A couple weeks ago I was chatting with my youngest daughter on our sun porch.
“Emily is so much prettier than I am,” she said.
Emily, My oldest, is sixteen and curvy. Jessica is skinny—she takes after her father. No matter what I say to Jessica, she can’t seem to accept that she is beautiful just the way she is. She has an adorable body that looks good in everything, perfect olive colored skin, and naturally highlighted hair that women my age would pay big bucks for.
She is perfect. Yet she still questions what her boyfriend sees in her.
We, as women/girls, are never happy. It’s as if we are conditioned to not be content with who we are. Girls who are skinny wish they were curvy, and those who are curvy wish they were skinny. Girls with curly hair wish they had straight hair and girls with straight hair wish they had curly hair.
I wish that my daughter could see what her father and I see. And I’m sure God wishes that we would see what He sees in us.
Let’s continue with the 4 deceptions of beauty . . . .
3. We are never good enough
I have struggled my entire life with identity and self worth. Many of us have.
Early in life, I got attention for my looks, way more attention than I ever got for who I was inside. When this starts at a young age, you believe what the world tells you. You believe your worth is in your beauty. And, it is very difficult to break free and believe differently.
‘A woman’s worth is tied to her youth and beauty’ is a lie cooked up by the enemy. He wants us to think that we are just eye candy for the viewing pleasure of men.
Satan feeds young girls lies that are so easily accepted as truth. They sound good at first, as many of Satan’s deceptions do. Being attractive when you are young is fun. It feels good. It makes you popular. And if you are beautiful, you are celebrated.
Deception is Satan’s greatest tool.
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
And we all know that beauty doesn’t last forever. After a lifetime of believing your identity is in your beauty, you find yourself enslaved by it. How do you break free?
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Being a woman today is hard. We live in a culture that says that women must change almost everything about themselves to be good enough. We change our hair color, eye color, skin color, cook ourselves, squeeze ourselves into clothes that are three sizes too small, and put on push-up bras because we think we are not good enough.
Where does it end? When are we, as girls and women, good enough?
Social media and television define beauty for us. They have set the standard, and girls are watching. When girls grow up with these wrong messages about beauty, they often confuse beauty with their identity.
Our daughters grow up being told that the purpose of their life is to be forever young and beautiful.
The truth is, if we are trying to live up to the world’s standards, we will never be good enough.
The only standard that we need to concern ourselves with is God’s standard. And, God’s Word gives us the truth about age and beauty.
A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31
Often, what we really want from beauty is to feel accepted, included and pursued. But do we realize that we were made acceptable in Christ, we have been adopted into the family of God, and we are fervently pursued by Abba, Father?
To them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13
True beauty is found in Jesus Christ, the One who paid the price for this wretched world. What He did on the cross was truly and completely beautiful.
God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
If we want to be truly beautiful, we must reflect the image of Christ.
4. Being beautiful can never make you strong or powerful
I recently watched, The Devil Wears Prada. It is a movie about a girl who is transformed into a beautiful woman working at a fashion magazine. At the beginning, she is seemingly unattractive, and therefore, not valued. However, when she finally changes and is beautiful and stylish, she is suddenly competent and powerful.
When we feel strong, confident and powerful because we look good, we are being deceived. It isn’t truth. Beauty can hold no power. Shiny, luxurious hair can give us no strength. A pencil skirt, flattering jeans, or the perfect pair of boots can’t do anything for us.
Power does not come from long eyelashes or long cascading hair.
Power does not come from a lean, muscular body.
Power does not come from perfectly white teeth, or flawless skin.
Power does not come from a french manicure or waxed eyebrows.
Power does not come from being a perfect size __ .
Power does not come from perfectly tanned legs, or a tiny waist.
So, if power doesn’t come from physical beauty, where does power come from?
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being Ephesians 3:16
If being powerful is what you seek, then go to the source. God is the most powerful being that ever was, is or ever could be. He is the source of power, the author of power, and the giver of power. Our power is in Christ alone.
Join me next week for part 3 as I’ll be wrapping up our discussion on beauty and presenting a challenge.