As adults we hear about how hard it is to be a teenager in today’s world, but as you bend your ear to listen to the hearts and thoughts of these young girls, you begin to really see what it means. It is not just the external pressures around them that makes it difficult for them, but also the internal pressure and negative self-talk that comes from within.
Pressure to succeed, to excel, to have the right curves in the right places, to be skinny, to be fun, to be pretty, to be sexy, to be athletic, to be feminine, to be “enough”. The teenage world in which they live is exhausting, impossible, and lands countless girls believing they aren’t enough for anyone. The life of a teenage girl is comprised of comparing. They compare themselves to everyone around them, all of the time! How can they measure up to the airbrushed supermodels, the teenage sex icons, the music video and movie “hotties”? Then there are the girls in their classes, the “good” girls, the “bad” girls and all of the other versions of who they “should” be. The examples in many of their lives have said in so many words – if you are not “enough” on your own – fix it, buy it, or have surgery to correct it. Meanwhile, these wounded, bleeding hearts are trying to also answer the main questions in their life that every teenager has to face – who loves me and why am I important?
Teenage girls crave love, real love, and yet have such a hard time receiving it and believing they are worth it. For many of them – they have no idea what it looks like to be loved well or to believe they are lovable. In recent years, I’ve noticed young women are struggling more with the primary questions of “Who loves me?” and “Why am I important?” than I have seen in past years. Many of them simply do not love themselves and certainly do not see themselves as important. So, in their minds, why would anyone else see value in them, even God?
Please hear how important it is to keep telling your daughter how loved she is by you and by the Lord, just as she is. How important she is to you and to the Lord, just as she is. “I love you” and “you are really important to me” are great phrases to add to our everyday conversations with those we love!
With thanks to all you great dads out there,