One of television’s most popular news anchors is sharing biblical truth this week. Savannah Guthrie, co-host of NBC’s Today Show, published a tender letter to her daughter, Vale, who turns three in August. In it, Guthrie quotes Psalm 139:14, saying her daughter is “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Guthrie, a co-anchor of NBC’s morning show since July 2012, wrote the letter for the Today Show’s series, “Love Your Body.” Guthrie poignantly tells Vale the importance of loving her body, describing her daughter’s frame as the “miraculous physical vessel that is carrying your magnificent heart and soul.”
You don’t know this yet, but our society is pretty obsessed with body image. Before too long (it’s inevitable) you’ll be bombarded with images of perfection almost nobody can attain. If you’re like me, and so many women, you’ll be tempted to judge yourself, to compare yourself, to berate yourself, to doubt yourself. I hope somehow I can equip you to withstand this assault on your confidence.
I want you to love your body, not because of how thin or tall or pretty you may grow up to be, but because it is truly a miracle. God made you; you are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as the famous old scripture says.
It is only natural to care about our physical appearance, and I’m not idealistic enough to think I could prevent that. But when you think about your body, let’s think not about how it looks, but about all the things it can do. Let’s think about your strength and your endurance. Let’s be unendingly grateful for your good health and never take it for granted. Be kind to your body, respect it and treat it well — this is the only one you’ll be getting.
Now isn’t the first time a public audience has read Vale’s mail. Mike Feldman, Vale’s father, and Guthrie’s husband penned a letter to her about fatherhood shortly after her birth. Feldman told Vale, “I have a purpose now. It’s the most important job that I have ever had.”
In 2015, Guthrie wrote a Mother’s Day letter to Vale, published in Time where she said, “You make me want to become stronger, kinder, wiser so I can show you what it looks like when life is done well.”
I applaud Guthrie for expressing important truths to her daughter. In today’s culture, all of us can forget God knit us together (Psalm 139:13 NIV), and He knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30 NIV).
On a personal note, my husband and I years ago authored encouraging words to each of our kids. We called them “affirmations” and spoke them daily so the kids would know them by heart. Brad and I still repeat the affirmations to Evan and Elle because we want them to remember their immense worth, not only to us but also to their Heavenly Father. With Elle’s permission, I’ve included hers below.
You are joy
You are wise
You are graceful and strong
You are confident and steadfast
You are beautiful, smart, and loving
Enthusiasm is your hallmark, and
You walk in God’s favor.
God wrote you a love letter. It’s called the Bible.
Will you take the time to read it today?