Excerpt from the book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU
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BY ADA BROWNELL
Outward appearance doesn’t have anything to do with our character, but it might demonstrate some of who we are. Whether we are in rebellion, too lazy to work on our appearance, trying to attract attention, or too timid to be our own person might show on our bodies. But if we keep our hair clean, brushed, and styled; and our clothing clean, wrinkle-free, and well fit; and use colors and styles that complement our age, complexion, hair color, and body shape, it says we care about the details of life.
IMAGINE YOUR UNIQUENESS
As young people grow up, their choices begin to show. Their creativity, eye for style, and desire to be respected blossom in hairstyles, makeup, and clothing.
Appearance also sometimes demonstrates whether you are a leader or a follower.
Many young women today would rather dress warmer (in cool weather or intense air-conditioning) and less seductively than their peers, but their self-images depend on guys devouring them with their eyes. A large number of young women don’t feel they have worth unless they have a boyfriend, and this starts about age twelve. Some will do almost anything to keep the guy, because they can’t deal with rejection—even from slime. Some attempt or succeed at suicide because of broken relationships that weren’t worth pursuing in the first place.
How did a girl’s self-worth depend on how she looks and whether a guy is leading her around as if she’s blind? Does she understand outward looks and most young relationships are temporary?
I’ll never forget Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s answer on the radio one day when a teen girl called, greatly upset about breaking up with her boyfriend. “Are you ready to get married?” the counselor asked. “Courting is for people who want to get married.”
She said dating when you’re young adds too much grief to your life. When you break up, you’re mad at the former beau or gal, and then you’re mad at your best friend when she or he dates your heartthrob.
Not too long ago a commercial confirmed that fact when two guys on a ski lift were discussing one dude’s former girlfriend. The other skier admits he’s called her and they’re going out now. She’s sent photos. The former suitor asks to see, and then he tosses the phone into a canyon.
Schlessinger advises teenagers to go out with groups of guys and gals, getting to know one another, having fun and being friends with everyone until they’re about ready to get married.
Furthermore, having relationships too early can risk your future, especially if you participate in premarital sex. Have you noticed how many entertainment stars are addicted to alcohol or drugs, apparently to kill the pain because despite all their “so-called beauty,” professional success, and going to bed with many partners, no one seems to make a commitment strong enough to love until death?
IMAGINE GOOD LOOKS
Every person is uniquely attractive because we all are made in the image of God. Humankind finally figured out it’s not the color of our skin that matters, but we still don’t seem to know it’s what’s under our skin that counts.
My mom told me the most beautiful thing I can wear is a smile. But even a smile won’t cover an ugly attitude, hatred, envy, anger, lies, greed, jealousy, and rebellion.
I know life sometimes hits youth with ugly blows, but you can have peace and joy.
Guys and gals who have the courage to look good, inside and out, despite what everyone else is doing, will receive respect. If you don’t believe that, think for a minute about a young individual you look up to because of who they are. Listen to how guys and girls treat and talk about people you know who aren’t respected.
Ask yourself why people respect someone you know. Is it only because of how they look or more about how they act?
We’re not talking about being popular here. We’re talking about people you trust and admire. Who do you know that you respect? Can you trust people who always party, make poor grades, disrespect their teachers and their parents, use bad language, and dress seductively? Do you think they will have marriages that last for life?
IMAGINE SETTING TRENDS
People who dress modestly and tastefully—still staying in style—will create peer pressure. More than one person will want to be just like them.
In my teens, those around me helped me grow my character and to be wise in what I chose to wear. My four older sisters set wonderful examples, and one of them always says, “Be classy, not sexy.”
But my oldest sister, Marjorie, had the greatest effect on me. She went to church at the invitation of a friend and that night accepted Jesus as her Savior. I was a baby then, but everyone in our family decided to follow the Lord, including me. That changed my life and made a powerful impact on my future—on earth and for eternity.
Jesus said, “The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).
Copyright © 2015 Ada B. Brownell