At bed time last night Cooper climbed up in my lap with a couple of books. “The Monster at the End of the Book” with lovable old Grover, and of course “The Three Pigs” were there too. I’ve read The Three Little Pigs so many times that I wrote a post about it a few weeks ago.

The more children’s books I read and the more movies I watch, I find it interesting what underlying themes our children start learning at a young age.

  • Cinderella is a wonderful book and a great movie. She’s beautiful, sweet and easy to love. The step-sisters are anything but beautiful. As one book puts it, they are the “ugly step-sisters.” As the story goes, they have big feet too (yuk)! Do you remember who wins in the end? The beautiful one, Cinderella.
  • The Ugly Duckling is a story I’ve read my children. Do you remember who likes the ugly duckling when he’s ugly? Nobody. But who loves the Ugly Duckling when he becomes the beautiful swan? Everybody.
  • Sleeping Beauty is an amazing story. She is, as the book tells you, a beauty. She’s no sleeping “normal” or even sleeping “ugly,” but sleeping “beauty.” And who is there to wake the sleeping “beauty?” Not average Joe, not homely Hal, but only the best, Prince Charming. Can you imagine what a bomb the story would have been if it had actually been about Sleeping Ugly? Can you imagine Prince Charming dismounting his horse, taking one look at Sleeping Ugly and saying, “Yuk, I’m not kissing her. I’ll slap her, but I’m not kissing her!”

Sometimes I wonder if our children catch the underlying theme of “What you look like on the outside is more important than what you look like on the inside.” That if you’re not beautiful on the outside you’re not special, and if you are beautiful on the outside you’ll be somebody and everyone will like you.

The Israelites were guilty of this when they wanted Saul to be their first King. They liked Saul for what he looked like on the outside instead of the inside. Saul didn’t turn out to be much of a King. Then after Saul, came David. When David was chosen by God to be King, God said there is a difference between Saul and David, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him (Saul). The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Don’t hear me wrong. I’m not against Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or the Ugly Duckling, but I am against our children learning that what you look like on the outside is more important than your inward beauty. It’s always been about the inside with God. Wasn’t Jesus harder on the Pharisees than anyone else? One reason is that all they cared about was how they looked on the outside to others. It was Jesus that told them that on the inside they were simply dead or ugly.

With God it all comes down to how you look on the inside. Your worth shouldn’t be valued by your hair, clothes or beauty. Your worth is valued by how your heart looks (1 Peter 3:3-4)?

Want to know how valuable you are to God? Read this, “For God so love the world that He gave His one and only Son ….”

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
16 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Don Neyland says:

    No prob… move on to SHREK ugly is in and beauty is vilified. :)

  2. Monalea says:

    Enjoyed! The Ads really push beauty also.


  3. That Girl says:

    I have big ugly feet and I have to do all the work at my house… I still feel like Cinderella the princess!

  4. Mommysmart says:


    I just wanted you to know that I have not been a very good “bloggie” friend lately. I have still been lurking, just not commenting. Finals are over on Tuesday and I will have more time to let you all know how much your blogs brighten my day.


  5. The Preacher's Household: says:

    Absolutely true. For us parents, James Dobson wrote a book and has recently updated it called ‘Hide & Seek’ about self esteem in children. He makes this point about the inside and out.

    Don, we love Shrek. It is true ugly is in. Too bad it is rated PG.


  6. TREY MORGAN says:

    Don – Shrek was an excellent movie to disbunk this belief. Excellent thought!

    James – Good book

  7. Neva says:

    I have always loved the passage that says while we were still sinners, He died for us—I know that is when I was at my ugliest. It would be like someone seeing us when we are awkward, obnoxious, acneed and fourteen (when we think we know it all. :) and deciding right then and there that we were the girl or guy of their dreams. Pretty cool that God’s definition of ugly is so different from ours.


  8. Baptist Man says:

    Good post Trey. It’s absolutely true. I have one question though: How can you be against the underlying theme of these stories and not be against the stories themselves? It seems to me that a choice has to be made.

    It’s kind of like saying, “I’m against the fat content of a Snickers bar, but I’m not against the Snickers bar itself.”

    It really comes down to this: would it be better for your kids to hear those stories or not? Enjoyment with dad at a young age is nice, but twisted morals as an adult is a pretty steep price.

  9. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I had a friend who hated the Little Mermaid because she thought it taught that your value was in being beautiful and having a good talent.

    I think there are a lot of underlying themes in the stories we tell our kids. It makes a great time for discussion. Also, have you ever tried to explain how David could still have a heart for God after Bathsheba, or the suicidal pigs, or how Abraham was willing to kill the son he waited so long for, or… The Bible is full of stories that we need to know the ending or the rest of the story for and we need to discuss with our kids.

  10. TREY MORGAN says:

    Kathy … good point. I think it creates a good time to teach too. Good thoughts.

  11. Monalea says:

    Ya’ know, I was told these stories as a small child; 3 Little pigs, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood etc. and I don’t think I ever came to a crossroad and thought….”I wonder what Sleeping Beauty would do.” Maybe that’s my problem today????

  12. TREY MORGAN says:

    Maybe we need to get some braclets that have WWSBD. “What Would Sleeping Beauty Do?”

  13. That Girl says:

    I was always taught that “pretty is as pretty does”. If you don’t “do” pretty, you’ll never really be pretty. That’s why the evil step sisters were ugly… they were mean to the nice girl.

  14. The Preacher's Household: says:

    I was always taught and I teach my girls, “pretty is as pretty does.”
    I teach the ugly side as well, “ugly is as ugly does”. And I have been known to change it to “boring is as boring does” and “stupid is as stupid does” (sorry I used the bad word), and ….

    BTW, Trey, I posted a cartoon just for you. I was going to post another one, but I found this one first. I am going to post that one soon – it really did remind me of you.
    Maybe Lisa could do a survey on what storybook character are you most like?

  15. TREY MORGAN says:

    I hope y’all (Texan word) don’t think I don’t like children’s book.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Trey Morgan
Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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