Oh this topic of beauty. After two decades of mentoring teenage girls combined with raising my own daughters, I’ve come to see that the quest to define beauty begins early on.
This generation of young and old women alike are grappling with the issue of beauty because it is about more than appearance. The search for beauty is the cry of the female heart longing to feel significant and loved.
Wouldn’t you agree that the question, “Am I beautiful?” masks the underlying longing to know, “Am I worthy? Lovely? Good enough?” I know this has been my struggle, as I’ve failed to find my worth in my Creator’s marvelous design and instead take more notice of all my flaws . . . my imperfections in my appearance and those that are most certainly more than skin deep.
I know full well that I have to seek the heart of God to define my beauty and my worth. And yet I don’t. At least not as my first course of action. I’m as guilty as a any teenage girl in search for validation and all too easily swayed by the influences of the culture along with comments of others when it comes to what I see in the mirror. Is this your struggle too? And then do you feel guilty, like I do, that this struggle is as real for us middle-age mamas as it is for our girlies just starting out?
To be honest, I think our quest to define beauty is worse now with social media, and not just public media, dictating how beauty should be defined in weight and size and color and shape . . . and affirmed again and again by likes and follows.
We now judge ourselves not only by the way we look in the mirror but how we pose for our selfies and filter our posts. Ahem, yes, mamas and daughters alike.
But what if we dashed the enemy’s attempt to steal our confidence, kill our sense of worth, and destroy our testimony, with a full onslaught of truth about our identity and worth found in Christ alone (John 10:10, Ephesians 2:10)? What if true beauty was defined by how one lives in their God-given skin? What if it was about who we are on the inside and how His beautiful work shines bright on the outside?
Nothing God makes is one-dimensional.
Our beauty is really more than skin deep.
By only looking at the outward appearance, we define beauty in a way that is not consistent with God’s character and Word.
1 Samuel 16:7
The LORD does not look at the things man looks at.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
God’s design is not limited by shape, size, or color. Look at the trees on an autumn day, a blanket of orange, red, brown, green, and yellow with crinkly leaves the shapes of hearts and diamonds. Together they paint a beautiful picture and yet they also stand alone in their radiance. Should He create humankind any differently?
We are fearfully and wonderfully made, inside and out. In both the external and internal we find beauty that is more than skin deep. And when we join together, with our sisters in Christ, we become a beautiful mosaic reflecting God’s creation marvelous design.
What God makes He declares good. What we perceive as true beauty is as unique as our own beauty. And what we find attractive is always a reflection of our God-given personality and tastes. Friend, the real challenge before us is to leave room for God’s creativity manifested in human form, rather than trying to squeeze into a man-made form.
So sisters, will you join me in not giving up the battle to find our identity and worth in Christ, even if we end up there in this wrestling match over defining our beauty. Let us model and impart on this next generation — our daughters — the answers we find in the heart of God as we pursue Him hard together. And let us not dismiss the quest for beauty as the pursuit of what it really is — a desire to be seen, known, loved, and valued in a more than a skin deep way.
For more on this topic, consider the Redefining Beauty resources and hosting your own Redefining Beauty Event. The Mosaic: Shine Bright Your God-Colors bible study is also a perfect topic for engaging the hearts of your girls.