Barbarians in the Kingdom part 4
Confidence– that’s the thing that sets the Barbarian woman apart. The Barbarian woman in the Kingdom of God who has not succumbed to the unnaturally civilizing notions of taming the Barbarian with religious expectations that only serve to leave her feeling like a failure, the woman who has held on tenaciously to the spark of confidence and strength that God has planted in her soul and accepted the love of her Father through Jesus Christ, is a woman of confidence.
She knows that her worth does not come from what others think of her. She knows that she is able, that she can do whatever she sets her mind to, that nothing can stand in her way—unless she allows it too.
In any situation, in any place, she has an inner peace and calm because she knows that she is a precious soul, that she is loved, first and foremost by her Father God. And that is a love that can never be taken away or lost, it is a love that will never end.
So how do you get a woman to that Barbarian notion of confidence, of liking herself? It took a lot of prayer and pondering as a man trying to figure out what I don’t think most women even understand about themselves, but I think I finally put my finger on it. Just like a guy needs to hear from his father that he is proud of him, that he is a man, a girl needs to know that she is beautiful, and I don’t mean just on the outside but also on the inside. We don’t want girls to base their image of themselves based on what others think of them, but we want them to know that they are beautiful.
For the young woman, the two are intricately intertwined, if she thinks she looks good, she will feel good. But you know what? Listen to this; if a woman thinks she looks good- she will look good—seriously, there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is confident. It puts a spark in her eyes, which truly are the window to the soul. If the soul is healthy and beautiful, it will emanate from the eyes and light up the whole face. The posture will be better, the smile will take up residence on the face and the love that engenders love will shine through.
I tease my daughter Jessie once in a while, “Everybody loves you!” It’s true- if you know Jessie, you like her almost right away—why? Because she is a raving beauty? She is beautiful but so are a lot of women that not very likable. They like her because she is always smiling, her big hazel eyes sparkle and she just puts out the sense that she is always joyful, people are drawn to that. That’s confidence.
So how do we get our young Barbarians there, to that beautiful confident place? I have always wondered when I tell a little girl—and we have several very pretty little girls in our church— ‘What a pretty dress you have on today, I love the braids in your hair’ if I am doing them a disservice. Am I not teaching them that their worth is tied to their looks? But I think I might have figured it out, actually I think the Lord opened my eyes; it’s okay for little girls to hear how pretty they are, as long as they are also hearing it from the ones in their lives who matter—their parents. The people they love and trust, who know them better than anyone else does, theirs is the opinion they need to hear.
Barbarian mothers, you need to continually reaffirm that your little girls are beautiful, the mother’s role differs a little from the father’s; you need to teach them and model for them that their beauty isn’t dependent on what they wear, how much makeup they put on, how much skin they show. Your girls need you to teach them how to be beautiful, inside and out. If the world teaches them you will not like the results, I can guarantee you that.
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
Father’s, here’s your part; you need to tell your girls, including your wife, that they are beautiful. Even if they act like they are embarrassed or they don’t believe you. They need to hear it from you and here’s why: if they do not hear it from you, dads, they will be constantly trying to hear it from someone else, and it will never be enough. I don’t fully understand this, but it’s true. A young woman who does not have her Father’s approval and love, expressed verbally—a woman needs words, she doesn’t speak grunt like men do—will be forever trying to measure up and will never be happy with what she sees in the mirror. She will never have confidence and will never feel fully loved.
All who know my oldest daughter Cally would probably agree that she is confident. She has been tackling the world head on since the day she graduated from High School, and before. I remember the day this whole concept of telling the girls they are beautiful really hit home with me. We were hunting near Silesia MT, driving along from one place to another, Donna was in the front of the pickup and Cally was in the back seat, she was probably 16 at this time. She was leaning forward to hear us and I turned around to look at her, all decked out in her finest blaze orange clothes, and for some reason it just struck me that she was really becoming a beautiful young lady. I looked again, and then again deciding to use this opportunity to bless her. She leaned back in the seat and said, “What!” “Every time I look at you, you get more beautiful!”
I can’t really explain what happened at that moment but I sensed in my spirit that it was big. She didn’t say a word but I could tell by the look on her face that something happened right then, I think this may have been one of those pivot points between self-doubt and self-confidence. I decided right then and there that I needed to make sure all of my daughters know how beautiful they are; I even wrote them a book telling them so; To My Girls.
So, find a woman, find a little girl, and tell her: “You are truly beautiful.” And make sure she really hears you. All of God’s daughters are beautiful—including you.