Childrearing

Jesus Freak: Don’t Ask God To Make Your Kid Pretty

By  | 

To me, this mother’s love for her daughter warms my heart. I have nothing to say to judge her parenting because I am not in their relationship; it’s not my business. I can provide my two cents in how this attitude applies to my own life.

While I think it is important to share your beliefs and values with your children as you parent, I am still rubbed the wrong way when parents overspiritualize everything. This could just be my own experience, yet I also see it in my husband’s family and in many other Christian families we know.

This mother had a wonderful wish for her daughter: to have a healthy body image. She even went so far as to admit that she prayed selfishly for her daughter to be pretty. While I’m sure we can all agree that a prayer like that is silly and selfish, I still believe it is doing a disservice to a young girl to overspiritualize very real body image issues.

I remember this many, many times when I came to my own mom and dad for advice. I would pour my heart out and ask them to help me with something personal in my teen life, and they would inevitably say, “Just have faith. Give it to God. Pray about it.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? I have a strong relationship with God today, and I still don’t know.

I would have appreciated a heart-to-heart talk with my parents whenever I needed them the most. There are members of my family that still slap a “God label” on any conversation just to make it spiritual, even when it doesn’t apply. But as a parent, you can’t expect God to parent for you. There are times when you are going to have to teach your kids real-world concepts, whether about having successful relationships or a healthy body image.

This mother in the example is truly loving, no doubt about it. I can only speak for myself when I say that I wouldn’t approach my kids in the same way. Both she and I recognize that it’s silly to pray for God to make your kids’ lives easier. But that’s where the parent comes in. It’s your job to teach your kids step-by-step how to deal with struggles and come out better for it. You can teach your kids about God and religion, but you can’t pass the buck. God can’t raise your kids for you.

(Image: Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock)

Pages: 1 2