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Building a Healthy Self-Image in Your Daughter

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
April 27, 2020 2:00 am

Building a Healthy Self-Image in Your Daughter

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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April 27, 2020 2:00 am

How can a mom encourage a healthy self-image in her daughters? Maria Furlough, author of "Confident Moms, Confident Daughters," remembers being self-conscious and ashamed of her growing teenage body, so much so that she remembers the day she ripped her blue jeans off in disgust as she cried at her image in the mirror. Now a mother herself, Furlough tries to encourage her daughter to love the beautiful way God designed her, and tells other moms how they can do the same with their daughters.

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As a teenager, Maria Furlow was plagued by insecurities, issues with body image as a mom raising a daughter she wanted to make sure things were different for her own daughter. I had one of the most beautiful memories of my daughter. She was eight and we went to dinner and overnight together and we talked about the changes in puberty and I said your body is gonna change it to get curvy, you might get a little jiggly right like machine places that are not right now and talking about it honestly and frankly and go that's okay and to you know get her brain thinking about that preparedness that when it happens.

It's not something wrong with you. And if our children's body start growing.

It's okay this is family life today. Our hosts are Damon and Wilson on bottle pain find us Are there some strategies for parents who want to raise strong confidence secure daughters talk about that today with Maria for stay with us and welcome to family life to the thanks for joining us. You guys raised boys have three boys right yes we do, and I know the confidence was one of the things you wanted instilled in your boys was up there on the list.

Very high and very confident that what were talking today about confidence with daughters which you have that experience with that. You understand and talking to moms about how this is a real issue that moms are facing today is a razor girlfriend. Yeah, I'm so excited about this book and excited about our friend Maria who's here it's giddy talking about it. I think for me as a mom with sons. This is something that's important. But there's a weightiness when you have a daughter that I had of my friends experienced Avenue just because of the confidence we have. We want our daughters to have it.

But truthfully, some of us is not a struggle with it and I will add you know when our boys were just toddlers.

We started praying for their wives.

I remember when my oldest was born. He's 33 now. I started a day of fast on Fridays did need till dinner and prayed all day and one of the things we prayed for was confident young women not in arrogance but a confidence in who God was in their life and who they were in their identity and I have to sit here now 33 ly later and say they married three confident women bearing beautiful, confident, when it's a very important character qualities will be our friend Melia who you mentioned is with us Maria Furlow joining us on family life today welcome. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here. Maria is from Huntersville, North Carolina, where she and her husband Dave live. She is the mother of 51 daughter and four boys. That's got an interesting dynamic. Yes it is. We are a ball full of energy and your daughter is the oldest. She is the oldest. She is my sweet 12-year-old beautiful gift. My first and only daughter Maria is an author, she's a Bible study teacher. She's written a book called confident moms confident daughters helping your daughter live free from insecurity and love how she looks so really the heart of this book when you're talking about confidence using one of the great confidence robbers were women. Today is the issue of beauty and appearance right yet for a lot of women it starts there we can't get past it. It's kind of like the first test of freedom.

If God can give us confidence over the way that we look then freedom and confidence over all of the places in including our faith is just as open door from their cell is really important insecurity about appearance something that plagued you was your grown-up. That's where it started, and that's what I noticed as I grew up into my 20s, insecurity started for me as a young teenager about 1112 with the way that I looked, and what I realized as I grew into an adult woman that insecurity then morphed into different places into my mothering into my relationships into my marriage into my faith, and so really for me acknowledging that and realizing that in a lot of young women. That's where it starts.

That's why believe it's so important for us as moms and mentors and youth workers, and aunts and grandma's to really help young women tackle this light was triggered when you were 11 or 12 somebody say something to you or something that set you off to start to go away. Do I look okay. I think it was puberty.

Bob really I know I'll never forget there is a young friend of mine.

She was over I was about 10 she was 11 or 12 and she said to me, just wait.

Everything on you is gonna start growing and I remember her saying that to me and feeling the sense of dread like is that a bad thing. Clearly, I'm not supposed to like that and so that stuck in my head and then as it started happening. There weren't conversations about this is beautiful thing in your body is supposed to change and it's a wonderful creation that God has made and you know that is something that I am able to preemptively talk about with our girls to say the bodies that you are the change that your bodies are going to go into it's okay, but I know that that's where it started for me and then you know for me at the time it was magazines yeah team, but magazine now it's you know and be everything right, but really starting to compare myself to what I saw in those pictures and realizing that I didn't feel like I look like them sooner or two women.

Do you think women ever avoid this. I mean, is it to grow out of it is overdressed. Now I'm just thinking as a young woman growing up young girl growing up. Obviously, I don't know, and we didn't have daughters, but I honestly would look at it go.

I don't think it's a avoidable but maybe it is. I'm just thinking you experience I know and experience it. Can girls grow up without that magazine image body image plaguing them.

It's a great question and I want to tell you that is what I believed for years and that is why did nothing to fight it.

I thought this is just how it is we all kinda feel like this and I gave it free reign, but what happened for me. I was in my early 20s, and God gave me a beautiful friend and I spent some time with her and her mother and I saw for the first time in my life to confident women that did not currently struggle with their body and had never, I watched them and I was like just studying them like what is this, let it look like what it they do or not do that appeal to you. Yes, there was a couple things I was standing at in and out Burger in California with my friend in and out burger places a talk about body event. You gotta start somewhere and we are looking at the menu and I think I just kind of hate that calories are everywhere. Now she's like why does that matter like what you mean like I'm sorry what you really said that it's called calorie counting and she like know that is. And so that was her and then I was spending that week with her mom and there is one time I was at family dinner with her and her mom and her older brother was sitting next to me and his mom's arm was like propped up on the chair next to her.

I read this in your book and I just couldn't believe this was you ready for that already ever going and he was bored like there is heavenly grown-up conversation. He was interested in just one flick at a time. He was just flicking his mom's arm sat on our yes card that we hide in pictures and how to get the right angle. All you know.

Don't let anybody see my plastic surgery for one flick at a time without like a table full of 20 people. She didn't care didn't notice like she didn't stop him and again I was coming from a girl like I would slip in and out of pools my whole life like that was something I didn't stop until I really started praying for God to build confidence in me. So this whole arm jiggling freedom something that you craved well how do you have any of freedom and not care. That's exactly how do you and that showed me that it's possible and if it's possible for those two women that I couldn't understand why it couldn't be possible for me and I remembered that the power that rose Christ from the dead, that same power is living in me. So if God can raise Christ from the dead, then why can't he free me for my insecurity.

So they go and where it started and where did your insecurity started. You have talks with your mom about any of this when it that look like with your mom. She secure know my mom and I both came from generational insecurity and I think that a lot of us can relate to that.

You know I've I've had conversations with women about this topic and one mom talked about her mom used to like pincher back that while she was growing up and say you know honey.

You gotta get rid of this. And so there is a generational sin here that you know my mom and I would just really both cry over because we didn't know what to do.

She didn't know how to help me because she was living with a lot of the same hurts that I was an there is one instance when I was a teenager and you know I now know, like our bodies go up and down like the moon can be a certain human pants that fit will not fit tomorrow. Fair is it because women we had babies become getting out of all the stages exactly there's lots of you know evil hormones that play like that's just a reality in when you're growing up in that and you're not kind of just taking that head-on. I would take that as a failure, my genes would be tight and I would think I was a failure and you know I heard stories of in my mom's family of women just you know punching their size because they hated them so much and so these are kind of the stories that I that I heard in some knows one day I just put those genes on and those superhuman hulk hormones that were running through me. I rip them down the seam crying, sobbing, ripping them down the seam because they were tricked because they were too tight and you just explode and you exploded in sorrow and sadness, and my mom came in and she just sat with me and cried and told me I was beautiful and you know I knew that she believed that that was true and deep down I knew that that was true tuba and but we say that all the time. You're so beautiful your beautiful just the way that we are but I just don't think that words are enough when it comes this hurt. I remember being young and somebody telling me that and I think what you think I'm beautiful but in the world standards. So how do we find that beauty. That's the question of where do we find that beauty is it about our physical appearance or is it more than you before you get there and back to puberty. I want us as parents to keep in mind that as our kids transition into puberty. There's a lot of insecurity there's a lot of questions and to just put them on autopilot and think well of figure this out know they need mentors and coaches and people. Rev. conversations the whole reason we put together the passport to purity resource that we created for parents to do with their kids was to open the door to these kinds of conversations so your kids can feel like I can go to mom and dad and say what's going on with my body or how should I think about this you can have those conversations before the issues emerge from before the hormones. It is your kids need you to be a God to be an advocate to remind them of what's true to say what your mom said you honey.

You are beautiful even when they don't believe it. They still need to hear it from their parents and adjusting for moms and dads don't check out when your kids are in these years recognize the insecurity that's there, recognize the confusion that's there and be proactive in addressing these things yeah and ideally taking a preemptive strike like you said I had one of the most beautiful memories of my daughter. She was eight and we went did an overnight together and we talked about the changes in puberty and I said your body is gonna change your going to get curvy, you might get a little jiggly right like Moshe and places that are not right now and talking about it honestly and frankly and go that's okay and to you know get her brain thinking about that preparedness that when it happens. It's not something wrong with you, and you know I think is moms. It's really hard not to want to physically parent our children up through puberty right there given to us and we need to. What we need to keep their bodies healthy right it's kind of in our job but ships at some point in as moms it's okay to shift from the physical taking care of to the emotional and the character in the spiritual taking care of, and we talked about the puberty thing. The hormone thing like if our children's body start growing.

It's okay, right. Like that might just be how God has created their body shape to be and to spend the first decade of their life honing in on the it should eat carrots instead of you should go play instead of being on videogame, but then once that puberty years hit me. We've set it for a decade right.

Hopefully they've heard us enough, and then to shift the conversations with them to be towards their spiritual and emotional language switch changes. I just had a mom talk to me about her 12-year-old daughter and she said my daughter is really gaining weight and I don't know what to say and I say anything.

What would you say to those moms.

For you see your kids like well there really gaining weight. There's thinking do I say nothing right so I sat down and I asked the pediatrician that question because I've had it asked me so many years and I wanted to know what the Academy of pediatrics would say that's who we've entrusted our children's bodies to and they said first and foremost to trust your doctor before taking our kids over the years and it's their 11-year-old checkup and their 12-year-old checkup 13, 14, and their doctors not saying anything about it.

Then we probably don't need to. They are trained. That's their job to make sure that our child's physical health is on track of the other thing that she said is greater than their physical health is making sure that you as a parent understand if they have the possible triggers for eating disorders and there are certain indicators that are not definite indicators doesn't mean if you have this that you deftly will develop an eating disorder.

But if your daughter is a perfectionist if she is highly you know highly achiever.

If you have eating disorders in your family, then these are things that you have to acknowledge before you ever enter into a conversation about her physical health and what if the doctor says I'm seeing that you need to lose some weight. Could that trigger your daughter okay I see no see. That is where I go into these doctors visits now like I have desk conversations with the nurses like if this topic is going to be brought up, you bring it to me first say you're very proactive.

Oh yeah, a mama bear about the secular topic because I have lived. You know the ramifications of and I have seen cases where young women go to their 13-year-old appointment and their doctor tells them that they need to lose weight and then a year later they are in for an eating disorder. How did you get like Bob's is correct about their lives that say there obviously you send your book that the mom is the confidence standard in the home yeah and then you also. Before that, you said when you first told your daughter you almost broke down yeah on your knees and. Because you would struggle with this take us through the journey you became tired of your book a confident mom but you weren't yeah I had to get there and how does somebody else get there.

Yeah, I definitely didn't start there before I held my daughter.

I was in full-time youth ministry and so I got to mama you know middle school girls through this and so when I held her.

I not only saw my own adolescents flashing through my mind, but I saw the stories of so many young women that had came through my ministry and I was crying over her because I did not want that for her and so you know the story that I shared about my confident friend and her mom happened before I had my daughter and so I prayed that day, God make me confident so that I can teach her how to be confident and so that was a very everyday breath prayer for me when she was a baby and so, as you know, brave prayers come with risks. That was just a lens that I asked God to put on my life that every day when she was young that I will learn how to be confident in her infant years, so that by the time by the time I got there and I don't say that to discourage a mom who's just entering into this topic with a teenager you know my mom and I claimed our healing. When I was in my 20s.

It's never too late. But what I also want to say is now's the time. If your daughter is just born if you're wanting to have kids. If you have a toddler to start claiming this freedom, you know. Galatians says chapter 5, verse one.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, and I wanted to claim that freedom over insecurity in my life so that me and my daughter can be released for his kingdom and to fully be his daughters and not be limited by this bondage of insecurity. God was good to answer that prayer. It wasn't easy and it still not in a lot of places I find myself standing very much apart from what is culturally accepted, or even talked about today, but it is a battle that I am always willing to fight and so God was good to open up my eyes and after those couple of years to figure out tangible ways, tangible and biblical way is right there is a spiritual fight between me and God. To realize. Honestly, insecurity is putting way too much emphasis on myself. There was way too much me focusing going on in my insecurity, but then also the practical ways of what are some ways that you've allowed the world to seep into your body image.

How did you get the emphasis off yourself because obviously anyone of us can walk by a mirror.

Yeah. And worse, just consumed the second we take a look and this isn't just women obviously right. It's men and women as boys and girls, I mean I've coached middle school basketball for decades and 20 years ago you could have guys take off their shirts and be skins and play the shirts.

I can't do that anymore right.

I mean, you say that they look you know where so there's much more self-conscious even though with a boy, so it is that self consumption that you talk about how you get over that. Yeah, it can dominate our lives. Yeah I read you averse to answer the okay for you and you touched on it before two in this is Romans chapter 7 verse 18 for I know that nothing good lives in me.

That is, in my flesh for the desire to do what is good is with me. But there is no ability to do it and then later on in verse 24. It says what a wretched man I am and this is Paul talking through his desire to do good and want to be good but really just acknowledging that there's only Christ in us makes us good and Christ is the only achievable perfection. And so what I needed to hear.

After all of those years. As I was not wrong that I was not perfect. You know, we have your beautiful just the way you are yeah okay can we talk about the fact that there are people that are more beautiful than I am and that's okay but we do so is kind know you're beautiful your beautiful okay actually I'm not perfectly beautiful, and finally reading in his word and hitting me in the head to say you know what Maria your insecurity is not based on untruth, but you are not supposed to be secure in you. You are supposed to be secure in me and so there was a relief to realizing that I was not wrong. All of the time when I looked in the mirror and saw things that need fixing her I was not wrong. All of the time to be so concerned that I was gonna do something to mess up because I was going to mess up because my body was not perfect and then to begin to put on the posture of actually be okay with the fact that I'm not perfect and then accept that because that is the very reason why Christ came to die for me, there's just a shift in thinking off of myself and what I think of myself onto Christ and what he came to do in me. So if a mom is thinking I want to raise my daughter to be more confident than I was when I was going through this using step one is make sure you develop your own body confidence your own image competence because you can't take her beyond what you're modeling for her, and how your she's got a sniff that out if you're trying to keep it hidden right yes she is and that's really part of your thesis here in your book confident moms confident daughters.

You start with helping moms to be confident and then from there we can raise confident daughters will encourage her to get a copy of Maria's book confident moms confident daughters. In fact, this is a book we'd love to send you as a thank you gift in appreciation for your support of the ministry of family life to your ongoing support is what makes this daily radio program possible. This spring we know many of you have gone through some real challenges financially. I know many work churches are experiencing financial challenges. Particular industries are so we recognize that some of you as listeners are just not a position to be able to make a financial gift so the family life to the can continue.

For those of you who are able to support the ministry of this is a particularly strategic time for ministries like ours were hoping that you will be as generous as you can be, as you call to make a donation or as you go online to donate a family life again will send you Maria's book is our thank you gift when you get in touch with us. The website is family life to you can make your gift online and request a copy of Maria's book confident moms confident daughters or call to donate by phone one 800, FL, today is our number again. The website family life to and the number is one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today.

One final thought before we wrap up here today.

I know this is been a season for many of us when we have been prone to be anxious to worry. This is something Jesus addressed in the sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 6, he asked why we worry about organ a drink, or what organ to eat or what were nowhere and Jesus said the issue with worry is where not exercising faith were not trusting in the providence of God in his care for us. He also said that the way we address worry in our lives is to address the issue of glory in our lives is to be focused on kingdom priorities. He says seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

So as you find yourself prone to worry in this season.

First of all, go to God confess that you're worrying put your faith and trust in him and in his care and then get busy about kingdom things and trust God to provide for your needs.

I think all of us are having to deal with this issue of worry in our lives right now and of the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 6, you may want to go out your Bible and read again. The last 11 verses in Matthew chapter 6 and what God speak your heart through his word, not tomorrow. We want to talk about working out and being physically fit as we know that's important, but how can we tell if it's become too important for us, our daughters for most of join us again tomorrow.

You can join us as well engineered links along with our entire broadcast team on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on Poplar pain On for another edition of family life family like to use the production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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