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Navigating Beauty and Body Image With Teen Daughters (Part 1 of 2)

Navigating Beauty and Body Image With Teen Daughters (Part 1 of 2)

Author Jessie Minassian offers parents practical advice for helping their daughters gain a healthy perspective about beauty and body image in a culture that drives teen girls and young women to compare themselves to others while chasing impossible standards of beauty. (Part 1 of 2)

Opening:

Teaser:

Young girl: I like my red hair, my green eyes and my freckles, but I think I’m fat. Mom says I’m not too skinny, not too fat, but I think I’m really chubby.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, imagine that that’s your daughter or those words are coming from your wife or your sister? How do you respond to the negative view she has of herself? And how do you help her see herself the way God sees her? Well, we’re gonna talk about that today on Focus on the Family with your host, Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, we routinely hear from families who are dealing with challenges related to beauty and body image, self-worth. These are big topics in our culture today and the culture does absolutely nothing to help parents in this regard. And we live in that sex-saturated, beauty-obsessed culture where our children are often getting the wrong message about what beauty looks like and why they don’t measure up, like that little girl. That broke my heart to hear that. Um … this is important. This is an important topic. We’re not gonna cover guys today. Guys, we have our issues, too, maybe a pot belly, maybe no more hair, uh … maybe your biceps never measured up to what you wanted them to be.

John: Now you’re cuttin’ kinda close there! (Laughter)

Jim: But you know, we’ve got out issues, too, so don’t … please, we get it. Don’t write and say, “What about men?” We got that, but today we want to concentrate on women.

John: Yeah and part of that is because there is so much spent on advertising to young woman about it.

Jim: How much do you think is spent?

John: Well, I would guess billions and billions, right?

Jim: I think it’s around $30 billion that women spend on makeup–

John: Just on makeup?

Jim: –cosmetics and beauty, I mean, it’s crazy.

John: Well, there’re … there’re a lot of influences. Advertising is just part of it, but there’s so many um … who are struggling with eating disorders, depression, uh … the … the real serious side effects of having a … a very bad self-image. And our guest today wants to help us as families navigate these kinds of things and really advocate for our teen daughters especially. Jim, you know I’ve got three girls, so I really appreciate who we have in the studio and how she has a heart to help, not just young women, but older women alike who are struggling with self-image, body image.

Jim: Yeah, Jessie Minassian, she’s been with us before talking about a variety of topics. She’s an author, speaker, blogger and she has a passion for mentoring young women as they deal with life, love and their relationship to God.

Body:

Jim: Jessie, great to have you back to Focus.

Jessie Minassian: I am so grateful to be back.

Jim: Well, this is … your title’s kind of winsome, Backwards Beauty: How to Feel Ugly in 10 Simple Steps. (laughter) I mean, that’s a tender way to get into this discussion. Why’d you choose a title like that?

Jessie: You know, I chose the title because I think we really do have … these are weighty topics. You know, these are  deep-seated issues and yet, girls, we can laugh about ourselves at the crazy things we do (Laughter) to … in the name of beauty, right? There is an element of humor as we talk about some of the just nuts stuff we do.

Jim: You must do that in small circles though. I don’t see a lot of (Laughing) … you don’t invite men into that laughter, do you?

Jessie: (Laughing) Not usually, no (Laughter), we’re too busy shooting down their compliments. (Laughter)

Jim: Well, that’s an interesting place to start. I was talkin’ to my wife about your book just this morning and you know, she related to it. I alw … I thought, man, I got the most beautiful woman in the world. How did I do that? (Laughter) You gotta say—

Jessie: How’d you do that, Jim?

Jim: –okay, the Lord accomplished that for you. That is definitely a miracle. But … but listening to her heart, it always confused me because she was absolutely beautiful, but she never felt beautiful. And I … I did not know as a young husband how to manage that. I kept saying, “You’re beautiful.” “No, I’m not.” “Yes, you are. (laughter) Look in the mirror. You’re gorgeous.” And she couldn’t  own that. She didn’t feel that. Why uh … do women feel that way?

Jessie: That is such a great question. There’s so many things I would love to unpack on that topic, but you were not alone. I … I think probably 99 percent of husbands deal with this, where they’re looking at their wives and they’re saying, “You are beautiful.” Guys say girls are the most beautiful things on the planet that God has created.

Jim: Amen!

Jessie: And yet, as girls, we look at ourselves in the mirror and we can’t help but pick out all the flaws. And I think it goes back right to the Garden. So many of these deep-seated issues go right back to the Garden of Eden. When God created woman, He created her as the crowning stroke of creation. He created her to be beautiful. It kinda helps with that whole like, be fruitful and multiply command that He gave to Adam, right?

Jim: Absolutely.

Jessie: Like she was desirable to Adam.

Jessie: And then He created in Eve this desire to be desirable, to be beautiful.  But when sin entered the world it messed up so many things, including this desire that she had to be beautiful and so, she no longer was able to be confident in that beauty and to celebrate that beauty. Instead she began basing her identity and her worth in that beauty. She wanted affirmation from Adam that I am beautiful.

That’s just continued through all of history. That we girls have strived after and longed after. That’s happened through all of human history. We girls have this love-hate relationship with beauty, where we desire to be beautiful, but we can’t seem to get it through our minds that just by being female, we have inherent beauty.

Jim: Let me ask you this as Jean and I, again, as we were talking about the content of your book and the program today, um … she said, “You know, when I was young and beautiful (in her 20’s),” she said, “I felt guilty on both ends of that continuum. When I really felt pretty, I felt guilty. because it took me effort to get there. The exercise I put into it, how much time I put into my hair. And then on the other end, when she wasn’t taking care of herself, she felt, you know, like she was letting everybody down, including herself, that she wasn’t doing what she needed to do to be pretty, look pretty, etc. That’s a terrible cycle.

Jessie: It is terrible…

Jim: You can’t win.

Jessie: But that … Jim, that exactly hits the nail on the head, because in the church we’ve swung the pendulum from one way to another. So, God’s given us this desire to be beautiful, but the church has said, it’s only what’s on the inside that counts. I think so many of us, we’re trying to figure out which end of the pendulum we want to be on, when really I think there is a middle ground. There’s a way to both desire beauty and let it go all at the same time.

Jim: And we’re gonna discover that over the next few minutes. But  um … something happened to you recently where you were looking for a recipe online and before you knew it, you … you kinda got grabbed back into that world. Describe that for us.

Jessie: (Laughing) I was looking for a kale salad recipe, I promise.

Jim: Okay, right there.

Jessie: Pinkie promise.

Jim: Why are you doin’ that?

John: Kale.

Jim: Kale salad.

John: It’s like cardboard. (Laughter)

Jessie: I actually am a—

Jim: So, you’re gonna get the mail now.

Jessie: –fan.

John: I know. I like kale, actually. (Laughter)

Jessie: I know. (Laughter) I’m actually a fan of kale salad, but I … I was looking for that, but you know how these searches go online, right? You’re looking for one thing and then it’s like this virtual wonderland of rabbit holes and you get dropped in. And I [was] looking through these different pages and this picture catches my eye of actress Kate Hudson.

Now I have to back (Laughter) up and tell you that I’ve always thought that she was beautiful, not like in an obsessive sort of way, but just in a, you know, I wouldn’t mind if I got mistaken for her twin, kind of way, you know.

Jim: You noticed.`

Jessie: I noticed and … and so, I saw this picture for her and … and the title of the article claimed that she had this revolutionary new workout that got her body rockin’ like five minutes after being pregnant. So, I … I took the bait. I clicked the bait and I went to this article and so, five minutes later I find myself doing Pilates moves on my sticky kitchen floor, being jealous of a woman (laughter) I will never meet.

And then to make matters worse, the article’s advertising her new workout line of, you know, clothes. And so, I took the bait again and I go to the website and so, I’m admiring all the slouchy hoodies and neon sports bras and … and actually dished out my hard-earned cash to buy these workout clothes, thinking that I was gonna magically transform into Kate Hudson. It was like someone took my normally logical brain and put it on ice, so I’m oohing and awing over all these things!

Jim: That is very descriptive.

Jessie: But (Laughter) it is … it’s actually …

Jim: You’re very revealing.

Jessie: Yes, well, I am … my life is an open book for everyone to laugh at my misfortunes, but hopefully we can learn from them, as well. But … so, I got these workout clothes and surprisingly, I did not magically transform into Kate Hudson and I went to the gym and no one mistook me for her unfortunately.

But it reminded me that even as a confident, you know, older woman, I still struggle with these body image issues. I … you know, I’ve been doin’ pretty good, being confident in my own skin. It could be that it stretched out as I’ve gotten older, I don’t know (Laughing), but it’s more comfortable. But still looking at these images sucked me right back into those old habits that I’ve had, you know, for a decade or more.

Jim: Well, it shows you how powerful this is—

Jessie: Yes.

Jim: –this attraction is–

Jessie: Yes.

Jim: –and this momentum is. And the culture again, doesn’t help. Uh… I’ve mentioned the book, Backwards Beauty, you identify these 10 ways, 10 easy steps to feeling ugly. I mean, let’s hear ‘em real quick and then we’ll dig into a couple of them.

Jessie: Absolutely, so the first one is to believe what you see on screen. If you want to feel ugly, then assume that every image that you see is real and you should look just like it.

John: Now is this kinda what happened with you and Kate Hudson?

Jessie: Exactly (Laughter) what happens!

Jim: Way to put the—

Jessie: See, I can teach it—

Jim: –the fork in there–

Jessie: –but I can’t … (Laughing)

Jim: –John.

John: Well, now, I was just catchin’ the connection there I think.

Jessie: I saw her body rockin’ after being pregnant and I thought, my body should look just like that, regardless of DNA, regardless of our different histories. I should be able to look just like that. The second way to feel ugly is to get the look at all costs. No matter what the cost of beauty, whether it be time, whether it be money, whether it be your own dignity, get that look.

And the third one is to compare yourself to every other girl out there, whether she’s real or something fake in the media…

Jim: Let me ask you about that one, because that caught my attention and I … that … I was unaware of that, that you talk about how men obviously, oftentimes will look at women. There’s something deep in our brain, too.

Jessie: Uh-hm.

Jim: And we’ll confess that, as well. I think that deep area of our brain lights up for two reasons—food and a woman. (Laughter) Isn’t that … I mean, God created us, right?

Jessie: Yes.

Jim: There’s something core in a male brain.  But what I was astounded by as you talked about how women look at each other.

Jessie: Uh-hm.

Jim: I … and I … I never thought about it in those terms that, you know, women are checking each other out to see kind of where you’re at in the pecking order of beauty. Is that right?

Jessie: Absolutely, it is right. We … we totally do this and it’s why a picture of a beautiful woman is an advertiser’s best friend because they know that they can get men to look at it for the reason that you explained. But women will look at an advertisement much longer if there’s a picture of a girl in it, because we’re comparing.

Jim: Interesting.

Jessie: We’re trying to see if we measure up.

Jim: Okay, so that’s believe what you see on screen. Get the look at all costs. Compare yourself to every other girl. What’s No. 4?

Jessie: To believe nasty words, whether someone else’s or your own. And I do believe that the evil word ninja in our own mind can be the cruelest words of all.

Jim: What do those words sound like?

Jessie: You’re fatter than her. You’re ugly. You look like a new balloon butt today, right? This might just be in my own mind, but (Laughter) pretty common among women. We can be so cruel and … and I think we … we take other’s words, sometimes well-meaning words from a parent or from a teacher or a friend and we twist them into something negative about ourselves and then that evil word ninja gets ahold of them and just is relentless.

Jim:  No. 5.

Jessie: No. 5 is to refuse to take a compliment.

Jim: Boy, that is for sure! (Laughter) And men are worse off because of it (Chuckling), I’m gonna tell ya.

Jessie: It’s so true. I’ve talked to so many guys who say, “I would love to go up to a girl and just tell her she looks pretty today, but I don’t want to get pounced on and told—

Jim: Well, right.

Jessie: –how stupid I am for thinking that. (Laughing)

Jim: That’s very politically incorrect today. I can’t even think of when … I mean, that’s … that’s such a no-no and it might be. I mean, it depends on your motivation, but even husband and wife—

Jessie: Absolutely.

Jim: –that could be dangerous territory.

Jessie: It’s—

John: But—

Jessie: –totally.

John: –but I hear you saying that a lot of women will just deflect that or say, “Oh, no, I’m really not”—

Jessie: Right.

John: –even if it’s a genuine compliment from somebody they know and trust?

Jessie: Absolutely. Watch, give me a compliment, Jim.

Jim: You … you are the sister of Kate Hudson. (Laughter) Wow! How did you do that?

Jessie: No, you are so wrong (Laughter), Jim. (Laughter) It comes second nature. I can dodge it. I can deflect it. I can down it like a fighter jet, because I’m trained in this art as a woman, that if you give me a compliment, you are either blind or crazy, right—

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: –one of the two. Or you know, if you tell me that my outfit looks cute, “Oh, I got it on sale,” right? Or I got it—

Jim: Always discount it.

Jessie: –at Goodwill. We cannot … and it’s either … I think it’s one of two things. Either we genuinely feel like you’re blind or crazy or we don’t wanna appear prideful.

Jim: Right.

Jessie: –because that’s a no-no in the church, too.

Jim: It’s another interesting difference between the sexes, because men, they love compliments. (Laughter) And we’ll gladly take it and if you give us more, we’ll take those, too. There’s not a compliment we’ll deflect. (Laughter)

Jessie: It’s so true.

Jim: But women are totally different. They always start with their own fault line. I mean, they’re always going, “No, I’m not good enough.”

Jessie: Yes.

Jim: “How could you say that about me?” It’s an interesting aspect of the female um … you know, psychology that … that women struggle feeling good about themselves just at the core.

Jessie: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s so hard and men probably are too comfortable feeling good about themselves (Laughter) at their core. It’s like you need some reality, buddy. (Laughter) Okay, what’s No. 6 really quick.

Jessie: No. 6 is to view your body as a power tool.

Jim: Now what does that mean?

Jessie: I have an affinity for power tools, so that’s probably (Laughter) where that came from, but a power tool meaning to use your body as a tool to have power over guys because we do inherently have this capacity as women to intoxicate a man’s brain.

Jim: It’s crazy.

Jessie: We can sometimes latch onto that. Because of the curse, we desire to have power over guys, right? And so, we can sometimes get into the trap of viewing our body as something to get what we want.

Jim: A manipulation.

Jessie: A manipulative tool.

Jim: And the Scripture’s full of those examples. I mean, there’s many, many—

Jessie: Yeah, Delilah.

Jim: –examples of it. Yeah, I mean, it just keeps goin’.

Jessie: Absolutely.

Jim: But it’s so true. Okay, No. 7, let me say it; eat junk and diet, diet, diet. I mean, I … I might try that once in a while (Laughter), John, but you know.

John: Jim, this is a … a line not to believe about yourself. (Laughter)

Jim: Um … that happens, huh?

Jessie: It absolutely does and if you want to feel ugly about yourself, this is a perfect way to do it and it’s tricky, because it plays into what we … we should be taking care of our bodies. There’s a very healthy way to do that and  I’m very passionate about eating well and to take care of the bodies that God has given us.

But if you want to feel ugly, just eat whatever you want and then if you don’t like how your body’s responding, just latch onto the newest fad diet and have at it.

Jim: Yeah and we should remind people, this is your subtitle, How to Feel Ugly in 10—

Jessie: Right, these—

Jim: –Simple Steps.

Jessie: –are not the tips we want—

Jim: This isn’t what you’re—

Jessie: –you to do. (Laughing)

Jim: –aiming for. Uh … let’s see, No. 8, adore or ignore exercise, kind of an extreme. Jean totally connected with this. You’re either all in and you’re obsessing about exercising or you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t do it.”

Jessie: Right.  Jim: “I’m so out of shape, I can’t get back.”

Jessie: Right, yeah, we  tend toward these extremes as human beings I think. And I think there’s a very healthy medium in between the two, to view exercise, one, not as a punishment for what I’ve eaten, not to purge every calorie that I’ve eaten, but as a way to be strong and healthy and enjoy the exercise, enjoy the way that our bodies can move.

Jim: Yeah. No. 9.

Jessie: No. 9 is to treat your scale like a magic mirror.

Jim: (Laughing) I can … yeah, how does that work?

Jessie: Well, I just have this picture of the queen in “Snow White,” like Disney’s Snow White and she’s standing in front of the mirror. You know, “Mirror, mirror on the wall,” and I think we do that with our scales as girls. We’re like standing on our scales. Scale, scale on the floor, tell me I’m lighter than the day before, pretty please! (Laughter)

Jim: That was good. I like that.

John: Did you just make that up? (Laughter)

Jessie: We … we can get into this habit of thinking that that number on the floor is … defines us.

Jim: Well, yeah.

Jessie: And I was totally guilty of this. I would weight myself morning, at night and if it didn’t tell me the number that I wanted to see, it affected my mood for the whole day.

Jim: Yeah.

Jessie: And we’re so much more than a number. First of all, it’s just ridiculous, like to think that I should be at a certain number. You know, depending on your body mass and your … the weight of your muscle and … and the stage of life that you’re in, there’s so many factors that are in that. But we and as a society have bought into this idea that, you know, if I can get that magic little number on the scale, then I am beautiful.

John: Well, some great insights from Jessie Minassian today on Focus on the Family. If you’ve got any questions or concerns about what you’re hearing so far, it might be that you have a friend or a family member who really is struggling with these issues, please give us a call. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 800-232-6459. And if you’re interested in Jessie’s book, Backwards Beauty: How to Feel Ugly in 10 Simple Steps, we’ll have details at  www.focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and return now to the conversation with Jessie Minassian on Focus on the Family.

John: Jim, I had that moment, as you know, where our concern for our daughter and some of these very things you’re talking about in terms of exercise and weight and self-image. We went from thinking she was just on a kick to get healthy, to getting very concerned for her well-being.

So much so that we had to call Focus. We actually used one of the Focus counselors here and that dear counselor spoke truth into my daughter’s life to say, “You’re not thinkin’ right and  you’re gonna need some help here.” And it took our doctor to actually get in her face to say, “You’re gonna have to be hospitalized, ‘cause we can’t help you anymore.” And the Lord intervened in a pretty powerful way there, but it was a struggle, because we thought, oh, she’s being healthy, you know. She’s … she wants to run half marathons. And then we started to all in the house … all of us started to notice, Jessie, she wasn’t eating much.

Jessie: Yeah.

John: It was like 8, 900 calories a day. And I … I think you went through somethin’ kinda like that, right?

Jessie: I did; I did. Yeah, I … um … I was an athlete starting from a young age all the way through college. And so, I never really had to worry much about what I ate. Like literally ate Twix and a Sprite every day for lunch all of my junior year. And it didn’t matter, because I would work out all afternoon and have games at night. And so…

Then there came a time when I wasn’t doing that anymore and I realized I was starting to gain weight and I fell into the habit of exercise bulimia, where every calorie that I consumed I felt I needed to punish myself for in the form of exercise. And it’s a trap. And what’s so crazy, John, I’m so glad you brought that up, it often begins in a positive way of I want to get my body healthy.

John: Uh-hm.

Jessie: And then there’s something that trips in a girl’s mind where we see progress and then that progress isn’t good enough. And then it’s almost like our mind becomes clouded. We get these dark glasses on where we can’t see reality anymore.

Jim: Compulsive really.

Jessie: It … it becomes compulsive–

Jim: Right.

Jessie: –where we’re starting to see, wait a second. I’m starting to look more like that image I’m seeing in that magazine. If I keep this up, I might attain perfection, right? And so, we  keep chasing it and it never fully satisfies.

In fact, someone very dear to me um … who went through cancer, she struggled with weight a … much of her life. She was in the middle of cancer treatment and so she saw all this weight dropping off and she actually told me, “You know, it sounds sick, but it’s actually a relief that I’m finally losing all this weight.” And she looked like she coulda been in a death camp at … at that point.” But she finally felt like maybe she wasn’t fat anymore.

Jim: Well, and that describes for me the grip that it has on people and many, many women, certainly not everyone and we realize that. But … but it is, it’s this incredible grip, the body image and the issue of body image.

Um … I think it’s important to kinda distinguish that line. It’s so particular case by case. But John, for you and Dena and the rest of the family, where you were noticing what your daughter was eating or not eating. That’s kind of a … a good place to just be mindful of it. You don’t have to go over the top, but just know the general well-being of your children, correct?

Jessie: Absolutely, yeah as a family and to be talking about what health looks like and to be open and honest as parents with what your struggles are.

John: We’re grateful that a friend actually called and talked to me and said, “You need to know what, what Alli’s been doing.” And uh, we were kind of, at that point, stunned because we thought well she’s just being healthy but we realized no, it’s crossed a line somewhere along the way here so, it took The Lord speaking through a lot of different circumstances, and she’s mostly recovereed. But, it seems like these are the kinds of things that still linger for a while. Huh?

Jessie: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. It becomes an ongoing battle through our whole lives as women. I think it’s not something that we grow out of in the sense that we age out of it, it’s only something that we can grow out of through the power of the Holy Spirit as our spirits are quickened and understand God’s design for us as women.

Jim: And Jessie, before we close out today, I want to come back next time and keep this discussion going. There’s more meat that we need to get to out of your book. Um … but the last one there on your list of 10, which again, we’re gonna post at our website, is idolize beauty. And let me ask the question this way. You compare today’s beauty obsession with idol worship.

Jessie: Hm.

Jim: And we should all relate to that, especially as believers. We should understand what are those idols that we possess? I mean, one of mine is football. I love it too much and uh … you know, I’ve gotta curb the appetite to take in too much. Uh … but the same is true with eating issues and body image. How can girls and women acknowledge their God-given sense of beauty without turning it into something that’s all-consuming, that’s compulsive like we just talked about and uh … you know, ultimately defeat evil in that way, that idol in us? It sounds like a tall order.

Jessie: Hm … it is a tall order and as believers, I think we find this in so many realms of the Christian life, that any good thing that God has given us, we can twist and put on a pedestal and make it the highest, end-all goal of our lives. And beauty can be that way for women.

Jessie: How we defeat that is a big tall order. You’re right.

Jim: Right.

Jessie: But there’s this little story in the Old Testament that gives me such hope as a girl. It’s in the book of Exodus and you know, Moses is down there in Egypt. He’s given the plagues to Pharaoh like nobody’s business. Pharaoh’s so stubborn. He’s comin’ after him with all these plagues. And in the midst of that, God tells His people, “Get ready. You’re gonna have to be ready at a moment’s notice.” And so, the women start packing, right? They pack their shoes. They pack some food. They get some gifts from Egyptian neighbors. They pack their mirrors! Why only women understand (Laughter), because we as girls know, it doesn’t matter if it’s a nighttime perilous journey through the desert. We are taking our mirrors. (Laughing)

Jim: Right.

Jessie: And we don’t see that in the story of when they’re leaving Egypt, but we see them a few chapters later when they’re at the base of Mount Sinai. And God is giving them directions for how to build the tabernacle. And there’s a little verse tucked in there that says that Bezalel made washbasin and it’s stand from the bronze mirrors donated by the women who served at the entrance to the tabernacle.

Now there’s so much in there that I want to unpack, right? First that they took their mirrors all the way. That’s just kind of … (Laughter) and no one’s gonna take their—

Jim: Bronze mirrors, no less.

Jessie: –mirrors, bronze mirrors–

Jim: Heavy.

Jessie: –unless they’re pretty concerned about their looks, right?  Secondly, they were willing to give them up for God. That’s pretty huge. But thirdly, who gave them up? Not all the women gave up their mirrors, a very select few. They were the women who were serving God at the entrance of the tabernacle. And my theory is that, as those women were serving God and in His presence day after day, He started to open their eyes to the truth about who they were, to the bigger picture beyond their beauty. And they were able to sacrifice those for His kingdom because they understood their worth and their true beauty.

John: That’s Jessie Minassian with a really counter cultural message about beauty and body image on today’s episode of Focus on the Family. We’re looking forward to sharing part two of the conversation with you next time.

Closing:

Jim: John, I really appreciate Jessie’s passion to help teens and young women. This book she’s written, Backwards Beauty, is very insightful because we really have gotten our definitions of beauty and self- worth all mixed up in today’s culture, even in the Christian community. And the result has been chaos. Um, this is an arena that we parents need to step into, the fight against the destructive messages that girls and boys are getting from the media and the culture. Our kids need to know that their value comes from God alone, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about them. Focus on the Family is trying to help. For example, we’ve re-launched our Brio magazine specifically for teen girls, helping them grow in their faith and develop healthy relationships. We address issues these young women care about. Social media, dating in today’s culture, all from a Biblical perspective. Now I wanna encourage you to check out Brio magazine at our website and Jessie’s book, Backwards Beauty and the many other resources we have for your parenting journey with teenagers. And trust me, John and I have been there, we know what you’re going through and still going through in our case. And uh, Focus is here to help you.

John: Give us a call today, our number is 800-232-6459, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Or, stop by Focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. When you get in touch, we’ll letcha know how you can donate to this family ministry. We are listener supported, and that means we depend on your prayers and your generosity to help us produce broadcasts like this and offer the resources we’ve mentioned.

Jim: And we need to hear from you, we need your financial support to keep the ministry going. You can do that through a monthly pledge which will help us stabilize our budget and be better prepared for the tens of thousands of parents who will contact us in the coming months. So please, join our support team today with your pledge of a onetime gift or a monthly gift, and we’ll respond by sending you a copy of Jessie’s book as our way of saying thank you.

John: Donate, and join the support team at fcusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. We really hope you’ll join us next time for more insights about how to keep beauty in perspective.

Teaser:

Jessie: And so, I can both desire beauty and let it go at the same time and not let it become an idol in my life, but just enjoy being a girl and enjoy having an inherent beauty by being female.

End of Teaser

Today's Guests

Backwards Beauty

Receive Jessie Minassian's book Backwards Beauty for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

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Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

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Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

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Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

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Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

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Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!