The physical, external beauty.
And then I think of the inner. And how no one can see it - not right away, that is. But it's there. And it surely will become evident, just give it a little time.
And I think about how uneven the emphasis on inner / outer beauty is in our culture. How, from little girlhood we are taught by our media and culture to constantly fight and strive and work towards being "beautiful". And how it's not necessarily bad at all to want to be physically attractive and beautiful - but how the beauty of our hearts is often neglected. How easy it is (and I'm speaking from experience here) to fall into wanting to attract attention and turn heads. How easy it is to focus all your attention on outer beauty instead of inner. To spend an hour in front of the mirror curling your hair, but forget to tend to your soul by prayer and seeking the Lover of your soul. How easy it is to fall into dressing in a way that attracts attention - because, why not? Everyone else is doing it. Choosing clothes that are a little too tight, a little too low-cut.
Girls, I know how hard it is - this balancing of outer and inner beauty. This fight we have chosen to take up against a culture that screams worldly, temporary, and rather worthless values, distracting us from our heart's goal. To hard but worth it choice to focus on God and say "no" to worldly things. The choice to dress modestly yet still being fashionable and trendy, creative and fun.
I am finding that the only way we can be successful in our striving for the goal of attaining inner beauty rather than mere outer is this: to realize who calls us beautiful in the first place.
When I realize this unbelievable truth - that He loves me and calls me beautiful, everything makes sense. It all falls into place. And when I realize He calls me beautiful - no, not for my pretty face or good looks, but for my heart. Who I am. For my soul. It is the most freeing, precious, and wonderful thing in the world.
Ladies - who defines your beauty? The measurements, colors, styles, and standards of Hollywood and our perverted media? Or the Lord? The One who created you, who made your heart, who breathed life into you so that you are here this very day?
Let Him love on you. You are His daughter, His princess. His joy. The apple of His eye. He loves you to the moon and back. And He calls you beautiful!
In light of this - who cares what anyone thinks. Who cares about the haters. That critical eye. The culture and media that objectifies women, setting unrealistic standards using Photoshop, heavy makeup, and severe dieting. Listen to the voice that truly matters. Listen to Him - He calls you "Beautiful One." And He loves you. Oh so much, beautiful one.
// Proverbs 31, The Message version //
May we accept this amazing reality,
and walk in it every day.
He loves you!
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