#GODLYparents don’t allow their children to be prostituted in beauty pageants, dance teams or cheer squads.
1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
To some degree, I can understand when a lost person allows his daughter to be a cheerleader, on a dance team or in a beauty pageant. They look at their daughter, and see someone they are proud of. After all, every child is a beautiful child, and my daughter is more beautiful than yours. However, to extend that pride to the point of allowing your child to be put on exhibition is an act of sheer perversion. To normalize the exhibition of children illustrates the depth to which our society has sank. Jesus warned that it was better that a millstone be placed around your neck and you be cast into the depths of the sea than for you to offend one of His little ones. To place these children on exhibition in such a way is damaging to them on many different levels.
First, we must consider the child’s self-esteem. A child is not equipped to process the difference between real beauty or talent and something which is painted on them. The child believes that beauty and talent are measured by the number of trophies on their parent’s mantle. How sad. The child is pushed by her parents to do more, to work harder, to push on in these competitions to the point that her entire identity, her entire life revolves around the competition. Where will she be when she is twenty-five and too old for the competition? Will she wake up and decide that she has no value? If there is no competition to win, is the girl worthless?
Pr 6:16-17a These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look…
Second, we must consider God’s opinion of pride. It is the first on a list of things which God hates. God declares it to be an abomination. I wonder if God, looking through time, saw some mother forcing her child to practice one more cheer routine when He inspired this verse. Do you get where God places pride? On this list of seven abominations, we do not see adultery, fornication or sodomy. The first on the list is PRIDE.
We could spend time discussing modesty. Ultimately the cheerleader or beauty queen is all about saying look at me. More than the “look at me” aspect, these children are often forced into clothing fit only for a harlot. What is our world’s response to this? Thousands of people will pay to watch these exhibitions of children dressed in the attire of a harlot.
We could spend time looking at the physical torture these kids endure in practice and primping for these contests, but it speaks for itself.
We could discuss the effect of contests, pageants and the like on church attendance. Which is more important?
What about the key verse I mentioned above? Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems as though the children involved in these activities have parents, a mother, who wanted to do these things as a child but could not. Is she torturing her child, teaching her child that physical beauty and talent are all that is important because she is vicariously living her childhood dreams through her daughter? Does that mother despise her own youth?
#GODLYparents know that it is critically important to train their children to walk with the Lord.
Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
If you have been near a television anytime in the last twenty years, you have likely seen at least part of one episode of the television show “COPS.” If my wife and I happen to catch part of an episode, one of us will doubtless remind our children that these are people who do not know how to behave. Of course, there is more to it than that, but our kids are young. We really are still trying to protect them from much of what we might see on “COPS.” Right now, they need to learn God’s Word more than the ways of the World.
This verse gives us a clear promise from God. If we, as parents, do our part and train our children toward God, as they mature, they will follow God. As a child grows, and matures, they will “set” in who they are. In our experience, it seems almost as though the type of adult a person will be is determined before they are thirteen years old. I’m sure there is empirical evidence out there to support this (if there isn’t, there should be). Granted, miracles can take place, and God can change a life, but I am speaking of the typical. Even little things seem to ingrain upon us. I remember my grandmother telling me not to eat the frost on the inside of the freezer, that it was poison. Today, I am not looking for freezer frost to eat, but I know it isn’t poisonous. Still, something deep, deep inside of me squirms at the thought of eating that ice. Sure, it’s irrational, but it’s true. This is why it is important to teach our children, as children, what is right and what is wrong. We have to ingrain in them right and wrong. We have to instill the Word of God in them. Sure, they may face a decision, and decide poorly, but something inside of them will yearn for the right decision.