The mainstream music charts have been dominated by female secular artists who make the subject matter of their songs as edgy as possible to draw in listeners. Unfortunately as a father of three young daughters who love dance-pop style music, there haven't been many edifying songs I can offer as wholesome alternatives to those artists, until I heard 1 Girl Nation. I can't enough of these catchy songs on 1 Girl Nation
by 1 Girl Nation
Electronic pop music has made a big mark on the music scene and 1 Girl Nation's Kayli, Lindsey, Carmen, and Lauryn Taylor bring a vocal sincerity to these ultra-catchy pop songs which could easily be featured alongside today's top-selling mainstream artists. Fans of female pop singers looking for a faith-based alternative will enjoy these catchy songs.
My daughters are 14, 10, and 8 years old, and this album is perfect for them. It has been one of my missions in sharing the biblical truth behind songs by Christians to help women who are bombarded with negative messages from the world, regarding body image, and identity, to know that their true identity is found in the Person of Jesus. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. I am just my daughters' earthly father. They ultimately belong to our Heavenly Father, God. I want them to know their eternal destiny. I had the chance to speak with Kayli, Lindsey, Carmen and Lauryn Taylor in person at Creation Northeast
about their moving ballad "In the Eyes."
Please tell me about the background message behind the song.
I was blessed to grow up in a really strong Christian home. My dad is a pastor and as awesome as that was growing up and having a strong Christian family, I found a lot of the time it was tiring to try to always keep it all together. I had trouble with living up to heavy expectations. A lot of times it felt like I needed to be strong for everyone else around me. If you would have met me you would have thought I was this happy go-lucky girl without a care in the world who led the perfect life from the outside.
What people didn't see was that insecurity was eating me alive completely. I would go home, lock myself in my room, criticize myself, looking in the mirror for hours, crying myself to sleep and asking God, "Why did You make me this way?" The only thing scarier, I think, than struggling in front of others is struggling alone. I felt alone and broken. I let those lies that Satan was telling me rule my thoughts and eventually start to rule my life. He would tell me things like "Lindsey, you are unworthy, you are not beautiful, you are not lovable." I believed everything he was saying.
Because I believed those lies, I started dating the wrong guys who treated me horribly because I believed that's what I deserved. I started skipping meals and eventually making myself throw up because I believed a lower number on the scale would give me more worth. I was a complete mess. I was never going to be happy with what I saw. Then, family friends and close people in my life really challenged me to look into God's Word and read what He said. What I found changed my life. I love the confidence in the Scripture of Psalm 139: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know this very well."
Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?
Psalm 139:13-18 (NIV):
For You made the parts inside me. You put me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret and put together with care in the deep part of the earth. Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be. Your thoughts are of great worth to me, O God. How many there are! If I could number them, there would be more than the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
Ephesians 2:10 (NLT):
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV):
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Song of Solomon 4:7 (NIV):
You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.
1 Peter 2:9 (MSG):
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference He made for you--from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
What's the takeaway message for listeners about the song and album?
1 Peter 2:9 says that we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood and God's special possession. Song of Solomon says, "You are altogether beautiful my love, there is no flaw in you." When I comprehended that for the first time, my life changed. I found worth in Jesus. When I understood that as God's chosen people, we are a special possession, I felt worth. I felt like I had a place. I felt I could find my identity through Jesus.
God's Word is filled with verses about His great love for us. If we could only see ourselves the way He sees us, we would never see ourselves the same way. It's hard and it is a daily struggle for me to wake up and surrender that part of my life over to God. I need to say, "You know what, Jesus I don't care what I think or what Satan is trying to tell me, I'm going to find my identity in You." Jesus has made me altogether beautiful. I want to challenge people to think about how just like if a kidnapper came to your house to take you, you wouldn't just sit and let it happen. You would kick and scream and fight back.
I want to encourage everyone that when Satan is speaking lies to you to kick and scream and fight and remind yourself that when Jesus died on the Cross, He gave us power over those lies. That's how my story connects to the story of "In the Eyes." It's such a privilege to sing that song and talk about it, because it challenges us girls every day.
My daily struggle is choosing to think on the things that are true, good and lovely. To not focus on how I'm feeling or my circumstances. My mom used to have me sit down and write out ten good things. I'm so thankful for that because she's trained my mind to think on the good things rather than my situations or storms. It's a daily choice, every minute, to combat those lies with the Truth of what Jesus says.
You hold the picture
Though it goes unsaid
I know you question
Where you fit in
Among the faces
You hear their voices say
You are broken
So you hide away
Don't hide away
You are treasured
You are beautiful
In the eyes, in the eyes
Of the One who made you
You are perfect
You're worth more than you know
In the eyes, in the eyes
Of the One who made you
So you're different
Let them say you are
Cause you're the vision
Of the Father's heart
In the Father's heart
When the world has told you lies
You are priceless in His eyes
This album is loaded with positive grace-filled messages of hope. The upbeat and heavily produced musical arrangements on this album perfectly accentuate these great songs. 1 Girl Nation features strong vocals, relevant and biblical messages and this is a solid debut album from a talented young band. Probably the most memorable moments on the album for me are the songs about being made in God's image and not seeking society's approval but knowing that God created and loves us all as we are. That critical message is heard loud and clear in this song.
Struggling with identity issues is not limited to girls, but in today's society which sends out signals that image is everything, the message of this song is very edifying. This past week, I watched the music video for Colbie Caillat's song "Try," which features women removing their makeup as the song's lyrics sing, "You don't have to try...take your makeup off, you can be yourself, don't you like you? 'Cause I like you."
I've been married for almost 20 years, and having three young daughters, this song is the type of message that I want them to hear: "You're worth more than you know, in the eyes of the One who made you." As people experience the music and ministry of 1 Girl Nation, I pray that they know the truth of their identities that they were made in God's image and likeness. His Word tells us that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." Don't let the world tell you who you are. It doesn't matter what you look like, if you have Jesus on the inside. That's where we can find our true identities, in Him! Amen to that!
(Listen to the song here