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The Lord has blessed me with two awesome boys. I do not use the term awesome loosely. I mean these guys are ranked up there at the same level of nacho cheese, bacon cheese burgers, camp fires, and oh yeah, my wife.
I haven't really given much thought to what ideas self image is / will be pointing to them in the coming years. Most of their self image, is probably made up of my self image. I.E. i want him to dress the most stylish, have the coolest shoes, backpack, video games, be in athletics...all this so that they will be liked by their friends more or that we will be seen as the 'cool' parents. Well that ship has sailed.
Working with students, one issues that is constantly prevalent is that of self-image, especially for young ladies. Eating disorders, cutting, over exercising (to get that perfect body), constantly comparing themselves with others; all these are issues they constantly have to face...and in reality, it's not only them.
This past Sunday evening I was sitting watching TV with my awesome wife. I picked up the Kohl's add, cause there was a 30% off coupon on back and I looked at the cover. Took a real close look and asked my wife, "is that J LO?" After a few minutes, i concluded that indeed it was a VERY much photoshopped image of her. "Those aren't the legs of a dancer, she looks like she's 5'8-10?" My comments continued.
Then I began to look at other pics of her online and made the mini montage you see here. The photo on the far left is a pic of her on a red carpet, just normal J Lo. I'll leave you to make the conclusions. This isn't a J Lo bash, i mean, she's jenny from the block. This is just another reminder that everything is not always as it seems. How bad do retailers want to sell clothes, make up, shoes, workout equipment, the list goes on and on. And to what lengths are people willing to go to make such happen. Technology gives us the advantage to make something out of almost nothing. To take pictures of people and alter them into images of people who don't even exist.
My plea is don't get caught up in what the world / media is shouting at you -Dress this way, act that way, listen to this, drive that, and on! At least Target makes fun out of it "parents, if your kids want to sound cool, they have to look cool."
Ian, my youngest son, had a soccer game this past Saturday. During the bedlam of watching four year olds run up and down the field, parents cheering and taking video and pictures, and the constant confusion; something brilliant happened. Upon the ball getting kicked out of bounds one boy ran and picked it up and came back to the field of play. What happened next caused an irruption of laughter. "Throw it in! Throw it in!" was shouted from his mother. So what did the boy do? He ran onto the field and threw the ball into the goal. I heard someone say, 'well he did what he was told.' This actually happened twice during the course of the game.
This sparked my thoughts, what if we listened to God, the Bible, the leading of the Holy Spirit, with such intent? In Matthew 10, Jesus said, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Student Pastor, and Lover of all things Garlic and Bacon.