As soon as my eyes open in the morning, my husband whispers in my ear, “Good morning, Beautiful!”
When he gets home from work, he sneaks up behind me and nuzzles my neck and asks, “Guess who, Hottie?”
When I step out of the shower, he hands me a towel and exclaims, “You excite me!”
I could go on and on about the many ways my husband tells me that I’m beautiful throughout the day.
But I don’t hear him.
Here’s what I hear:
- Short legs
- Crooked teeth
- Thin hair
- Bags under eyes
- Stretch marks
- Spider veins
- Crepey skin
- Small breasts
- Thunder thighs
- Dark circles
- Bubble butt
I started hearing some of those words in the fifth grade. As time went on, the voices from classmates or TV ads kept adding more.
Now that I’m over 50, I calculate I’ve heard these, and similar words, tens of thousands of times. And every single time, it made me feel worse about myself.
Words are powerful!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue.
When Satan tempted Eve in the garden, he succeeded by getting her to doubt God’s word and and believe him instead. This was the downfall for all mankind and we still listen to the devil’s lies today.
It’s been said that if you say something loud enough and often enough, people will believe it.
I fear that may be true. But it doesn’t have to be.
I’ve also heard these words:
- You are accepted in the beloved.
- There is no condemnation.
- I have loved you with an everlasting love.
- I will never leave you nor forsake you.
- You are a child of God.
Have I not heard them loud enough or long enough to believe them?
Or do I choose not to believe them because I’m more concerned about what others think of me than God?
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
Here’s the beauty secret of most Christian women – they want to look good on the outside.
They want to be beautiful. I do too!
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking your best. But when it becomes an obsession, it is not only foolishness, it’s sin.
We read in the bible that Jesus scolded the Pharisees because everything they did was for man’s approval. They were always promoting their outward appearance. He told them their deeds were selfish and they were hypocrites.
They were pretending to be godly but not really interested in pleasing God. They were only looking for man’s approval because they were proud and wanted attention. Instead of leading people to worship God, they wanted that worship for themselves.
The Pharisees were a sect of Jews known as those who strictly kept the laws of God. But inwardly, they were breaking the first commandment to have no other gods. You might guilty of this too!
Beauty can become an idol
The world says that beauty is based on the size of your waist, the number on the scale or how many wrinkles and gray hairs you have. Sometimes I listen to these words because I want the world’s attention and approval.
But when I believe it, I’m placing more value on others’ approval than God’s.
That’s a dangerous thing to do.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
TRUE BEAUTY DEFINED
God’s word says that beauty is based on character.
The Proverbs 31 woman had beautiful clothes made of expensive scarlet. There’s nothing wrong with wearing nice clothes or wanting to make yourself presentable to others, but that’s not the focus of this passage. The point is that she was really clothed with strength and dignity.
She didn’t waste time obsessing about herself. She was busy working to serve and provide for others.
God makes it very clear that beauty is not only temporary, it’s also insignificant in comparison to character. And God honors those who accept and live by this truth.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
This woman who was faithful to fulfill the responsibilities God gave her gets praise from her husband, children and the community. She wasn’t seeking their approval. She just reaped what she sowed.
Your identity in Christ is what defines you.
1 Peter 3:3-4
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.
As a Christian, your life should glorify God. Your body should be used as a holy vessel to fulfill His purposes. His aim is to make you more like Jesus. But you resist Him every time you accept the world’s appraisal over His.
Your body is valuable because the Holy Spirit dwells in it, not because its beauty attracts attention from the world. Your goal should be to attract people to the beauty of God’s grace at work in you through His Spirit.
The spotlight should always be on Christ, not you!
And when you shine the light of Christ, people will see the beauty of the gospel. They’ll see how Jesus sacrificed His body to fulfill God’s purpose to glorify Him by redeeming others.
He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces, he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
HOW TO ESCAPE THE BEAUTY TRAP
There’s a child’s song that says, “Be careful little ears what you hear!” You need to remind yourself of that daily and tune out every voice that doesn’t agree with God’s word.
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.
God warns us to avoid the lies of the devil and the world. If we listen to them, we will eventually believe them. They will become part of us. They penetrate our hearts and speak to us all day long. We allow them to talk to us, and worse yet, we listen.
Stop keeping secrets
Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.
Are you ready to come clean? Have you secretly been obsessing about your outward appearance but too afraid to admit it?
Being honest is hard. It requires humility. It takes character.
Character outweighs beauty.
If you’ve struggled as I have, confess your sin to God and repent. Stop trying to gain the world’s approval. Stop trying to be pleased with yourself! Thank God for the strength and health you have in your body but stop obsessing about it.
And rejoice! Because your Savior forgives you, cleanses you, and is making you into His bride who will someday be perfect. One day you will have a glorified body that will be incorruptible. It will be beautiful beyond your imagination, forever!
Be who you are — beautiful!
As a Christian woman, the only beauty secret you need to know is to adorn yourself with the gospel! Be like Christ to the people around you.
Don’t worship your body but present it as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Let the beauty of your character serve and bless others, especially your husband!
Don’t roll your eyes when he says you are beautiful. Listen to him with your heart. Let his words be heard loud enough and often enough that you believe them.
Don’t resist his advances because you don’t look like a supermodel. Don’t wait until you lose 10 pounds to put on a negligee and pursue him as if you’re the sexiest woman on earth. To him, you are!
You are an embodied soul. Your husband knows better than anyone else what a beautiful soul you have. And that makes you all the more attractive to him.
Love the body your soul lives in and take good care of it. Let God use it for His glory. That’s genuine beauty!
WHAT EVERYBODY OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT BEAUTY
Beauty is not external. It resides inside us and as God works in us, our character grows.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
As we are conformed to the image of Christ, we become even more beautiful. This kind of beauty will not be buried in the grave when our bodies shrivel up and die.
It is an unfading beauty, and unlike the body, it is eternal!
The beauty secret nobody else is talking about needs to be told.
Share this secret with somebody else today and remind them what it really means to be beautiful!