Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Real Beauty

This series came out of a heart that is tired of living the cultural lies. I somewhat inwardly promised myself that I would never talk about beauty on here because in a sense I feel that is has been over talked about, especially in the church community. Due to my own personal struggles with beauty, I am starting to understand why. Since beauty comes in many forms, I don't know if there is a one size fits all definition as to what beautiful actually is. What I do know is that I am tired of having standards (whether good or bad) shoved in my face. Every. Single. Day. I wish I could be free from thinking that I need to look/be a certain way to be accpeted by people and be consumed with my Heavenly Father's unconditional love and acceptane of me based on Christ's work on the cross, but the truth is, this is something I struggle with.

 If I, who am saved and loved by Jesus Christ AND have been declared free from condemnation, struggle with this I wonder how many others struggle with it as well. Thinking about beauty and the time/money that I invest in it has forced me to evaluate how much of a priority it is to me personally. I have had two thoughts flip flopping in my mind regarding beauty and confronting myself with them daily has helped me reign in the ugliness of the concept known as beauty.

The first thought is this: If you're more concerned with how ____________________ sees you than how Christ sees you, check your heart. Beauty might very well be your idol, meaning you value looks (and what you can obtain by them) more than Christ.

The second thought I have is this: Am I getting dressed for ____________________ or for Christ?

 It is true that dressing in certain ways will earn us a response, but as my dad wisely told me, "It's not the response you're looking for." For those of you who are guys, you probably don't understand all this, so let me explain. There's the desire to want to be beautiful (naturally). Most females LOVE clothes, shoes, accessories and overall fashion and that is not a problem. The problem lies with the world's standards in fashion and how those standards are in every song, on every t.v. show, in every movie and on the cover of every magazine and we are bombarded by these standards consistently. The standard is to look better, feel better, act better, live better, work harder, grow more, be better....and it never ends. We see that these cover girls are amazingly perfectly beautiful and receive so much attention and what we perceive to be as value and we want our fair share. Simple girls like ourselves can only hope that our mere means are enough to earn a spot in the heart of a man who will love us for the rest of our lives or earn us the acceptance and approval of those who surround us daily. This isn't right and that's why there is a pull which creates the battle. The battle between wanting what this world has to offer and what Christ has to offer. The battle between becoming who I am in Christ versus who the world is pressuring me to be.
 The truth is, perfection is an impossible standard. The world's ideas of beauty are a snare for the heart that chokes and eventually kills anything within us that is supposed to or could have ever been beautiful. It's time for us to take up arms and defend ourselves in the ongoing battle. It's time to discover beauty in the way that it was intended to be percieved by it's Creator. It's time to say goodbye to the lie and embrace real beauty.
 Love, Lolo