September 10, 2009
"The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7 (NLT)
The words on FaceBook glared back at her. "You are so ugly! You are fat, annoying and I hate you!"
Lindsay just sat there, staring at the screen, baffled. "What did I say? What did I do?"
Maybe this has happened to one of your children, or in some way they've faced this type of rejection. Maybe you have felt it yourself. I recently spotted a t-shirt at the mall that read "You're no one until someone talks about you." What a sad state of affairs.
Growing up in a world where "Mean Girls" and "Gossip Girl" are movie and TV titles, it comes as no surprise that "mean" defines many females today. How can we guard our hearts against this? As a mom, what can we do when our children's hearts are crushed by meanness?
Feeling unaccepted is definitely nothing new. In Song of Solomon 1:5a, we are introduced to a young girl who felt this way: "Don't look down on me because I am dark…" (MSG). She felt rejected. Those feelings are so opposite of what our children want to feel. They want to be accepted! Matthew Henry concludes about this passage in Song of Solomon that we, as represented by the young girl, are "often base and contemptible in the esteem of others, but excellent in the sight of God."
We counteract the poison of meanness by remembering who we are in God's eyes. I am in. I am excellent in the sight of God. So are you. Song of Solomon 1:5b reveals the tanned girl's acceptance of this truth; she knows full well that her Lord finds her lovely. When I know that I am accepted by the Lord, it puts me exactly where I need to be to slough off insults and to help my child do the same.
As a sixth grader my daughter was 5'10". One day as she got off the school bus, I noticed she was holding back a flood of tears. Once again she had been made fun of for her height.
On that day, her youth pastor wasn't there. Her teacher, counselor and small group leaders weren't there either. But her mom was. I began telling her how her Father saw her. Sharing truths like these:
· "My beloved is mine, and I am His…" (Song of Solomon 2:16a, NKJV).
· You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless" (Song of Solomon 4:7b, MSG).
· "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord" (Psalm 45:11, (NIV).
These are the types of verses I poured back into my daughter that day and continue to remind her of still. I put them everywhere so that together we can read them over and over again. When we feel rejected, these words remind us that we are, in fact, accepted! Let them remind you today.
Dear Lord, help me to be purposeful in putting Your truth about who I am into my heart and mind so that am not swayed by the opinions of others. And when the time is right, I can pour Your truth into the hearts and minds of my children and friends. When my child feels rejected, help me remind them that in You they are accepted. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd
Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman by Leslie Ludy
Visit Lynn's blog
Create a list of verses such as the ones above and below to have on hand to review or to share with your child when they are hurting.
Choose one verse per week and memorize it with your child. You can speak it to them as they are eating their breakfast in the morning, when they come home from school, and before they go to bed.
If you have your own set of "mean girl" stories, share them with your children so they can know you understand and have been there too. When we're vulnerable with our children, we create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable to open up.
How can I help my child set boundaries so the rejection doesn't continue?
Am I teaching my child to forgive when they are hurt by others?
Do you feel that you have a strong understanding of how Jesus sees you? How can you pursue learning more about His heart toward you?
Do you have young girls or young moms who need to have another woman come along beside them and help them to see this truth?
Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)
Zechariah 2:8, "For this is what the Lord Almighty says, '…for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye…'" (NIV)
© 2009 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 10 September 2009.