I recently saw the fall issue of Seventeen Magazine. I used to love looking at that magazine when I was a teen, so I picked it up and looked at the cover. Wow. As I read the article titles printed there, I felt so sad.
“825 Ways to Look Pretty”
“Get Everything You Want This Year: Great Body, Tons of Money, Amazing Clothes, Mega Confidence”
OH. My. goodness. Could there be a better publication out there to get teenage girls to think only about themselves? Most of them don’t need a lot of help in that category anyway. Getting them to think about anyone else but themselves can be a challenge.
Are there really 825 ways to look pretty? I sat and tried really hard, and I could only come up with eleven. Twelve if you count shapewear, but who wants to count that? I’m convinced that shapewear is a tool of the devil anyway. I’m pretty sure Seventeen Magazine is, too. So Seventeen Magazine thinks everything a girl wants is a great body, tons of money, amazing clothes, and mega confidence. Okay, so that’s what most women want, too, but should we really be promoting that to young girls?
Scripture would have some different things to say to our young ladies.
I think the Lord would say to them that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit:
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body,” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Our girls should focus on having a healthy body. The focus in Seventeen Magazine is for a girl to have a body that will turn heads, boy’s heads. We really need to tell them to have more respect for themselves than that. They are precious, so precious. They were bought with a price, they have value beyond measure, just the way they are.
I think scripture has a different take on the whole “tons of money” thing, too.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
The Bible actually has tons to say about money, and none of it has anything to do with anyone desiring to have tons of it being a good thing… take a look at the “Rich Young Ruler” who desired his so much, he couldn’t bear to let go of it…(Mark 10:17-21)
And what about all those amazing clothes?
That one strikes a little closer to home for me, because this chick likes a cute outfit or ten. But really, should this be our main focus? Moderation is key. Always. And even better:
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
In the end it doesn’t really matter how cute the outfit is if the wearer doesn’t posses that gentle and quiet spirit.
And mega confidence?
Even the Son of God knew he could not do anything without his father. He said, “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30).
Then in turn, Jesus told us we can do nothing apart from him. He said to his disciples, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Joh 15:5).
But then says it is through HIM that we can do all things! Philippians 4:13
Having confidence in our God given abilities is definitely something we want for our girls. We must show them that where all those abilities come from is where their confidence should rest. Even the most confident girl will eventually find herself in the company of someone that will challenge her self confidence. If she relies only on herself she will come up short. If she finds her strength in the Lord, she will stand tall even in the company of kings.
I thought about all those girls who would read that magazine and take in all that garbage. We owe our girls more than that. Those are false truths the world tries to pawn off on their precious hearts. Moms, it’s a battle, and we have to be in the fight. We have to be bearers of the truth for the generation of women who will follow us. If not us, then it’ll be Seventeen Magazine.