In my observation of life, women are their own worst critics. I cringe upon hearing I have to have my picture taken, because l don’t like looking at myself in the pictures – I can spot any flaw with me.
Our critiques extend to more than just physical beauty, though. Recently, I was struck by how frequently we, as women, tend to brush compliments aside. As someone pays us a compliment, many times we come up with an “excuse,” or a joke. For example, someone compliments me on a good job I have done, I have a tendency to say, “It’s no big deal,” or, “It really wasn’t that hard.”
When I was pregnant with my son, I spent a lot of time trying to decide what kind of female role model I wanted to be for him, knowing he will base a lot of his outlook shaped by me for a future significant other. Those thoughts re-emerged when I found out I was having a girl the second time around.
Mostly, my first concern in regard to either child has been, “how do I create an atmosphere which fosters a sense of pride, accomplishment, and self-worth in both my son and daughter?”
A couple weeks ago, I was involved in a few different situations in which I saw women putting themselves down in their pictures, or brushing off an accomplishment in which they had succeeded. After a particularly long day, as I was getting ready for bed, a thought came out of nowhere.
As a parent, I love my children. I think they are the bees’ knees, and even if they make a mistake, I still love my children. When I look at what they are accomplishing, I don’t focus on their mistakes, or their failure at a task – I love them for simply doing their task to the best of their ability. I encourage them to do their best, and I expect them to do their best; but, I don’t judge them on their outcomes. I can only imagine the sorrow and heartbreak I will have for my children, if they come to me with any of the harsh critiques about themselves that I have said about myself throughout the years.
Applying that logic, if I am to be considered a child of God, what then, does He think of me when I am judging myself harshly? As a parent (dare I say the “ultimate parent”?), He has pride and joy in His creation (that would be me). He wants to cheer me on, champion me, lift me up, and guide me. He wants to hold me close when I am hurting. He disagrees with my harsh critiques, and He wants to reveal my beauty (both external and internal) as He sees it in me.
We have often heard the phrase, “who am I to judge?” The next time I see a picture of myself, or try to hide an unflattering image of myself, or try to downgrade how well of a job I may have done, perhaps I should ask myself, “who am I to judge?”
Who am I to judge God’s creation and masterpiece?