So how can you, a young woman, navigate through these tough years of crazy hormones, hot boys and changing hairdo's? Very carefully.
I know how difficult it can be to want to remain true to your beliefs and morals, but desperately want others to notice you. I struggled as a teen (and a young college woman) with wanting attention from boys so bad and not grasping the pitfalls of doing it the wrong way. I, too, struggled with wanting to look beautiful. I wanted long hair, a beautiful face, the perfect body, and just a little to fill my bra! But that wasn't the reality of my teenage years. I didn't measure up to what I saw in the magazines, on the movie screen, and in my school. That struggle would, unfortunately, lead me down a path of trying to fit in and trying to find love in all the wrong places.
Even years later, I can see a model on a magazine cover, or an actress on the big screen and think "I wish I looked like her - if only I had her face, or her body, her lipsÖ" The attack on our feminine souls can be strong and relentless. The war on our identity can seem like a never-ending nightmare. Where can you turn to find relief? Where can you go to find the answers to who you really are? How can you begin to realize that you are beautiful and perfect, a true princess?
Step One. Identify the lies. How is our culture defining beauty today? How did it define beauty 20 years ago? Our culture is constantly changing the standard of beauty. One year it is a skinny-as-a-rail body and the next year we celebrate those with big bottoms and curvy figures. It's a yo-yo of ever-changing requirements to looking beautiful. No one could possibly keep up. And who would want to? It would be exhausting, not to mention expensive, to lose weight, then gain weight, to get a breast augmentation to increase and then decrease, and to invest in thousands of creams and potions to do this or that to your face. It just doesn't stop.
We have been fed a lie that to be beautiful you have to measure up to what the world says is beautiful. And that is impossible when the world's standard keeps changing. Learn to identify what the lies are. Is real beauty only what is on the outside? Is real beauty only what someone says it is? Does real beauty have anything to do with your shape or size or color or facial features? No. Not according to what I know about the One who created me. This leads us to Step Two.
Step Two. Know who you are and whose you are. You have value and worth because of who created you. And I love the saying "God doesn't make junk." When He created Eve, the very first woman, she was created in the image of God. And she was God's masterpiece. I believe that she was God's "piece de resistance" - the final touch, the beautiful finish, to His already beautiful world. Woman was so perfect that He didn't need to create anything after her. Psalm 119 says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. God delights in you and dearly loves you. Where do you learn this truth about who you are? God's Word, the Bible. You need to dig into the Scriptures and read everything that it says about you and how much He loves you. You need to memorize those passages that speak directly to your heart about what really matters:
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (NIV)
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)
Psalm 45:11 - The King is enthralled with your beauty, honor Him, for He is your Lord. (NIV. Emphasis mine)
If you don't know the truth than you will believe the lies.
Step Three. Learn to walk out your true identity every day. If you have ever seen the movie, The Princess Diaries, you will remember that in the beginning of the story, Mia had no clue who she really was. It wasn't until her grandmother came to tell her the truth that her true identity was revealed - a royal princess! Wow, was Mia shocked! That story is true for you and me. YOU are a royal princess. Your Father is the King of Kings. You are His daughter, His beloved. But if no one ever tells you that truth, and you never learn that truth, than you will be like Mia, living in the dark and not realizing your REAL potential.
In order for Mia to learn how to be the princess she was, she had to learn the rules. So here is my take on the princess rules for you, a young woman of God.
Rule #1 - Protect your heart. Your heart is fragile, not to mention a tad emotional during these teen years. It is in your best interest to protect your heart from unnecessary heartbreak. Don't give your heart away to just anyone. Wait until the one who you were created for (your spouse) comes before you share all your emotions, thoughts and feelings with just anyone.
Rule #2- Protect your mind. Garbage in, garbage out. What you read, watch and listen to does matter. Take every measure to make sure that what your eyes see and ears hear is pleasing to God.
Rule #3- Dress like royalty. You are God's royalty and God's royalty dresses like she wants to be treated - with respect and dignity. Boys love eye candy, but they don't respect eye candy. True princesses know how to dress fashionably but modestly.
Rule #4- Be a warrior princess. Not all princesses wear pink and tiara's. That might not be you. There is an amazing power that God has given women and we need to use that to advance His kingdom. There is a battle going on for truth and it is not for the faint or weary. Learn how to fight this spiritual battle by putting on your armor (Ephesians 6)
My prayer for you, sweet princess, is that you will begin to take these steps to becoming all that you were created to be. You are strong and beautiful and God has amazing plans for you!
Katy Flood is an international speaker who encourages others to walk in the truth of who they are. She speaks to teens and adults on the topics of true beauty, identity, sexual integrity and relationships. More information about Katy's speaking ministry can be found at www.katyflood.net. Her blog, Beautifully Redeemed, is where she shares her passion for these truths - www.beautifullyredeemed.com. Katy is a wife, a mother of three beautiful boys and lives in central Pennsylvania.