So today I received an email from The Children’s Place. I subscribe because I’ve always loved the store since I had my first daughter over seven years ago. I would stop by on my lunch break and buy cute little dresses and ruffle skirts. And let’s just be honest. Can you find cuter or softer pajamas than theirs?! But lately I’ve noticed a trend that doesn’t give me all the good feels. Today simply cemented my thoughts on where Children’s Place is headed.
I was drawn to the website this morning by a promise of 60% off and $2.99 mix and match, summer apparel, but as I scrolled through the photos of summer shirts I was highly disappointed. Every single tank was emblazoned with sayings that are our new generation, and it saddened me. Each shirt displayed things like #slay or Good Vibes. There were plenty of #goals and Girl Power. I looked for rainbows or cute animals, heck, even stripes, but mostly I was served The Future Belongs to Girls and #girltribe. As I scrolled I saw more Seriously Cannot, Flawless, and #squad than anything. It just made me shake my head.
Ok, so I’m sure you think I’m crazy. You think I’m being dramatic, overthinking it, or maybe even being judgmental, but just hear me out. Where is the world view and social media taking our young children, and why are we so easily being led right along?
The fads of the moment, an overinflated view of self, an unneeded importance placed on how we appear to others, and a false idea that we must promote how strong and powerful we are on our own. This is what is prevalent in this generation, and I fear it will be our downfall.
If you get on Instagram for a moment you will see young girls commenting to their friends things like #relationshipgoals not even realizing that what you see in the filtered, posed photos is not all it’s cracked up to be. We now exist in a world where everyone displays their edited best for others to see, and covetousness is the expected norm. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my daughters desiring what another lady has. I want them to seek what the Lord has for them. I want them to be open to the plans God has for their life, not be distracted or clouded by the false presentation of perfection shared by others.
Today we desire #flawless and #slay, not #humble or #pray. We teach our girls how powerful they are, and I totally get that. In a way I support it. I want my girls to know they’re capable of doing whatever they put their mind to. But then I also want them to understand that they are weak. There’s enormous strength in realizing your weakness, for in Christ they are weak, but He makes them strong. They are mighty, but because He lives inside them. They are flawless, but because Jesus takes away the stains of their sin. They are nothing apart from Christ, and I want them to see that before anything! Today we have taken a shift in thinking, and that’s good to an extent. It is good to recognize that women are amazing creations capable of all that God has for us, but we aren’t better than men. We are women and that’s a blessing in itself. We shouldn’t constantly feel the need to tote how powerful we are and capable of being in control of all the things. Instead we should celebrate who we were created to be, not who society tells us we should strive to be.
I want to teach my girls they are precious, but because God created them that way. They aren’t owed respect, they earn it. They aren’t entitled to anything, but they have inherited everything as children of God. They can rest in that and not feel the need to constantly promote themselves as more. They simply are. They don’t need to shout it from the rooftops.
I want them to know that good vibes or feelings won’t change anything. It’s the power of the Lord that sustains us. So while positive thinking is definitely a plus, they can’t rely on emotions to keep them afloat. Happiness will wax and wane, but the joy of the Lord is always. Their strength doesn’t lie within their own mind and willpower. It lies in God. Period. There, I said it.
Sadly we live in a society and world that tells us we rule and we hold the keys to the universe. So when we inevitably fall flat we can’t understand it. Suicide rates roar and school shootings are through the roof. Perhaps this is in part to the fact that we promote to our children that they deserve to be held on a pedestal. We make them believe they must strive for perfection. Every time we pose them a certain way and filter their image we’re setting that perception and deception in stone. Hey, I’m guilty too, gang. But maybe we need to watch what we’re teaching them, and stop accepting the world’s view by hearty spoonfuls. We need to gently and humbly, yet strongly and purposefully reveal to them a Biblical View.
Take a look at what they’re watching on television. Pause and listen to the music they’re absorbing. Peruse their social media accounts and take note. What is the world speaking to them about their character? What their shirt says may seem like a small thing, but that’s how the world’s view takes over; one small bite at a time. When our kids are told they matter more than anything they become selfish creatures. When they’re taught they must be flawless and strong, but finally discover their own faults and weaknesses, they can’t handle it. When they’re shown to seek what the world calls important or to seek what someone else has, they will never be happy with what they’re given.
So I guess it sounded like this post was all about The Children’s Place, but it’s about more than that. It’s about our children finding their place apart from the world, about them finding their identity in The Trinity, the only #squad that truly matters.
This article originally appeared at BrieGowen.com.