Our world system is always judging, comparing, and measuring. All this can erode our sense of worth. Sisters, we can’t fully escape the yardsticks of this world, nor can our children. And, sitting on the sidelines of life is not a God honoring option.
It’s important to know for ourselves and to teach our children where to anchor our identities, to know to Whom we belong, and to acknowledge the source of our gifts and talents. Otherwise, all of it, whether we are on the winning or losing side of the yardstick, has the potential to destroy us.
Growing up, I idolized Chris Evert. I thought she had it all:beauty, athletic prowess, grand slam tennis titles, money, and fame. Scott Sauls in his book, Jesus Outside the Lines, shared an excerpt of an interview done with Good Housekeeping about the inner struggle of her heart at the time of her retirement:
I had no idea who I was, or what I could be away from tennis. I was depressed and afraid because so much of my life had been defined by my being a tennis champion. I was completely lost. Winning made me feel like I was somebody. It made me feel pretty. It was like being hooked on a drug. I needed wins, the applause, in order to have an identity. (Chris Evert)
Even the winning side of the yardstick has its perils—pitfalls.
Sometimes, it’s not the world that wields the yardstick. We can use its deadly measurements on ourselves. Kelly Osbourne, daughter of legendary rock-and-roll star Ozzy Osbourne, is another heartbreaking example referenced in Saul’s book. After a lengthy hiatus from the public eye, Kelly re-emerged 42 pounds lighter with curves and confidence. Responding about her weight loss, Kelly replied, “I took more hell from being fat than I did for being a raging drug addict. …I’m really proud to look in the mirror and not hate every single thing I see. I no longer think, why don’t you look like this girl or that girl?”
This breaks my heart. I believe it breaks the heart of God too.
Sisters, in some way we can all see ourselves in these stories. Our issues may be distinctly different, but we are all aware of our own insecurities and broken places; when we apply the yardstick of perfection, worth, and comparison we are damaging our self worth.
We, as moms, desire to model healthy self esteem. One, that finds its value and worth rooted in Christ. Secure moms are more apt to raise secure kids. Sisters, we can only authentically impart what we truly know.
Recently, God brought an image to my sanctified imagination. I sensed it was an invitation for healing. I was a little girl and Jesus was standing next to me like a big brother; He kept handing me yardsticks to break in half. As I broke each one, we would robustly laugh,releasing both self-imposed and man-made measurements that no longer quantify the value of my life, my heart, my soul…
Sisters, I invite you to break your yardsticks for yourself and for the sake of your children.
Word of the Day:
….For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1Samuel 16:7)
Father, thank you for Your unconditional love; it’s what defines us. Help us to turn to You when we want to apply the world’s yardsticks. Break them for our freedom and for that of our children. Amen.
Author: Maryanne Abbate