They wallow in filth. Filled with mud, dirt, food, and feces, pigs roll around and cool themselves off during the heat of the day in muck. After nature’s bath, the swine waddles over to feast on “slop.” A mixture or mishmash of grains and produce, pigs gorge on buckets of slosh. It is hard to imagine God looking down from on High and seeing His daughters as pigs. “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who is without discretion [her lack of character mocks her beauty]” (Proverbs 11:22).
A few years ago, our Women’s Ministry studied Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth’s True Woman 201; Interior Design, Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood. An excellent study featuring discernment, honor, affection, discipline, virtue, responsibility, benevolence, disposition, legacy, and beauty. The final week study is the crowning jewel atop a crest, beauty. “The dictionary defines beauty as the qualities in a person or things that give pleasure to the senses of the mind. Women love beautiful things. They also have an innate desire to be beautiful – to be seen as pleasing. We believe that this desire is a natural and precious aspect of femininity.
God created women with a longing to beautify themselves and to beheld as beautiful. This womanly desire points to the desire a bride has to make herself as beautiful as she can for her groom. And ultimately, it points to the desire a bride has to make herself as beautiful as she can for Christ, by adorning herself in splendid white garments or righteousness (Isa. 61:10, Jer. 2:32, Rev19:7, 21:2). Sadly, though, we obsess over the type of beauty that fades, while we neglect the type that lasts – the unfading beauty of the heart, which is of great value in God’s eyes (1 Peter 3:4).”
It is natural for a woman to desire beauty. The issue comes when women distort beauty to their own definition or desires. When God made woman, He gave her curves, a body to bear children, and a compassionate heart. I am thankful the Bible does not describe Eve’s features. I am thankful I do not know her dress size, shape, hair color, eye color, breast size, shoe size, face shape or any other feature she possessed.
God in His infinite wisdom left out her features for I am sure He knew woman’s heart. Many would probably believe that the first woman, God’s design, that MUST be what He wants every woman to be. I am thankful her unique built, shape, and features were left to the imagination. All we know, she walked unashamed before her husband, with curves and a loving heart.
God has made each of His daughters unique. We are to be individual, using our gifts and talents to serve the Lord. But sadly, we doubt our beauty; the beauty God gives us. Make-up, plastic surgeries, Botox, infomercials, air-brushed magazines, and books all point to an unattainable beauty. With all of these images constantly bombarding our heart, it is difficult to not pay attention to what the “world” deems as beautiful.
We all have seen beautiful women. But what does God bestow on the word beautiful? What does He consider beautiful? Definitely not a beautiful woman with no discretion. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and God’s eyes see a different version than we do. “Charm and grace are deceptive, and [superficial] beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord [reverently worshiping, obeying, serving, and trusting Him with awe-filled respect], she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
There is one beauty, we on this earth will never match, “There are also heavenly bodies [sun, moon, and stars] and earthly bodies [human, animals, and plants], but the glory and beauty of the heavenly is one kind, and one glory of the earthly is another” (1 Corinthians 15:40). Our King’s beauty is far more magnificent than any other form of cosmetic application we use to cover and conceal. His beauty shines forth radiant colors, hues, and vibrate light. His beauty is what we strive to draw closer to. It should be His beauty we are drawn to as Christ followers, not a cheap rendition of a powdered, dull and muted version of God’s.
What we consider beauty, is not God’s beauty. Beautiful women grace the covers of magazines only to see their disgraced images splashed when they venture out with “no makeup.” Beautiful women pose for covers, only to be labeled “fat” when a few pounds are added. Worldly beauty doesn’t even match up to itself! Airbrushed and fake, these women cannot attain what a computer can.
Beautiful women position themselves for the camera, only to be subject to ridicule when the camera captures them on a “wild” night exposing less than discreet ways. Yes, there is a beauty that will fade, is fake, and flawed, but the beauty of the Lord never withers or dissipates; His beauty is timeless. And no matter how the world tries, the culture will never match a woman’s heart that is loving, joyful, and peaceful; the camera could never capture God’s inner beauty.
How do we fight this barrage of falsifying woman for God’s understanding of beauty. I believe, as women, we need to be praying for one another. These distorted images engraft a list of self-loathed thinking and actions: bulimia, anorexia, low self-esteem, lack of self-control, identity crisis, lack of self-worth, and degrading of self. As women, we should be lifting one another in prayer, asking the Lord to penetrate our hearts with His presence and His desire for our lives. We need to seek Jesus to show us who we are in Christ; to see ourselves with fresh eyes.
I had a dream not too long ago. I was serving couples in my dream, when I passed a mirror holding a serving plate. In the dream, I had red, bloodshot eyes. When I woke, I began to pray to the Lord for an interpretation. It was too pressed upon my spirit not to dismiss the dream. I needed fresh eyes. I needed the Lord’s eyes to see clearly into my life and where in my heart I needed healing.
I too have fallen into the trap of worldly beauty, specifically my weight. It is something I have obsessed over since I was a little girl. I was never the small, petite young lady, with porcelain delicate features. I was the one who played sports, swam, and went into the military. I was the one who enjoyed food, but also enjoyed working out. I was strong, yet not self-controlled. I’ve learned it is not what I eat, but how much I am eating. I love sweet potatoes. My problem comes when I decide to make two potatoes for lunch instead of one because I justify how healthy they are for me. It has been a difficult balance for me and I am still stubborn in my old habits. God is still working and revealing Truth into my spirit.
Because I was lacking self-control, I have dieted and “tried” to attain the unattainable. I am the shortest in my family at 5’4. I will never be as tall as my youngest sister who is 5’8. I will never have the long legs and delicate features as my older sister. God has placed a desire for acceptance and Truth in my heart. I will work hard to be healthy, but I have to stop trying to be something I will never be.
I have repented of my younger years when I negatively spoke against my body. Psalm 139 says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The Lord formed us in the womb, the secret place, just as He wanted. Unique, special, one-of-a-kind, and irreplaceable, made in the image of the Most High. When those thoughts come poring into your heart, “I’ll never be….., I’ll never look like…., I just can’t……, I don’t look like her…..,” rebuke them quickly and tell the enemy, “I am not suppose to be another air-brushed, boring, fake, same or multiple of anything! I am made in the image of Christ; unique, different, set-apart, loved, cherished, accepted, beautiful, and redeemed as His daughter!
My prayer is this has planted a seed in your spirit. A seed of refreshment. A seed of Truth. A seed of revealing God’s thought of you because you are loved! You are worth more than the number on the scale or what the world says about you. You are the Lord’s daughter and we need to carry ourselves as such.