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In a society that enjoys such abundance and prosperity, why do so many people struggle with self-worth, body-image and other esteem issues? Widespread media represent success and beauty on their magazine covers and electronic media ads. Professional athletes are idolized for their physiques, strength and capabilities. We are constantly bombarded with pictures of what our shapes should be, what to eat to get that perfect shape, how we should clothe those shapes, and where to purchase and be seen in those clothes.

It is not only young people who feel they don't measure up. As adults we continue to push ourselves to attain wealth and status, sometimes leaving important relationships in the dust attempting fill the empty places in our hearts or collect enough trophies to demonstrate our value. I am not qualified to tell you how we got to this point, but my heart aches seeing people deeply loved by Creator behaving as if their existence depends on external beauty and achievements to prove to "someone" their life matters in this world.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16 NIV

Our value, and the worth of our children, is not determined by an established set of rules created by other people. The One who knit us together is the only One who gets to measure. Elohim could have made each of us just like each other, exact replicas of the "perfect human." Each person would match their neighbor, like stormtroopers from Star Wars series, everyone walking like the same, obeying each marching order of the King of kings, but He didn't!

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:6-7 NIV

One of the common statements spoken in our home is, "You do you, Boo." Each of us must set our hearts to develop the gifts and talents allocated to us because we are the only "Me" He created. We should encourage each other to fix our eyes on the Savior and mimic His love, then the world will be blessed by an endless variety of talented, beautiful, and creative people.

I appreciate those who are athletic, but I will never compete in the Olympics. Training for the pentathlon would prevent me from fulfilling my purpose. I also refuse to listen to a voice that would criticize me for not running a ten minute mile. I also guard my heart, stop the critical thinking, when I look in the mirror. I have not been formed to be a runway model, I'm only an inch over five feet. I am glad the LORD formed others for these tasks. I don't like to run or wear uncomfortable clothes, Yahweh created others for these jobs. Instead, I will be the wife and mother who encourages her family to view life from the King's perspective.

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:20-27 NIV

Parents, we have an arduous task of protecting the hearts of our children. I do not mean the protection that hovers and prevents struggles and difficulties by rescuing them every obstacle, but the kind of protection that helps them protect their hearts from the deception of the world. Cheer from the sidelines, speak Biblical truth, encourage them to be unique, to explore, and to grow in ways that bring them enjoyment and honor their Creator, especially when it is something unusual. The Mighty Hand of God form your child to be a masterpiece unlike anyone else, so celebrate that with confidence. Make sure your child knows how very proud you are of them. They are the ABBA Father's perfectly formed work of art, a one of a kind creation.

There is no One like You, O LORD. You are Melek ha Olam, King of the Universe, above all other gods, principalities and rulers. Your children have been formed in Your image, unique from each other with innumerable assortment of desires, likes and preferences, perfectly imperfect, set apart and righteous through redemption provided by our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we accept what makes us different from others, learn from our mistakes, praise You for our successes and encourage the same in others. Let us focus our eyes on You, the Author and Perfecter of our faith as we celebrate the unique qualities and attributes You placed within us when You knit us together in our mother's womb. Amen.

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