“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Once upon a time there lived a humble farmer and his wife. They had been blessed with two handsome sons. Mr. Farmer worked long, hard days to provide for his family. He loved them and did his best to provide for them. Mrs. Farmer tended to the home and the children. Although her skills were limited (especially in the kitchen), she strived to make their house a warm and inviting home. Their lives were difficult but full, meager but blessed.
One day, Mrs. Farmer announced that she was expecting again! They were thrilled to discover that a little girl would soon be joining their family! In spring of the following year, the Farmers welcomed their little one into the world. Immediately, they knew the bundle of joy they held in their arms was something special. She was no ordinary child. Soon, Mrs. Farmer would discover that she had given birth to a princess. She was a gift, entrusted especially to their care.
Yet, how could two lowly peasants possibly raise royalty?! As a God-fearing family, the Farmers went constantly and fervently to the Lord in prayer. They faithfully promised to raise her as His own.
Years passed, and their princess grew more beautiful with each passing day. She was so full of life and creativity. There was never a dull moment when she was around; she even kept her big brothers on their toes! Each day, as she dressed and brushed her hair, she would ask, “Mommy, do I look beautiful?” The answer was always the same, “Yes, you always look beautiful!”
But then something changed. A shadow passed over their home. Their princess became angry and mean. She refused to share and was all too willing to disrespect and disobey her parents. That day, when she asked, “Mommy, do I look beautiful?” her mother’s reply was different. “No, honey, you don’t look beautiful today. Instead, you look ugly, not because of anything on the outside but because of the ugliness inside your heart.” Her little princess stared up at her confused. Mrs. Farmer picked up her daughter and sat her in her lap. She told her this story . . .
Mommy and Daddy love you very much, but you were given to us by Someone much greater, Someone who loves you even more than we do. He is a King, the King of all kings. Do you know what that makes you? That’s right, a princess. Before you were even born, He had a special plan and purpose for your life. I’m so glad that He’s allowed me to be part of that plan. We’re doing the very best we can to help you become true royalty, but only you can decide if you want to be a beautiful princess or an ugly pauper. Your Daddy, the King, wants to help you. He wants to clean the ugliness in your heart and show you your true beauty. He wants to give you the very best, but there are many who will try to deceive you and turn you back. They will tell you that you aren’t beautiful and you can’t be a princess. That is just not true! You ARE beautiful. You ARE wonderful. You ARE worthy. Because you are HIS.
. . . As Mrs. Farmer came to the end of her story, her little girl looked up with her big beautiful blue eyes. “Can I go play now, Mommy?” She smiled. Her princess hopped down and scampered away. She knew that she would have to tell the story again, and again, until she really understood. What a huge responsibility she had to raise a princess! What a privilege! She was so thankful she didn’t have to do it alone!
Day after day, the Farmers loved and cared for their beautiful princess. They told her she was beautiful and reminded her that true beauty begins in the heart. Even as faulty peasants, they worked hard to point her on the path to the kingdom, to light the way to her Royal Daddy. And every day, they were humbled that He had chosen them to be parents to a princess!
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My sweet, precious little girl is just around the corner from her fifth birthday. She is my beautiful princess, daddy’s little girl and our gift from Heaven. This story is for her. As her parents, we take seriously the command to “[t]rain up a child in the way [she] should go” (see Proverbs 22:6), but we know we fall very short of that mark. We are praying that God’s sufficient grace and unending mercy will fill in the gaps in our faulty parenting. My heart’s desire is for her to know the love of the Lord and at a very early age, begin to walk in a relationship with Him. It took me, Mommy, a long time before I realized that I myself was a princess – may she discover this truth much sooner! Until then, I promise to help guard her heart (see Proverbs 4:23) and protect her from the Enemy who seeks to rob her of an abundant life (see John 10:10). May she forever be beautiful—from the inside out!
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:3-4 (emphasis mine)