought.

What sorts of words are corrupt and rotten? Obviously lying, profanity, and vulgarity make the list. But Ephesians 4:31 widens the description a bit. Here we read: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

Dad said in his sermon that corrupt talk includes all words or communication that deters growth in godliness and hinders the cultivation of godly relationships. It defiles others. It has a decaying, rotting effect on a person’s soul. This end result is certainly worth further reflection.

So the question is, how many of our 25,000 words per day are like rotten, moldy sour cream—repulsive to God, and injurious to others?

The Bible says we should eradicate these corrupt words from our speech. Instead, our words sould be edifying: “only such as is good for building up” (Eph. 4:29). And we’ll examine these edifying words more closely tomorrow.

But if you are all too aware of the corrupt nature of your speech, let me remind you of the good news of the gospel again. Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect life on our behalf. He never once spoke a corrupt, bitter, malicious, or angry word. Not once. And if we have repented from our corrupt speech and put our trust in His perfect righteousness, His blood covers every filthy, rotten word we’ve ever spoken.

So let’s revel in the Savior’s perfect righteousness today, and purpose to put away all corrupt words and so bring glory to Him.

Oct 28

Listening

2005 at 3:30 pm   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

My son Andrew asks a lot of questions, usually followed by a series of “why’s?” So this meditation by John Piper on Proverbs 18:13 is particularly relevant to me, and to most moms, I imagine. This verse says, “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” and I want to encourage you to read Dr. Piper’s article entitled “Ten Reasons to Listen to Questions Before You Answer.”

Aug 1

Quote

2005 at 9:32 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

We’re traveling home from vacation today, so we thought we’d leave you with one more quote to wrap up our series on speech. This one is our favorite!

“Our use of the tongue is a sure evidence of the condition of our heart. It is the hinge on which the door into our souls swings open in order to reveal our spirit. In effect our words are like so many media people rushing to file their reports on the condition of our soul.” Sinclair Ferguson

We hope you have a grace filled day! See you tomorrow!

Jul 29

Purposeful Words

2005 at 12:29 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

Today is the final post in our little series on speech. We’ve learned of the dangers of corrupting talk and discovered that Ephesians 4:29 instead directs us to use edifying words and appropriate words. Finally, this verse also tells us that our words should be purposeful, “so that [they] may give grace to those who hear.”

What amazing power and potential there is in our speech! When we are purposeful and intentional to use edifying and appropriate words, this is the result: God promises that our words will impart grace to those who hear. Every conversation we have with another person carries this marvelous potential of passing on the grace of God. And we are a people in need of God’s grace, are we not?

So if a friend is condemned or legalistic, I want to give her justifying grace through my words. And if my husband is struggling with a particular sin, I want to give him sanctifying grace through my words. For a fellow church member who is suffering I want to give them comforting race through my words. If a child is disobedient, I want to give him or her convicting grace through my words. And if a friend is weary, I want to give her sustaining grace through my words.

There is no doubt that we will be talking today. No doubt. So in light of this verse, let’s purpose that each of our 25,000 words be edifying and appropriate, that we “may give grace to those who hear.”

Jul 28

Appropriate Words

2005 at 12:42 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

We’ve been studying words this week from a message my dad gave on Ephesians 4:29 entitled “Encourage.” We’ve learned that we are to put away all corrupting talk and instead speak edifying words. But not only should our words be edifying, they should also be “appropriate” or as it says in verse 29: “as fits the occasion.”

As women, we generally give due attention to our dress. When invited to a party, dinner, or event, we take great pains to ensure we are wearing proper attire. We would never attend a formal event in sweats, or waltz into a pool party in high heels.

However, I am not always nearly so careful with my words. I don’t stop to consider whether or not they “fit the occasion.” And yet, unlike my dress, words are of the greatest significance. For “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21)

That’s why Ephesians 4:29 is a much needed reminder to stop and listen before I speak. Proverbs 18:13 says: “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” And all to often I play the fool. Instead, I must consider the person to whom I am speaking. And I must choose the precise words that would serve them in that particular conversation.

First Thessalonians 5:14 is the “dress code” for our words. It tells us what words are appropriate for what occasion. “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”

So let’s ask ourselves: does our child need to be admonished or forgiven? Does our friend need to be warned or comforted? Does our husband need to be counseled or encouraged?

We take great pains to dress appropriately for our own reputation, and yet when we speak appropriately, we bring honor and glory to God and bless those who hear.

“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23).

Jul 27

Edifying Words

2005 at 12:39 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Speech

Yesterday Nicole talked about the words that shouldn’t come out of our mouths (corrupting talk). Today we want to consider the words that we should be speaking.

In our Ephesians 4:29 verse we are commanded to communicate edifying words: “only such as is good for building up.” Edifying words are words that identify how God is at work in someone’s life. Philippians 2:13 tell us that “it is God who works in [the Christian] both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

C.J. said in his message entitled “Encourage” that, “We have the privilege of discerning where God is at work and drawing attention to how He is at work in their lives. And God is at work, all the time.” These ways that God is at work my husband likes to call “evidences of grace.”

One way to identify evidences of grace: Begin by reading the lists of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and the gifts of the Spirit (Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Cor. 12:1-11). Then look for one of these specific signs of God’s activity in the life of someone you know (start with those you live with!) and tell them about it. No doubt, by the end of this day, you’ll be more aware of God’s constant activity in the lives of His people. And you will have obeyed this Scriptural command to build others up.