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Prettier Than You

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2020 9:00 pm

Prettier Than You

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 18, 2020 9:00 pm

Author Shannon Popkin remembers the first time she compared herself to others. She had gone to camp a happy girl set on having fun in the great outdoors to a self-conscious girl suddenly aware of the other stylish campers around her. Popkin shares how that inner voice continued to be her worst critic over the years. What if we had the freedom to be who God created us to be, to be comfortable in our own skin? Find out what husbands can do to affirm their wives' beauty.

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Shannon Popkin has experienced what every mom has experienced when she tries to compare her kids with other people's kids my best friends and kids are perfect pieces like hurt her girls.

They bump into each other in the following table is 350 and many did little Cranston my employees are like setting each other down the stairs like you trying to sell often friendly little girls and play my chow and I was just undying with comparing my kids to my friends kids. This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Dan Wilson and Bob Lapine can find us comparison is like having a pet snake it can turn and poison you at any minute.

You be careful talk more about them today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to the links for joining us.

I will never forget an article.

This was 25 years ago that somebody gave me this article and it talked about supermodels and they had asked the supermodels on a scale of 1 to 10 what grade would you give yourself and all the supermodels were given themselves sixes and sevens, and they were immediately pointing out what was wrong with their body and why they were sixes and sevens something in timeout people are paying you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions because of your iconic beauty. You look in the mirror and you see your flaws at the what is up with that is for guys I don't know about you that I look in the mirror. I look I better every day. I tested it out at a conference. I spoke at once, where there were probably a thousand women and I said how many of you looked in the mirror this morning and said look amazing be several and out of thousand maybe five. While it stood up and the rest of us. I think we get in the near Minnick right we see the flaws that were talking about the whole subject of comparison which is the subject of a book that our friend Shannon Popkin is written. She's with us again today. Welcome back to family life today. Shannon has written a book called comparison girl. I'm again just thinking when it comes to beauty, appearance, I've seen guys guys are not as focused on appearance. Most of us aren't as women are done. I think it's changing.

I think our younger men are experiencing more pressure in this area. I know that you know when I coach I school football middle school basketball 25 years ago you could go shirts and skins.

Your first scrimmage in the gym with boys and now am not allowed.

Is there so self-conscious about their about body image yeah like back then you really never thought of it.

Take shirts off you guys is going on now you're like they will just look at you like no way there's no M take my shirt off. I know I'm a little overweight. I'm 12 years old and very self-conscious of good compared everybody there. It's a new day. Pretty interesting. I remember when my daughter was left seek identity than my lipstick sees like 92 years old and she said I can go get out pretty. And then she went and she looked in the mirror and she said no pretty sleepy and Emmy just so I do remember when you first started comparing how you look with how other people look really I remember yeah in the sixth grade camp and our teacher had told us it was getting be the last week of our lives and I got there and it was not the best week my life. We were combined with the other elementary schools, and I was put in a cabin. My best friend was in the other cabin and I was put in this cabin and I was watching this little group of girls on the other side of the cabin had cute hair and they were wearing cute clothes and they were talking about the cute ways and is pretty sure that cute boys were talking to them and there is this one girl in particular. Her name was Kim and she just really sweet personality and everybody kind of watched what she did and I'm a nurse.

She said I'm in a take a shower at night because apparently was way better to take a shower at night and all the other girls in orientation at night and I wasn't planning to take a shower at all. This was camp like I wasn't into the queue, cousin Stefan and I remember thinking like what I had brought a towel or shampoo like where they can think of me by day three the girl who doesn't take a shower at all and I remember watching this cluster of girls come back and kin. Her hair is all damp and she rules her hair up in these pink sponge rollers and I had never seen anything like this in and say why changing this in the next morning she pulls these rulers out and it was a sight to behold. I was mesmerized because she had big bouncy curls that kinda moved on her shoulders as she walked home again is from camp had gone to camp happy-go-lucky, you know, carefree, and I went home from camp feeling like I am never going to measure at this deep sense of inadequacy, like suddenly it like I was comparing myself to these other girls and I did think I'd I think I've discovered a secret. I think it's pink sponge will get an eye. I try to know I did it just like him and I went to the mirror and the next morning and it was not a thing like I had been educated because I had to really start work out for me back just to me that being a turning point where I went from happy-go-lucky to stick to your stomach. Inadequate and I think you know our enemy really capitalizes on that time in a girl's life when her eyes are suddenly opens to the differences that she sees you nurses can bring to it before it disintegrated plans to visit these differences, and suddenly she realizes like my goodness, there are measurements and everyone's taking them and how do I measure so it's it's there forever. 14-year-old is there for every 40-year-old to think we we outgrow it by now. I know and you told me I let you speak but you said when women walk in a room. They immediately compared to all the other women in the room etc. I think that is true.

I think that we do that from an early age. I think every single woman maybe guys had this to you but I know every single woman has a moment in time where she suddenly felt inadequate. Physically, I remember meeting my Bible study. Just this year I was a new leader and I and I didn't know any of these women are in the skip and I remember entering that circle and looking around at them and thinking word. They are all perfect, and not just the way that they looked at the way that they carried themselves and I thought like what my doing in this group and now we've all gotten to know each other and I don't see them that way there just as sweet women of God. But there is something about appearances and in that sideways, glancing over constantly measuring ourselves against our external packaging as I like to put it that I think men do it in a different way to look at above the sink of the concurs his sometimes it can be physical, for God, but we comparing and women due to but in all areas could be an intellect so you sit in a room and then he started talking like well is your score. I thought I was smart but nowhere near or especially athletic you know I I came home the other day here in Little Rock after blame poker best ball in the morning and the drill early morning as I walk in in in the race that I will get a jump on the bed because he had still sleep and I just theorized that I do is give a grade and she was so you played really well today as I guess you would love you as you know, I know you feel out really well to you guys.

I played well that is so is like wow it's still there, and I'm in my 60s right go life.

Now that's a bad thing, but that drives your happiness in life, you're in trouble but bully Baucom said in the art of marriage. He said men tend to measure based on the ballfield.

The billfold in the bedroom right women have different things that they measure on beauty is one of those things that for a woman, a woman's beauty as a part of what she's measuring herself against others with theirs old comparison thing. There was a woman do if she if her body shape is different or if her hair doesn't measure up.

I mean how do you do if you look in the mirror and you go. I'm just not as attractive as other women are is that debilitating for a woman.

Well, I remember being nine years old and I was leaving Florida on vacation and I was just laying on my towel on the beach but I was watching women go down the beach in these tiny little bikinis but I was also watching the effect it had on the men around him and would watch Dan and I remember thinking I can't wait to become Barbie, the Barbie doll and I kept thinking someday I'm going to look like Barbie and so I was waiting and waiting with eating and it was this cruel thing in my mind that I remained Barbie's kid sister skipper because I'm only 5139 lid on the gymnast since I was like oh now, does that mean I'm in. So what happened is this a deep-seated insecurity started to build up and I saw women is a competition instead of my friend that if my my sisters alongside of me and because I saw them as competition. I stopped complementing. I stopped seeing the good in them.

I only saw my own in adequacy and trying to build myself up to feel better about myself and I think that's when it can get dangerous where Satan really has his heyday of building walls between us as women absolutely yeah comparison. Either we feel inferior or superior. Either way, we pull away from each other and when were measuring ourselves against each other and I think when we start comparing often we work oblivious to this cosmic battle that's going on with this enemy who is infiltrating and I think especially as women with her appearances think it's really important to recognize that if we have some voice that were hearing that saying he would correct her look at her.

She's a mess you've really got it together compared her voice is never Jesus that is always thing in and by the same token if her looking over at a woman thinking.

Look at her.

She really looks good in her late 40s early 50s and compared to her. I'm just a mess again that police is never Jesus that is always our enemy trying to shame us are trying to get us to inflate ourselves and what if we could just have the freedom to one that God created us to be comfortable in our own skin and live with them free perspective and not just so painfully self focused and measuring myself. It's only when we have that many free perspective that we can celebrate our sisters, we can say you look beautiful today. I am so I so love the way God put you together your packaging but also your personality and your gifts and your talents.

That's were designed today Hoshi and I have to tell you that I was in seminary. Dave and I were going to seminary and I was teaching at a fitness club in California, so these clubs are packed out and I was an instructor and there was a lot of instructors, but this one she was perfect. She was beautiful.

She was freeing herself.

She was nice and so I never talk to her and all the women talked about her like a look at her she think she's so amazing and it was this gossip session I did and entered it that, but I never established a relationship with her and I'll never forget the day she's in the year she's doing her hair and makeup look at her she's perfect and I felt like God was saying go celebrate her and so I went up to her and this is the first time I'd really just celebrated another woman not seeing her as my competition, but seeing his or her as my sister and I sent you to know you are one of the most intimidating women to me because you're so stunningly beautiful and it's even worse that you're so nice and she looked at me. She does think so. It was amazing to me because she and I became really good friends and I thought, isn't that fascinating because I kind of voiced my insecurity but I complemented how God had made her. It's like all the walls came down all and wouldn't it be great if we could see that and speak life to one another is he said how do we husbands help our wives when they're struggling with this comparison because I mean I've never in one second in my life thought she skipper right you know God is. I mean she's most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on my mind. She's Barbie time stood so awesome that love is blind.

So honestly she would share these insecurity specially earlier marriage.

First, I laughed literally out well IKEA like you think you don't look and then it took years, Mike. She really thinks I know a lot of women think this bit. I was so nave. I thought Jesus trying to fish for a complement them like like in this when she looks at me or she does not see what I see I see beauty I see incredible woman of God.

She sees all the false so I think husbands like me, like when we do. I've said there I think you're beautiful generally don't know why I really don't go so talk to the middle bit what what we do because were the guys trying to help you see what we see. But sometimes it feels like they don't know what to do.

Social media has made it even harder and has had with my own husband. I just know that he encourages me by saying I think you're beautiful your great and I wouldn't change a thing and then just assuring me that he loves me and that he's happy she's happy with the way that I like, even if I'm not happy he's happy and that I think giving that complement.

Many wives never hear a complement from their husbands and maybe husband is thinking wonderful things that housewife But I can tell you the different time that my husband will turn to me and say you look really good and really like the outfitter did you get your hair cut to sink in deep every wife wants to look beautiful for her husband and those are very I think that's a picture of Christ and the church. When husband encourages and affirms his wife.

So here's the question should woman care about her appearance, or should she not care about her appearance. I think the answer maybe is see said to the degree that she has the autonomy over her appearance, but you know for a woman his 5 foot when to be constantly looking at 6 feet and having this angst and frustration that that she's not like this other woman over there. She's really living in bondage rather than just surrendering to her creator who fashioned her and made her exactly the way he wanted her to be my friend and I were talking about this whole idea of our appearance is it important is it not important. I think that your you said is right tenant that it's both. I think it's more important to take a long gaze at Jesus and just a glance at ourselves because we want to be consumed with our outward appearance because believe me in time and age it only goes downhill. So let's not get our self-worth and identity from the outward package.

Let's gaze at Jesus and remember what he says about us and how he loves us and the gifts he's put in us. You know you didn't write about this in your book, but as I was thinking about the usual comparison thinking about moms I know the behavior of your kids the respectability of your kids may be one of the biggest comparison traps that are going on what activities is your kid and what grade point intricate and what house you could doing good you could get expelled. Did your kids have to stay after school. Didn't you find as you are raising your kids that you were constantly comparing are your kids behaving as well as the other kids are behaving. I remember a girlfriend visiting my house for a weekend.

She lived away and we come up times a year with her kids and she left one weekend and my husband was like so grumpy you know you're usually like tearful after Angela's been here so your best friend. Likewise, the company and like kids are perfect for the whole weekend like her girls they bump into each other in the howling to see me did little crafts and my boys are like shoving each other down the stairs like trying to show off in front of these little girls and play my chow and I was just undone with comparing my kids to my friends kids and you know what the temptation with a friend like that is to pull away to isolate and to just say you be her friend anymore you feel inadequate gift I would miss out on one of my best friends and learn about parenting when I'm near her.

I learned about Jesus.

I learn about him being a godly woman by embracing that that friendship and see someone who wants to drive these wedges and get us to pull away and pull back either. And in inferiority or superiority. Jesus wants us to draw and find fellowship and unity with did you feel a pressure is a mom absolutely that you were watching everybody else's kids and your kids and going out of my measure of yeah and we didn't have social media when our kids were little, if I were in this era. It would be much harder because there's a constant comparison on my phone and I remember we started our church with two other couples and I'll never forget going over there house one had three girls.

We had three boys anywhere sitting on the floor and they're just dialoguing with their little their little dolls and Barbies and my boys were wrestling in Haiti and I just thought wrong. I automatically thought it's my problem.

I doing wrong Zach like yes and then that's where I think we look at our kids even as adults. And that's a reflection on us when I was in my 20s I was never thinking how I'm behaving as a reflection on my parents. It's the choices I was making.

And yet it's hard to what goes moms and dads about think those kids are our walking, talking advertisement for how I do this you think it's all about you are walking over to our high school when I kids were playing football at the high school I was a coach right. This is summer training so it's mostly running for hundreds 800 and a letter and so I got there late. I had a meeting that come walking up and the guys a just finished a 400 and they're getting ready to take a break and then run another, as I walk up and there's this one kid on the track he so out of shape. He's laying down like could run the next things Leonard Rice literally stepping around him and I was from a distance of a loser. Can you believe this kid me. How can I be I get a closer is my son, my son. I like I never thought about him. I was only thing about me now give me the coaches. My son should be one of the best these though.

It was so bad I immediately went to comparison that we do that right. You said as as parents.

I think one of our jobs is to help our kids understand who God created them to be and that's the work that we have to do in our own hearts to. We talked about how it was very diverse. The guide is a God who loves diversity and variety. He created everything to be so diverse in our children to and so helping them to understand how this got me to different rather than comparing yourself with the mindset of measuring yourself against each other. How is God made you different with a heart to serve other people the good work she prepared for you to walk for somebody else to walk in and don't look at somebody else and go will they got those good works along the snow. Do what God created you to do be the person God made you yet last week and I had ice cream with my son Kade and he's 16 and from the time he was a little boy I've been time and you are a leader. God created you to be a leader you walk into a room or you walk onto the playground are the field and others. They listen to you, you're just a natural leader and you can lead the wrong direction to the right direction, but we've encouraged him to use his gifts for leadership to draw others out.

He has confidence like nobody's business. And sometimes that serves them well others.

I'm not that he was telling me last week that there's a girl in one of his classes. He was just very withdrawn and quiet.

She doesn't talk to anybody and he said he made it a personal challenge to can I draw her out. And so, from the beginning of the year he starts admiring his can you know what's your name, asking her questions and he said, she is now like hurt her face lights up when he wants and how you doing and he sees this as a success story. He's learned how to draw her out unlike any that is you using your gifts to serve other people not trying to you know lift yourself out then and be popular and I mean I'm sure he struggles with that to you that God has created in him this special, unique gift, and God has given it to him in order to serve other people. Can you imagine, picture this a community where people individually would get up and out and we all do this, most of us do this. We look in the mirror, usually to see how we look at present to go and also people spent a lot of time there. I don't have any here so if any quick you know what I said this the other day in a sermon at my church.

I said how many of you looked in the mirror this morning and literally said to yourself, masterpiece, and thereby start laughing. Which meant the whole congregation.

This is this is universal. I didn't say that I don't know if I've ever said that. But if we understood our identity in Christ you are God's masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared for for him. Ephesians 210. We would have this sentence.

Comparisons gone down looking in the mirror is not arrogance but it is a confidence that I am a child of God and I can look at a mirror, even though the world would say I should do this and that I could look in the mirror and have the sense of identity and purpose and purpose in like a walk in a room and not be controlled by the room because a comparison, but I'd walk in the room to be in control the room and influence room for the kingdom of you giving compliments of important people I be the light, that all comes out of identity of no more comparison. I am going to live as a masterpiece or talk about whose approval, are we living for whose agenda are we living for.

I remember Elizabeth Elliott saying that when she was dating her first husband, Jim, back when they were students at Wheaton.

She said he said to her I'm I'm pursuing an AUG degree, and she said what's the AUG degree and he said that's approved under God because that's the approval he cared for the reason that we have comparison issues is because we want the approval of people, which is fleeting and fickle and you may get it today and they made trash it tomorrow, but if you're pursuing God's approval in his agenda. One day you really hear him say well done good and faithful servant. That's the approval you should be looking for and at that point.

It's not how do I compare to this person that's have. I've lived a life pleasing to the master and that's how we we frame our thinking so that were not controlled by the comparison by Instagram by social media by what her friends are doing, but we are directed are thinking toward how can we live lives that are pleasing and glorifying to God, thank you for pressing this issue and am thinking clearly about helping us worry ourselves and thanks for writing a book that will help us go deeper in the subject, my pleasure, thanks for the conversation I got to believe that there are a lot of listeners who are feeling what we been talking about and would be helped by Shannon's book you can go to family life to to order a copy or you can call one 800 FL today. The title of the book again. Comparison girl lessons from Jesus on me for you living in a measurable world order or call to order 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today that we got something pretty important. We need to talk with our regular listeners about David Robbins, the person family life is here with me and David over the next couple weeks were asking family life to the listeners to help us take advantage of a matching gift that has been made available to us here at family life and honestly given the events of the last few months. This matching gift is maybe more critical than any matching gift opportunity we've had since I've been at family life that's true, we've been blessed with several generous partners who come alongside us to give a matching gift of $345,000 and it is a matching gift that we need need certainly more than the three years I've been here and is a time if we want to continue to press into the creativity and meeting people what they're walking through right now we know the last few months have been intense for people we know that the ripple effects in months to come. Whether be economically or effects that have happened on people's families, and in their personal world we want to bring the help and hope to them, but we ourselves were donor supported ministry and we are feeling the crunch. From this we need people who are able to visit on your heart to keep getting the gospel to people in the biblical principles around marriage and family to people that's on your heart. We would invite you to get today we will ask you to be as generous as you can possibly be that let me just share with you if you're able to help with a donation toward this matching gift would love to send you a copy of Barbara Rainey's new book which is called my heart ever is about praying more effectively during difficult, challenging times and if you're able to begin giving as a monthly legacy partner. Not only will your first legacy partner gift be matched.

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