“Why do you spend more time getting ready when you spend time with your girlfriends than you do any other time?” my husband asks me. My husband loves me as I am and in no way was he commenting that my looks at other times were anything less than beautiful to him. It was a simple question and it honestly has a very simple answer.
I had never really thought about it before, but when I really looked at my heart I realized something deep inside that made me feel uncomfortable.
Woman are constantly comparing themselves to one another.
We pick on men for puffing up, strutting and competing with each other, but let’s be truthful here—WE DO IT TOO.
I’m about to get really raw and reveal my “ugly” in hopes that it might encourage you.
I struggle with insecurity.
There I said it.
And it’s not just insecurity about my looks, but in all things. “Am I as good of a mom as she is? Am I as good of a wife? Am I enough for my husband? Am I as good of a singer as so and so? Am I thin enough? How come she bounced backed so fast after having a baby and I still have 30 lbs to lose? Oh my gosh, my hubby is going to leave me if I don’t get in shape!” These are the specific messages (courtesy of you-know-who from the land down under) that play on repeat over and over and over in my head. It’s ugly, I know. I told you it was raw. For you it might be a different tune of the same old, tired song.
As I was venting to my younger sister about some of these insecurities and she said to me, “Did it ever occur to you that someone may be using YOU as their measuring stick?” Whoa. Ouch. No, it never occurred to me at all! Not even a little bit. Count on sisters to hand you a real mirror and force you to look in it! I spent so much time stuck in my own head and measuring myself against those I idolize that I never realized other women could be struggling with the same thing. That we all have different modes of measuring ourselves or different people we measure ourselves to. So, I did a test. I ran a poll on Facebook to see what other women are struggling with and what do you know? Almost every answer pointed to an insecurity of some sort. They are all packaged just a little differently, but it is the same exact message. You are NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Why do we keep on playing the same tape over and over? Are we not all created in the image of God with talents given specifically to us for a purpose? The world tells us we have to be one way. We can thank TV, magazines and the social media “highlight reels” for that one. We have to measure up to one standard. Be the best mom. Be the best wife. Be the fairest of them all.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Romans 12:2-8, NLT)
We are all beautiful. We all have talents to give. We are worthy of love. God sent His Son to die for YOU! He thinks YOU are worth it all.
So, what if we changed the station and put on a new song? I’ve come to realize that if my sister is right (and we all know she is!) and others could be measuring against me, then wouldn’t it be better to be reflecting JESUS back at them instead of myself? He is the ONLY one that we should be measuring ourselves against. Not fellow, fallible human beings.
I’m challenging myself here, right along with you to CHANGE THE TAPE and allow the Lord to renew my mind.
When I look in the mirror next time, I want to see my Savior looking back at me.
The struggle is real and I’m praying for you dear sisters.
Diane Haupt is a stay-at-home wife and mother and serves on the board of directors for The Connection. She is a fellow sinner saved by the grace of God and is an active member of LCBC Church in Waynesboro, PA where she serves on the worship team. She has a passionate desire given by the Holy Spirit to mentor and disciple other women. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.