I know I can’t be the only person who is appalled by what our society deems as beautiful. The messages we, as women, receive about beauty and success just make me sad. I googled the word “beauty” and the picture to the left is one of this first things that came up. It simply makes me sad for our next generation of girls who don’t know and understand how God sees them. Then I googled “Godly beauty” and the image to the right was one of the first results. There’s a big difference between what the world sees as beautiful vesus what God sees as beautiful.
We receive the message that we’re not beautiful unless we are very thin and wear designer clothing and we’re not successful unless we’re beautiful. And unless we’re beautiful and successful, we’re unlovable. For a long time, those messages shaped who I was and who I wanted to be. From a very young age I wanted to be thinner. I never felt good enough. I felt ashamed of my “ugliness” and I turned to extreme measures to try to find some comfort and control. I just knew that if I wanted to be beautiful then I needed to be thinner. I have tried to lose weight through the unhealthy obsession of an eating disorder. I have tried to manage the shame of that eating disorder through self-harm. It’s a vicious cycle. The more out of control I felt, the more control I tried to grab a hold of; but the more control tried to grasp for, the more control I lost.
All I wanted was to be beautiful because I wanted love. I never had the reaffirming love of my dad while I was growing up, so I turned to ridiculous places to find it. I didn’t find love in alcohol, I didn’t find love in self harm, I didn’t find love in an eating disorder. As I got older, I was beginning to believe that I would never find love.
But, better late than never, my dad showed me love. He showed me the love of an unfailing, all-powerful, sovereign God. As I began to understand who God was, I began to understand who He said I was and what He said was beautiful.
1 Peter 3:3-4 – 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 the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God doesn’t see beauty in our external appearance. Beauty doesn’t come from our weight or our clothes, but beauty comes from our heart. God doesn’t see the way the world sees. When the world judges us by our outward appearance, God looks into our hearts and sees our real selves, our hidden lives. That can be comforting or terrifying, depending on how we see God. If I try to find beauty based on the world’s standards, I will never be satisfied. But based on God’s standards, I am already beautiful and love by my Heavenly Father. I don’t like to dress up and I don’t like to wear make up, but guess what? God still loves me unconditionally and thinks I am beautiful. I am His daughter and He loves me, no matter how I look.
Song of Solomon 4:7 – You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Isaiah 43:1 – But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Proverbs 31:30 – Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
God doesn’t love me BECAUSE I am beautiful; rather, I am beautiful because He loves me.
When we look at what we think is beautiful, do we ever think about why we think certain things are beautiful? I learned a great lesson from watching VeggieTales’ Sweetpea Beauty with the girls. I’m not the one who finds beauty in everything, God does, but I simply choose to agree with Him.
I wish I could get rid of the messages that we’re not good enough, we’re not thin enough, and we’re not pretty enough. But society continues to pour out those messages and there’s not much I can do to stop it. However, I can counteract them with the Word of God. I can counteract those messages with choosing to not believe them and to believe who God says I am.
Psalm 139:14 – I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
God didn’t just throw me together from scraps, He knew me intimately and He intricately crafted me with the work of His hands. Who am I to contradict Him?