In Part 1 and Part 2 we talked about what beauty is not, so let’s talk about what beauty is.
Beauty is an older woman at church who is struggling with a family that is falling apart. Even through the tears, she is praising her God because His is good.
Beauty is a woman who stays in a lifeless and loveless marriage to honor the promise she made before God.
Beauty is a woman who stays home with her kids to raise them. She is lonely. She feels like sacrificing her career has caused her to fall behind in the world. But, she loves her God and trusts the good work He is doing in her and in her kids.
There is such beauty in a woman who is willing to suffer for her God.
Beauty is a woman who struggles with poverty working multiple jobs to support herself and her kids. She works tirelessly and has very little for herself. Yet, she loves and praises her God, and strives to live a righteous life. Her hope is found in Christ.
Beauty is a friend who was a missionary for seven years. Despite loneliness and isolation when she comes off the field, she is still trusting the Lord, and she is ready to be ‘sent out’ once again.
Beauty is a woman who is so in love with the poor people of Africa that she considers that home instead of her home in this country, and those children like her own kids.
Beauty is a woman who is willing to let God break her heart for what breaks His.
Beauty is any woman who loves God who is messy, sinful, wretched, and occasionally veers off the narrow path. But she gets back on the path and praises her Heavenly Father who saved her.
What does God say about beauty?
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
God’s standard for beauty is a gentle and quiet spirit. One who is desperately pursuing righteousness in Jesus Christ.
I know that I can never live up to being a Proverbs 31 woman. To be honest, it is among my least favorite scriptures in the Bible. I am messy. I am wretched. And I am strong willed.
I often feel as though I am striving, but never reaching that high bar.
But I know I’m OK. As long as my eyes are on Him. As long as Jesus is my Lord. And, as long as I couple action with my faith, God will be glorified through me.
So, how can you learn to love yourself regardless of what you see in the mirror? I can’t answer that question for you. The best I can tell you is this,
The most beautiful thing that you, or I, could see in the mirror is JESUS.
True beauty is found in Jesus Christ. Such immense love cannot help but being stunningly beautiful. And, if we mirror the image of Christ, we will be stunningly beautiful too.
The Vanity Fast Challenge
If you are like me and have blurred the lines of beauty and identity, it’s time to bring things back into focus. And with focus comes freedom.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
I challenge you to try a vanity fast, and I pray that God uses it to show you truth. Whether it is one week, one month, or one year is up to you. What could it hurt? Why not step out of your comfort zone and see what is on the other side? It just might be freedom.
Will a vanity fast be an instant cure? Probably not. Anything worth having takes work and happens in God’s timing. And, if you are anything like me, you are a slow learner!
I would like to say after five weeks of my vanity fast that the ties of beauty and identity have been completely severed. I’m fixed . . . . HALLELUUUUIAH! But, I’m not. Let’s just say I am one of God’s tougher cases!
But that is OK with me. Because I am tirelessly working toward truth, the freedom God has for me, and becoming more like Him. And, I am beginning to see the light of victory at the end of the tunnel.
Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here