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 ….”