I am like any young woman out there who sometimes questions my true beauty. “Is my hair too frizzy?” “Are my thighs too thunderous?” “Do my eyes squint too much when I smile?” “Do I look my age?” “Why am I not more an hourglass shape instead of a pear?” You know the drill I’m sure, because unless you live on an island all by yourself, we have compared ourselves to our friends, celebrities, to the models in the magazines (airbrushed of course). We forget it’s what we put in our hearts, and not just on our bodies, that makes us beautiful (or ugly).
I’m sure you’ve all know someone who was physically, outwardly drop-dead gorgeous, but when you got to know them, their personality dims their outward beauty and all of the sudden you don’t find them quite so drop-dead gorgeous anymore. Or the opposite – someone who may be more plain looking at first, but when you see the beauty with which they treat others and interact with their loved ones, all of the sudden you start saying to yourself, “Wow, that is really beautiful”.
Audrey Hepburn got it partially right. But there is more to true beauty than just being nice.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
So while we should take care of our bodies by eating right, exercising, taking care of how we present ourselves (though dress, hair, makeup,…) that is not where our true beauty originates – it originates from a heart that is loving the Lord and desires to please Him. So does that mean we can never go shopping for fashionable clothing or spend time and money getting all “dolled up”? Of course not. But that should not consume our time and energy.
An author I’d recommend on this topic is Leslie Ludy. She has written quite a few books, and I’ve found them really interesting/helpful.
In her newest book, “The Lost Art of True Beauty” (link to amazon by clicking picture), the synopsis reads,
Sensuality equals beauty—that’s what today’s young women are learning from our sex-obsessed society. Millions of 20somethings are caught up in trying to look like fashion models, movie stars, or the hottest new pop singer and end up plagued by insecurity, eating disorders, and sexual promiscuity.
Bestselling author and speaker Leslie Ludy (Set-Apart Femininity and Authentic Beauty) shares a different vision for feminine loveliness as God intended it to be—the breathtaking radiance of a young woman who has been transformed by Christ from the inside out. With candid personal stories, practical advice, and inspiration, Leslie leads young women on a life-changing journey to become women of feminine grace, beauty, and enduring style.
Leslie inspires girls toward inner changes but also talks about practical social grace and manners, how to dress beautifully, and even how to create a warm and lovely environment in the home. Clearly, true beauty is more than skin deep.
So will I still question if my hair is too frizzy, if my thunder thighs are particularly thunderous, and if I squint too much when I smile? I’m sure I will, unfortunately, but I am working on it. I don’t want just outward beauty, but I want True Beauty that can only be acquired through God’s transforming power. I hope that is your ambition as well.