Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Innocence of Childhood Stolen Early

I have been working on recipe sorting, typing, and cleaning out on behalf of my mother. Since I had to be sitting for most of this work I have been watching/listening to "Toddlers and Tiaras" It is one of the saddest shows I have ever watched.

If you know me at all, then you know I love children. I see in them an unabashed innocence and beauty from a young life unmarred from deep and life-altering sin. Yes, they are disobedient. Yes, they argue. And yes, they are sinful: “Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upwards” (Job 5:7). But look at those little faces, those big eyes, those gorgeous smiles and tell me that there is not innocence shining in their dimples. Such little babies that love to play "dress up" in their mother's too-big skirts, tops, and shoes. These are the faces of little girls dressing up and pretending to be beautiful women:
I love those little faces. They smile for the picture and say, "yes, Ma'am", "no, Ma'am", "please" and "thank you." They are innocent from the junk that the world wants to feed them. They curl their hair and look beautiful in their hats, their dresses, and their shoes.

Do you see this 11 year old? She is carrying her little baby sister. These little girls play dress up and also help their mama keep vigil over the little kids--holding hands, wiping noses, and listening for cries after naps.
Perhaps I love these innocent girls because they remind me of my childhood.

I never dreamed I would see little girls even younger than 11 looking like this:

I want to cry. Look at those tan bodies...that perfect hair (which is usually a hair piece)...that makeup on those little faces. For crying out loud I'm nearly 21 and I'm so white my brother-in-law says he needs sun glasses to look at me! I am just now getting my makeup to look somewhat advanced...since my mom told me it looked like 8th grade work. And these precious little faces are painted with more makeup than I could ever dream of putting on my eyes.

They should be playing in mama's shoes that are sizes too big and cuddling in their daddy's lap with clean hair and soft skin from their baths. While watching the show I heard one mama admit that the pictures they take of their babies are usually photoshopped to the point that they add new eyeballs and enhance skin color and hair to the point that it doesn't even look like their child. Then she added "whatever gets them the crown..."

I've been in college for 3 years and I am not nearly as innocent now as I was when I went. People, bad friendships, and stupid mistakes have taken away that childlike innocence I once knew. Parents, PLEASE don't rob your daughters of that too early. Let them play with paper dolls they cut out of their mama's pattern book...let them pretend to have babies fully clothed because they are certain babies aren't born naked....let them use towels wrapped around their waists as their beautiful dresses. Smile when their daddies take blush and lipstick and dress them up to play, calling them "Miss McGillicutty" while they twirl. Guard their bodies--protect their modesty...dress them in clothing appropriate for their age. Someday they will have to go to a place where they choose these things themselves and you are laying the foundation now.

I see these little girls on the TV twisting their cute little bottoms that should be in Cinderella undies in seductive ways. Wanna know what's worse? Their mama is in the audience SHOWING THEM THE MOVES!! The pouting lips...the kisses to the judges, the booty wiggle, the kissing the finger to touch the dress....such innocent babies being taught to seduce and allure at such innocent ages. Mothers should be ashamed of themselves.

I swore I wasn't going to get on a soapbox, but this is my plea to parents: please, let your beautiful baby girls be innocent as long as you can. You can't shelter them from the sin of the world forever, but don't encourage and force it on them at such young ages. Teach them the beauty of Jesus and help them--so that someday when (not if, but when) they do face that temptation they will be able to stand firm. Someday they will mess up--they will make mistakes they wish they could take back....don't push that day any faster than it is already coming.

And as far as beauty goes, remember: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Prov. 31:30

Because He lives,

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