Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
For many of us, how we feel about our appearance affects not only our self-worth, it also affects our willingness to let our husbands see us naked. I finally won that battle, but I still have some work to do in believing that my worth is not partly based on my appearance.
A few weeks ago, I found myself posting this on Facebook:
Yes, I know it’s wrong–but looking at pictures of stars without makeup makes me feel so much better about myself.
It shouldn’t be true, but it is. Seeing that even the most beautiful women have flaws makes me feel slightly less bad about myself.
I am overweight, saggy, and stretch-marked. My eyes and calves are the only features I really like. My hair is a constant frustration. My good hair days are so rare that I announce them on Facebook. On a good day, I look like one of those old broken fertility goddess statuettes (but with better legs and a worse backside).
Even when I put on makeup, my flaws show through. I have no sense of style, and while I generally don’t think about it much, there are times when I see a woman who just looks so perfect that I feel like a frump in comparison. I wish I could look really good just once in my life.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty. There is nothing wrong with wearing fashionable clothes or wearing makeup.
What is wrong is when we begin to think that our worth and true beauty come from how we look.
~ ~ ~
Sometimes I imagine God is shaking His mighty head at me. He says,
My daughter, why do you so easily forget that you are worth much to me? I have done so much to welcome you into my embrace.
Your worth is in your heart and soul. You know that. You know that I love you. You are beautiful. After all, I made you in My image. I even gave you a husband to help you remember how very beautiful you are. He tells you how beautiful you are. Now, I’m glad you finally believe that he truly finds you beautiful—but I see inside your heart and know that you don’t agree with him.
So what if you are saggy and marked? That is living that shaped your body. Be healthier. Grow stronger. Take better care of yourself because it is the body I gave you. But know that it will make absolutely no difference in your worth or in your true beauty.
Every day, there you are, stressing out over how you look. Is it really worth your stress? Really? You stand in front of your closet wanting a new wardrobe to appear, as though a different set of clothes will somehow make you worthy. My first children wore fig leaves and garments of skin. You have a closet full of so much more and think you don’t have anything to wear. Seriously, my child?
And then, once you finally decide what to wear, you still pronounce it not quite good enough. So you go stand in front of another mirror. You bemoan your glorious hair—hair that I made for you. And you gaze upon your countenance. You make judgments upon yourself on the basis of what—skin tone? your lips? your eyebrows? Do you really think your worth is measured by those things? Do you at least smile at yourself while you are looking in the mirror? Do you allow yourself to see the beauty that I made in you?
And then . . oh, my child . . . you place cosmetics on your face. You disguise My handiwork and try to make yourself appear as other than you are. I know you want to look nice, and it’s okay to personalize and decorate what I have given you. I gave you a canvas, and it’s okay to play. Make yourself look pretty if you want to. But you have got to stop thinking that your appearance constitutes your worth!
You look at those ridiculous articles about celebrities without makeup and you have the audacity to feel better about yourself simply because they look like the normal women they are? The women I created in My image just as I did you? How other women look has absolutely NOTHING to do with your worth, value, or beauty. You really need to get some perspective on this, my child.
Your external beauty is not the source of your worth.
You are my beloved daughter.
You bear My image no less than any other woman does.
You are Mine.
You don’t need to try to be beautiful. You already are.
You are beautiful.
~ ~ ~
Sisters, could these be God’s words to you, just as they could be His words to me? Do you seek beauty as a source of your worth rather than as a reflection of it?
I’d like to encourage you to take a look at a few sources of inspiration:
- Feeling Beautiful: A Wife’s Goal for 2015, Hot, Holy & Humorous
- In Their Eyes, The Generous Wife
- Permission Granted, Becoming His Eve (guest post by Bonny at Bonny’s OysterBed7)
- Real Beauty and Confidence for Real Women, Calm.Healthy.Sexy
- The Secret to Stopping the Body Image War, Intimacy in Marriage
- Try, Colbie Caillat
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net