“Do you like me when I wear this dress?” “Do you like me when I have this bow in my hair?” “Do you like me when I twirl my skirt?” “Do you like me when I wear these new shoes?”
These are just a few of the things that Ella has asked us at different times, and I imagine are the types of things that many little girls ask.
We’ve made a habit for our response to Ella to be something along these lines: “Yes, we like you and we like your dress. But we like you and love you whether or not you wear that dress.”
My husband and I don’t want Ella’s self worth to only be in her outer appearance. We want her focus and self worth to come from her inner person. We also want Ella to know she shouldn’t have to be flashy or do crazy things to get our attention.
Raising a child, I think particularly a girl, in today’s world to not be consumed with the outer is a difficult and constant task. Most influences around her in the world teach her that she must focus her efforts on the outer person. Ella hasn’t even come close to being exposed to most of these influences at this point, and yet my task as a parent has already begun. Hopefully, by encouraging and teaching her course now to be focused on the inner person when she is exposed to more things in the world she will be better prepared to keep her focus on the inner person.
We want Ella to become the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, summed up in Proverbs 31:30: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”