“Can you believe all the tattoos on her back? That’s just gross.”
“She’s so thin, but I bet she is a royal b**** (insert expletive).”
“What in the world does her boyfriend see in her? He is so out of her league!”
It was disturbing. These two high school girls giggled and snickered as others walked past them. A few looked their way as if they heard the rude comments, but most didn’t even realize the harsh words spoken over them.
And because they were in ear shot of me as I sat watching my kids in the wave pool, I had a front row seat in their courtroom.
Even more frustrating was that they were sitting with mom who willingly participated in their judgments, and often spoke up first.
~ She laughed with them.
~ Pointed fingers with them.
~ Rolled eyes with them.
~ Shook head in disgust with them.
Didn’t she know better? I wondered if she was more interested in being their friend instead of being their mom? Did it make her feel cool to be included in their conversation? Maybe she was desperate for a connecting point with her daughter, and saw an open door?
I know, I know… sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the trash talk. But we miss a huge teachable moment when we don’t see the bigger picture.
Because when we join in, it’s giving our stamp of approval on the behavior.
We should be the ones teaching the younger generation to love… not hate. We need to help our girls see other girls as allies rather than competition. When we hear them cutting others with their words, we need to redirect their thinking. We ought to be the ones sharing a fresh perspective when conflict arises.
Come on, friends. If not us, who?
Who else will we trust to model love, respect, and acceptance for our girls?
~ The media?
~ Our schools?
~ The Disney Channel?
Um… no thanks. They teach our girls to be snarky, self-centered, critical, and prickly.
But that’s not how God wants us to be.
It’s no accident that you were divinely chosen to be the mother for your daughter. And even if you have no children by birth or adoption, think of the girls God has placed in your life to influence from your role as their spiritual mom.
As women, we have a responsibility to teach the younger generation to love.
And it’s a full-time job that’s not always convenient, timely, or easy. But it’s necessary.
I want my daughter to know that…
~ Sometimes it’s hard to see the best in others, but it’s there if we choose to see it.
~ When we’re tempted to cut someone down, remember that Jesus died for them, too.
~ We’re all made to be an original creation, so judging the differences in others tells God He messed up.
But most of all, I want her to know the power we have to encourage or discourage others through our words and actions.
Rather than laugh at… harshly criticize… compare ourselves to… wish the worst for… judge and jeer… or find joy in their suffering, we can link arms as sisters and help one another through the journey.
We can promote solidarity as women.
We can care.
We can love.
And every day we get to choose if we do.