I saw her on social media. She was beautiful. Young, fresh faced, and glowing. She had a cowgirl hat on and a cute plaid shirt but was pulling her shirt open to one side to expose a lacy, blue bra. A blatant tease for any male that happened upon it. A begging for attention albeit only the sexual kind. She was very validated by men and women alike with comments and “likes”, but all I could see was the longing for someone to value her for what lies beneath the beauty.
It looks different for us older women, but I fear it is much the same. Our audience changes and most probably our activities, but the desire for validation remains.
Any of us who spend any time on social media or television see it all the time. We read it all the time. As a woman and mother to daughters and granddaughters, I have this urge to scream at the screen…..”you’ve got it all wrong! We’ve got it all wrong!”
I could expound on the evils of social media, television, advertising, the movie industry, objectification of women, the music industry, the porn industry, etc. all of which feed female insecurity about our bodies, our choices, our style, our individuality, our interests, but I won’t. That’s all been hashed out hundreds of times. I don’t want to distract you from the issue at hand:
Validation is not the same as Valuation.
We are allowing Satan, the Father of Lies to confuse us. He wants you to search for validation from the world, from people. He wants you to believe your worth is tied to being validated in the here and now by those around you. He wants to make you forget your true valuation is found in Christ alone. You can be validated by words of affirmation or the click of a “like” on your Facebook page but you will never be valued by other humans like Abba values you.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Having others find your words and actions valid is not what your soul desires. Validation from others will never quench that thirst. Your soul cries for the deep, undefinable value that comes as a grace gift from God. Can you accept it?
We live in this global world where lives are on display more than ever before.
The average Josie can plaster herself all over the world-wide web with a quick selfie and a click of the post button. She begs for valuation but only gets validation that yes, she is beautiful with all kinds of emojis to go along. God does not value outward beauty. He values your eternal, inside self. The part of you he wants in eternity with Him.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
The average Josie can blog…average self included. Why all the bloggers out there? Why thousands of opinions on how to stop a 2-year-old temper tantrum or successfully raise a teenager….Well, we are quite possibly looking for validation from the masses that we do, indeed, have great wisdom and skill. It is possible God does not value our faulty wisdom, especially that which he has not imparted. He values our minds and desires that we seek to find Him in every portion of our day, Him!!
The average Josie can share her successes, and those of her kids with all her devoted friends who will in turn be awed and amazed at the stealthy way she navigates the challenges of daily life while they salivate over the delicious meals she serves her family (insert Instagram) while their family eats yet another cardboard pizza. She is validated by the likes and comments. God does not value your meatloaf and get this….probably not even your child’s math grade. He values you! He values your heart! He values your child’s heart! How sadly we unknowingly teach our children to seek validation for works and effort instead of teaching them how very precious they are to Abba both in failure and success. Visit Mary and Martha in Luke 10.
C’mon ladies. Be honest. It feels good to have validation. I’m guilty as charged!
I’m not saying you need to dump social media, and I am not saying you dump personal responsibility because God values you in any state. I’m saying you need to know what matters. I’m saying you need to know WHO matters. The lover of your soul, that’s who.
Let’s break it down.
Validation is to recognize, establish, or illustrate the worthiness or legitimacy of *you*. Merriam Webster until the *you*.
Validation is something we seek to obtain from other human beings. It is self serving. It feeds our hunger to succeed. It is usually self contained and doesn’t place God in his rightful position. The need for validation increases as we lose sight of our valuation.
Valuation, on the other hand, is how much something is worth, and the estimator who holds the precious object in His hands determines that worth. You are so highly valued by God that he paid for you with the life and blood of his only son, Jesus Christ.
For God so loved the world (You) that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16.
We freely speak it, but do we believe it?
When we let God’s valuation of us start to sink into the cracks of our public facade, it is God honoring. It is at that moment when His radiance shines through us and our actions. More of Him and oh, so much less of us. It is at that moment when our value in Christ Jesus is apparent for our families, our friends, and the world to see. What great hope for all the wounded and empty women in our upside down world.
Take a moment to ask yourself where you are looking for validation. Are you chasing it down as some kind of idol? Now, consider who you are as a daughter of the King who formed every cell in your body by divine design. Is there anyone you can imagine valuing so much that you would hand your child over for sacrifice to save that person? No, but you are! God values you that much. If we were to start living out this knowledge, what would our homes, families, marriages, churches, jobs, etc. look like?
FOR THE MARRIED ONES: A reminder…
Far too often, I look to my husband to be the one to value me the way only a Holy and Perfect Abba can. Women, we need to take that pressure off our men. They are but mere humans just like us. We set them up for failure and set ourselves up for a stream of resentment when we look for them to fill the role of God. I look at my own marriage and must ask myself, “what emotional energy do I require my husband to expend trying to prove I am valuable as Jesus holds his hands out to me with my pricetag still showing on his flesh”?