I cannot express how thankful I am to live in the age of modern medicine.
When reading about medieval medical practices, I have come to a solid conclusion: If I lived during that time, more than likely with all of the injuries I have sustained, I would have died very young. Some of the things that they did to cure people are absolutely horrifying. Before general anesthesia, surgeons would put their patients into a deep sleep by having them drink a crude and highly dangerous concoction called Dwale. One of the main ingredients was three spoonfuls of hemlock juice—a highly toxic plant that alone can cause death. Driven by the wrong information or lies, decisions were made that ultimately risked lives and caused more harm, even death.
Believing lies, in most cases, leads to disaster. Discerning the reality of the truth can be tough at any age, particularly for our kids. As our kids move into the teen years, the danger resulting from believing lies increases because it leads to toxic behavior. We need to lead them to the truth about themselves and life. In order to do that effectively, we need to identify the lies. Today, we are going to focus on teen girls. Here are three dangerous lies teen girls believe (Note: Thankfully not all teen girls believe these lies; however, these lies do have a powerful stronghold among the majority of them):
1. “I need to look or be a certain way to be loved.” The media create an image that they say defines beauty. Immature teenage boys accept the definition and trip over each other for the girls they believe fit that description or come the closest. This only reinforces that definition of what is attractive in the minds of teen girls.
Every girl wants to fit that description because she equates that picture with being worthy of love. It is shown in every fairy tale and “pretty princess” story she watched as a child. So she does whatever she can to fit into that mold. She is no longer satisfied with who she is—only what she thinks she should be. When a girl sees she doesn’t fit that mold (few actually think they do, even the popular ones), her opinion of herself drops. When she believes this lie, she says to herself: “I need to lose weight, then people will like me. I don’t fit in. I’m not worth as much as those girls. If I am myself, others won’t like me. If others know the truth about me, they’ll reject me. I’m not pretty. I’m not good at anything. I’ll never be loved.”
2. “My self-worth depends on the approval or attention of others.” Her entire focus becomes meeting the expectations of others. She stresses out trying to meet the approval of parents, teachers and coaches, but mainly friends and boys. When faced with disapproval or lack of attention, she ceases to feel good about herself. Eventually, she becomes more and more desperate; she goes to increasingly drastic lengths to achieve attention and approval.
These things can include forfeiting core beliefs, succumbing to peer pressure, using drugs or alcohol and engaging in sexual activity. When she believes this lie, she says to herself: “I have to be perfect. I’m not good enough. Nobody loves me. I’m worthless. If I had a boyfriend, I’d feel complete. I’m unimportant. I’m not valuable. Others think negatively about me. I must meet certain standards in order to feel good about myself. I must have the approval of certain others to feel good about myself. I’ll never be good enough. I’m stupid. I can’t make good close friends.”
3. “I’m ruined.” If the last lie plays out fully and there is failure, she may buy into the lie that she is ruined—damaged goods with no possible way of recovery or wholeness. She is flooded with feelings of shame and guilt, especially when there is moral failure.
Overwhelmed and hopeless, the best way she sees to deal with the guilt and shame is to bury it down deep or numb it. Otherwise, she may also become apathetic or rebellious. When she believes this lie, she says to herself: “I’m a failure. Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished. Nothing matters anymore. It doesn’t matter what I do anymore.”
Be on the look out for any signs that your daughter is believing these lies. Do not let them take root in her mind and her life. Speak the truth about her beauty and value daily.
What are some truthful statements we can say to our daughters? Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask them, “Who makes you feel the best about yourself?”
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