I had a lesson in vanity recently.
It’s spring time, and summer is fast approaching when the sun will finally give my skin some color. I have olive skin and tan quickly in the sun. However, I grew impatient recently waiting on the sun and impulsively purchased a bottle of instant self tanner (not the gradual one – rookie mistake)
I applied it after my shower, put on a dress and headed to work. A few hours later I caught a glimpse of my tan arm, quite pleased with myself, I continued typing at my desk. Deciding to inspect my tan again, I glanced down at my arms, only to realize this time that my arms had splotchy color on them and I looked like a fool. Horrified I ran to the bathroom to try to scrub it off. The color wouldn’t budge, and I was forced to walk around for the rest of the day looking like a clown.
I desire to be beautiful.
I enjoy make up and new clothes as much as the next gal, but I have a confession…
My desire to be beautiful is focused on capturing man’s eye.
I’m not defining “man” as male (although that’s a huge pull), I’m defining it as all people. When a girl walks into a room, she wants to be the most beautiful, beloved and sought after woman present.
Women of the world spend thousands of dollars attempting to look a certain way. Face lift, boob job, Botox, diet bills, etc. As I was pondering my little mishap with the self-tanner, I was struck by a deeper question.
“Would someone know that you’re a Christian by the way you treat beauty?”
Christians are supposed to be different. Our Savior commands us to live, act, speak and think differently than the world. We’ve been made new creatures, and while we’re in the process of being sanctified to God’s image our flesh still tempts us to sin. One of the ways the devil tries to deceive and distract Christian women is by whispering lies to them about their appearance, identity and self-worth.
“You need to lose 10 pounds in order to be attractive.”
“Your identity hinges on how many guys ask you out.”
“Beauty is purely external.”
As a woman, the tension between the desire to be outwardly beautiful, and the desire to handle beauty in a way that honors the Lord is a constant struggle. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to look pretty, putting effort into your appearance, exercising and eating healthy, etc.
The problem comes in when those things are your main focus and priority. When you spend more time getting ready in the morning that you spend with God. When you spend more money on new clothes, then you spend in helping the body of Christ.
Christians should treat beauty in a way that honors the Lord.
Women, begin thinking more about the things that will last in this life, and in eternity. A pretty face and fit body are great, but they don’t have eternal value. May you care about so much more than the clothes on our back and the make up on your face. May you seek the heart of God, and care about the things that are on His heart. Become a woman who’s beauty is deep and abiding. Become the most beautiful woman in the world, by falling more in love with Jesus.
True beauty will leave echos throughout eternity.
Men, you have a role to play too. Encourage your sisters to strive after the beauty of Christ, not the beauty of the world. Learn to love the real beauty that extends past the external. Cultivate eyes and a heart for more than the world has to offer. Seek the beautiful women who’s beauty can’t be taken away by time and aging.
Seek the women filled with love.
Seek the women filled with joy.
Seek the women filled with Jesus.