Wednesday, January 25

Just for Women Wednesdays: The Search for Beauty

    Have you ever thought about how you subconsciously look for things to make you "feel" pretty like monogrammed bags, pink i-phone holders, ruffled coats or spa- like bath products? Think about your hair color/cut, nails or makeup? What lengths do you go to when it comes to finding ways to have for beautiful hair color, pretty nails and makeup? It's the beauty search dear sister! It doesn't matter if you're a high maintenance woman who constantly has to be made up each day before stepping out the door or the mom whose wearing green polka dot rain boots in carpool who didn't get a shower that morning. Each woman equally desires for and longs to be beautiful. Think about it. The hunt for beautiful things can even be something as simple as searching for pretty scrap booking paper in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby to perusing the ladies section at Target looking for something "new" to wear.
     My Personal Beauty Search
    I vividly remember when the frustrating search for something beautiful to wear from my closet began. I was in college.It became my focus each morning. In those days, I felt so ugly that I would change my clothes two or three times before I walked out the door! (Not now! Praise God!) No lie, my roommates could vouch for me today! But there was something greater going on inside my heart then. I wasn't remembering who I was in Christ! My mind was more focused on what I looked like on the outside (what I was wearing) than what was on the inside (my heart). I loved Jesus but I still struggled with this search to be beautiful. No one was telling me that I was ugly in college. But I felt it. Where did that beauty lie begin? It certainly never came from my parents or friends. With much prayer and reflection, I came to see I had let the things in the world like magazines,commercials, movies persuade me to believe that beauty really was skin deep. I knew better!
    I have come to a place in my walk with the LORD that I embrace who I am in Him, not who I am "not" according to the world. When I start to feel low on the world's beauty index, I pray. I count my blessings. I thank God for "wonderfully" making me (Psalm 139:14).
    The Beauty Search: Then and Now
    As I was thinking about the hunt for beauty, I wandered how women searched for beauty years ago. So I went back a few decades and found the following. Guess what? It's still the same search. Searching for beauty transcends all generations.
    Notice how magazines in the 50's appealed to this inner desire women have:
                                                            The search for beautiful things (1001 gifts)
                                  The search to be beautiful (ways to improve your outward beauty)
    Things today haven't changed! The search for beauty continues:
     It's not wrong to search for beautiful things. It's not wrong to be presentable for each day. It's not wrong to take care of the body God has given you and read magazines that promote healthy living. It is wrong when outside beauty become your sole focus. The Bible tells us true beauty in the LORD is timeless (Proverbs 31:30). True beauty is fearing God. It's what we become when we place all our devotion in Him. Placing our hope in beauty on the outside is deceitful because it fades. We all know that beauty fades! But we still need to hear it and have a healthy reminder of the truth. I say it because even though we all know it, we still think it and battle with our appearance daily! 
    God sees the place where your true beauty lies- He looks at your heart.
    What does your heart look like? Is it filled with a continual worldly pining for things you wish you were or had? Or is it filled with Scripture about who God is and who God says you are in Him?
    Consider what the Bible has to say about the inward man:
    (Place your mouse over the Scripture and it will come up)
  • Romans 7:22
  • 1 Peter 3:4
  • 2 Corinthians 4:16
  • Most importantly above all we are made in God's image (Genesis 1:26). His image is the one that makes us beautiful, not our sinful nature.
    You are beautiful in Christ.
    God's grace in your heart makes you a timeless beauty. If you place more time focusing on the inside instead of focusing on the outside, you will become a woman who is greatly to be praised, not because of her outward beauty, but because of her character founded in Christ.
    Dear sister, I am praying this for you today:
    "that...he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,..." Ephesians 3:16
    Joy 2 U!
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