Mean Girls
Lynn Cowell

"The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7 (NLT)

The words on FaceBook glared back at her. "You are so ugly! You are fat, annoying and I hate you!"

Lindsay just sat there, staring at the screen, baffled. "What did I say? What did I do?"

Maybe this has happened to one of your children, or in some way they've faced this type of rejection. Maybe you have felt it yourself. I recently spotted a t-shirt at the mall that read "You're no one until someone talks about you." What a sad state of affairs.

Growing up in a world where "Mean Girls" and "Gossip Girl" are movie and TV titles, it comes as no surprise that "mean" defines many females today. How can we guard our hearts against this? As a mom, what can we do when our children's hearts are crushed by meanness?

Feeling unaccepted is definitely nothing new. In Song of Solomon 1:5a, we are introduced to a young girl who felt this way: "Don't look down on me because I am dark…" (MSG). She felt rejected. Those feelings are so opposite of what our children want to feel. They want to be accepted! Matthew Henry concludes about this passage in Song of Solomon that we, as represented by the young girl, are "often base and contemptible in the esteem of others, but excellent in the sight of God."

We counteract the poison of meanness by remembering who we are in God's eyes. I am in. I am excellent in the sight of God. So are you. Song of Solomon 1:5b reveals the tanned girl's acceptance of this truth; she knows full well that her Lord finds her lovely. When I know that I am accepted by the Lord, it puts me exactly where I need to be to slough off insults and to help my child do the same.

As a sixth grader my daughter was 5'10". One day as she got off the school bus, I noticed she was holding back a flood of tears. Once again she had been made fun of for her height.
On that day, her youth pastor wasn't there. Her teacher, counselor and small group leaders weren't there either. But her mom was. I began telling her how her Father saw her. Sharing truths like these:

• "My beloved is mine, and I am His…" (Song of Solomon 2:16a, NKJV).

• You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless" (Song of Solomon 4:7b, MSG).

• "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord" (Psalm 45:11, NIV).

These are the types of verses I poured back into my daughter that day and continue to remind her of still. I put them everywhere so that together we can read them over and over again. When we feel rejected, these words remind us that we are, in fact, accepted! Let them remind you today.

Dear Lord, help me to be purposeful in putting Your truth about who I am into my heart and mind so that am not swayed by the opinions of others. And when the time is right, I can pour Your truth into the hearts and minds of my children and friends. When my child feels rejected, help me remind them that in You they are accepted. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit our Radical Revolution site for encouragement for your 12-17 year old and our She Seeks site for your 18-29 year old.

His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman by Leslie Ludy

Visit Lynn’s blog

Application Steps:
Create a list of verses such as the ones above and below to have on hand to review or to share with your child when they are hurting.

Choose one verse per week and memorize it with your child. You can speak it to them as they are eating their breakfast in the morning, when they come home from school, and before they go to bed.

If you have your own set of "mean girl" stories, share them with your children so they can know you understand and have been there too. When we're vulnerable with our children, we create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable to open up.

Reflections:
How can I help my child set boundaries so the rejection doesn't continue?

Am I teaching my child to forgive when they are hurt by others?

Do you feel that you have a strong understanding of how Jesus sees you? How can you pursue learning more about His heart toward you?

Do you have young girls or young moms who need to have another woman come along beside them and help them to see this truth?

Power Verses:
Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)

Zechariah 2:8, "For this is what the Lord Almighty says, '…for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye…'" (NIV)

© 2009 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Teresa said...

Lynne, thank you for letting God use your words to enlighten us on such a relevant and serious subject. As a mom and substitute teacher, I am taken aback at how "normal" children feel to be mean- spirited with one another. Not only the girls, even the boys get in on the action. I have two boys in elementary school and the peer pressure in school(did I mention this is in elemenary!!) these days is unbelievable. Thank you for reminding me to "gird up" my children with the truths of God's Words every day. And they should also stand and pray for their ene "meanies". God bless you & your daughter. I pray she truly receives those scriptures in her heart to know that she is the "apple of God's eye" and a beautiful creation fashioned by His hands. Blessings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen!

Anonymous rocker said...

kids are mean,i dealt with mean kids all thru my school years,and when my kids went to school they faced the same meaness I did, I even confronted the pastors and teachers about it,what they did is shrugged their shoulders and did nothing about it,and this was in a parochial grade school. My next resort was to go to this one mean kids house to confront the parents,well the father opened the door in his underwear,drunk as could be, I broke all over him and the meaness stopped. but think of how that child was growing up,in that type of household,no wonder he was acting out and being mean.
This was about 20 years ago,so I'ts probably worse now adays!
God bless you all!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This came at the right time! My son started kindergarten last Wednesday. He has loved it. However, yesterday on the playground a little girl told him that he couldn't play with her because she did not like him, and thought he was not a nice boy. This really hurt Mason's feelings. He is a very sweet child, and knows to be kind to everyone, and to use kind words with others. When I heard about this, I felt crushed. I didn't want my son to be teased and left out, as my husband had been during his school years. The thoughts kill me. Thankfully my son attends a Christian school, and the teacher that heard this spoke with the little girl, and made her apologize to my son. Now my son doesn't want to play on the playground at school anymore. Please pray for him and me as his mother. Pray that he makes lots of wonderful friends and that the other kids are nice to him. We all need to pull together and pray for our children. We also need to pray for the kids that are teasing others.

Blogger LeeAnn said...

Thank you Lynne for your encouragement today. My daughters are all grown up today, but I so remember helping them through these times of being the victim of mean girls. I am so proud that they have learned to turn those painful memories around into helping others. (one is a counselor and the other a school teacher and mother) I find it ironic that at my age of 53, even as an adult, you are not exempt from dealing with "mean girls (women) sometimes. Especially if you are a soft-sided personality. But the important thing is that we forgive each and every time so that God can to use us for his glory. I was having a bad day and your devo reminded me once again to focus on Him and not myself.

Thank you,
Lee Ann

Blogger Jeni said...

This is just what I needed to read tonight... God knew that! In a world where my 11 yr. old and 8 yr. old daughers see that the world says you aren't thin enough, pretty enough or cool enough...The verse at the end in Zeph. is fabulous! This is what we need to teach our girls that the LORD DELIGHTS IN US and that's all that matters!!

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