I love the beach y'all...especially St Simons Island. I have been here with my 3 youngest since Saturday while my husband and oldest are on a Mission trip in Ecuador. My kids are at an age that they like to swim and ride waves...the entire time we are at the beach. While I braved the cold a few times to ride waves with them, most of my time has been spent standing on the shore making sure they don't drown, and if the waves aren't too rough I will sit in my chair and watch them. I have enjoyed listening to their shrieks from the cold and shrills of delight after they caught a massive wave. It's also given me time to sit back and people watch from behind my aviators.
I have noticed one thing that has broken my heart. Over and over. It's spring break in the south and a slew of families have happened upon my beloved island and many of them have young teenage girls. These young girls have unashamedly walked the shores back and forth in their barely there bikinis and repeatedly stopped in the surf to take pictures. They take photo after photo to get the perfect angle, lighting, pout, and hair blowing in the wind. Then they get together picking the perfect photo...I'm sure they edit it or put a cool filter on it...then they are posting it to some form of social media...for all the world to see. Them...in their barely there bikinis.
I asked myself what makes these girls put themselves out there like this?? What are they needing? Attention? Admiration? Likes? I have taught middle and high school girls for the last 16 years...I know teenagers. This society is so different than when I was a teenager, but one thing remains the same. Worth. Where do they find their worth and what makes them feel important? Far too many times it's in attention that they get from something they wear, say, or a way they act. How many followers they have on IG or Snapchat. While I didn't or currently don't find my worth in those things, I can somewhat relate because I found my worth and identity in sports. What newspapers were writing about me, what colleges were recruiting me, how many points I scored a game, or did I PR in the triple jump. When you find your worth in any of those things it only leaves you feeling one way...empty.
Moms, can I urge you to pour into your girls lives? To teach them character, modesty, and through the scripture, teach them their identity isn't about their body, their brains, or their sports. To find their identity in the God that made them and loves them...not because they are anything special...just because He is good and He wants to Glorify Himself through their lives. To help them choose swimsuits that are modest...ones that are cute, but ones that don't show off every part of their body. There are so many companies out there that sell modest tankinis and one pieces. There are options! To not take suggestive pictures and put them out there for the world to see. Teach them that once they put them out there, they can't be taken back. Never before has sex trafficking been as prevalent...are you guarding your daughters accounts? Do they have secret ones? Are you checking their messages?
Dads, can you protect your girls? Can you be the dad that is invested in her life...that has long conversations about boys and her future. Can you tell her no when she wants to wear something that is too revealing? Can you teach your daughter how a man should treat her by the way you treat your wife. Can you pour into them spiritually and have daily Gospel conversations with them? Open conversation is the most important part of parenting...if they can't come to you, they will run to the world! Dads love your daughters and teach them that they are a gift...just because of who they are.
Young girls...would you protect your hearts and bodies. Guard them with everything you can. Don't belittle yourself and cheapen your character by posting inappropriate pictures or wearing inappropriate clothing. Dress with dignity and honor. Honor God with your whole being...and that includes your clothing. Let your parents into your lives. Talk to them...share your hearts with them. Get deep in the Word of God. Understand that the Gospel is what it's all about...that your very life and breath is to honor and glorify God. I beg you to view things through a Gospel lens and examine your motives and choices with that.
My heart...y'all my heart hurts for these girls. So confused...so misled...so desperate. My prayer
Is that Godly women...grandmothers, moms, aunts, teachers, friends, and sisters would be that voice of reason in these girls lives. That we would stand in the gap when no one else is investing in these girls. That women would invest in these girls futures instead of shaking their heads at them. So many have never been taught any other way...let us be the voice that God would have us to be!
Proverbs 22:1-6 "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the Maker of them all.
The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it."
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV