What is Beauty?

The other day, my sister wanted someone to practice her photography skills on, so she popped into my room and asked if I would come be her “model”. 😀 I wasn’t exactly feeling up to it, but my mom said something to the extent, “You should go and help her out.” So I was like, okay, sure. It’ll probably end up being fun.

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I got ready. Washed my hair. Put on a little make-up. Tried on an outfit that, in my mind, I imagined would look perfect. Well, when I stood in front of the mirror, the outfit on me, it didn’t look so perfect after all.

I tried on a few different variations, but nothing looked good. A headache began to pulse behind my eyes and my stomach knotted … Thoughts filtering into my mind: You never look good.

Finally I changed back into the original outfit and told myself, You know what, it doesn’t matter. This isn’t about me anyway. And beauty, or lack of it, isn’t who I am. I grabbed my Bible and headed outside with my sister into the crisp, cold air. Let’s highlight something else about me. Those precious moments when I stop worrying about my outward appearance and delight in being my King’s child.

I did enjoy the photo shoot … besides being cold! :p

And I want to tell you all who struggle with insecurity like me: Outward beauty truly is fading and subjective. But a woman who delights in the Lord, a rare beauty illuminates from her.

And part of delighting in the Lord, I feel, is saying confidently to your Creator and for your own heart to hear: I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”

And: “How mighty and glorious You are to have made me pure and whole! And how good You are, the way You keep sanctifying and beautifying me on the inside.”

Philippians 1:6

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Hebrews 9:14

14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

1 Corinthians 6:11

11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

See, I don’t think the Father is pleased when we tear ourselves down constantly. Insulting His creation.

Genesis 1:27

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

We’re living after the Fall, and there is no longer perfection, so we need to stop grasping for it.

After photo shoots, I might find some pictures with just the right lighting and where I’m standing at just the right angle, and I determine that I might look kinda pretty. But I usually find other pictures that make me feel bad about myself. I see all my flaws and wonder anxiously if this is what people see me like everyday. What are they secretly thinking about me if I look like that?

There have been times I’ve wanted to hide myself because I felt my flaws made me unacceptable.

But this is ridiculous. I have to continually reject that lie. Why would I mock my Creator’s design? How does He feel when I listen to people’s opinions rather than His voice of love, and this cultivates an ungrateful heart within me? Why would I make everything about me and my fear, and hide myself away from God’s love and sharing that love with others?

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Dear women, beauty is not all that important.

But I do think every woman innately wants to feel beautiful and treasured, so I just want to tell you that beauty is subjective and people have different perspectives. Maybe there have been some people who’ve said some hurtful things about your appearance … but I can almost guarantee there are also others who find you beautiful.

Song of Solomon 4:7

You are altogether beautiful, my love;
    there is no flaw in you.

And, I’ve told myself, even if every person thinks I’m kind of ugly and awkward, but my eternal Father and Savior finds me beautiful, that’s quite enough.

The only One who’s opinion really matters says: I made you and it is good.

Flaws and all, I am His.

His adopted daughter. Cherished. Secure. Loved.

1 Peter 3:3-4

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

My identity and confidence don’t come from others opinion of me. They’re just people.

My God and King, it’s His voice I will listen to. And in His presence, I’ve never felt Him say: you’re ugly. I’ve never felt Him turn His face away from my flaws. Instead, I picture His gentle hands forming everything about me in my mother’s womb. I picture His strong arms always open to me – welcoming me in. His smile brilliant, His eyes filled with bottomless love.

I’m so complete and beautiful in Him.

And even when I’m old and shriveled up. Thousands of wrinkles, coarse gray hair, and body sagging – all the earthly definition of beauty fading away before my eyes – I will still be so complete and beautiful in Him. As I’m His and His alone.

Truly, if you chase outward beauty, you will never be satisfied. You will never feel beautiful enough. There will always be a girl that you see as better than yourself. If you chase popularity, charm, and wittiness, you will always come up feeling empty. You will never be quite celebrated enough. Have enough.

These things are fleeting. Deceptive. Empty. It can all be tactics Satan uses to lead us astray.

Chase Christ. He will satisfy. His Word says that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised! So let’s put more stock in character and faith than a gorgeous face & body and a witty mind.

1 Samuel 16:7

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Beauty and charm are ultimately ugly without Christ. It will come out that this kind of woman is living only for herself. And you will see the selfish way she chases the high. The arrogant way she pushes others aside. The cruel way she tramples people to elevate herself.

Proverbs 11:22

22 As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

That’s when you see that beautiful suddenly isn’t beautiful anymore.

But what about a woman who fears God? A woman who genuinely follows the Lord Jesus. Who wholeheartedly believes God’s love for her and loves Him. A woman with a heart for people, who sincerely cares for them. A woman passionate about doing what God has called her to. A joyful, radiant woman. A woman who cares for herself and her household. Who hungers for the Word. Who delights in being with Jesus in prayer. A woman who walks in confidence not found in herself. A woman comfortable in God’s design of her femininity. A woman who laughs a lot, complains seldom, and doesn’t look to you for validation.

Now that’s a woman of lasting beauty! That’s a woman who shall be praised. That’s a woman we should admire.

So, dear sister, I want to tell you that you’re beautiful. But don’t chase perfection in outward beauty, chase perfection in Christ.

That’s beautiful.

May we women grow in this beauty together! ❤

Proverbs 31:30

30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

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