Do you consider yourself beautiful? Have you ever read the story of Cinderella (printed below) and dreamed that you were as beautiful as her?
An excerpt from Cinderella:
“The King’s son hastened to the gate to receive the fair stranger, handed her down from the coach, and led her through the gardens, where the guests drew apart and gazed in wonder at her loveliness. Still escorted by him she entered the ballroom, where at once a great silence fell, the dancing was broken off, the violins ceased to play—so taken, so ravished was everybody by the vision of this unknown one. Everywhere ran the murmur, “Ah! how beautiful she is!” The King himself, old as he was, could not take his eyes off her, and confided to the Queen in a low voice that it was long since he had seen so adorable a creature.”
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863–1944).
Isn’t this the dream of every female……..to be the most beautiful woman at the King’s banquet!! And to have the prince so enchanted by our beauty that he would leave his home and search the country to have us, no matter the cost!
I don’t know of any woman that doesn’t long to be treasured and who doesn’t long to be beautiful, in her eyes and the eyes of others. 5 out 10 conversations I have with ladies involve weight loss, make up, hair problems, nail appointments, and wrinkle remedies. With summer approaching, I have been amazed at how many women make such a great effort to get a tan……laying out in the hot sun for hours, or spending money laying in a tanning bed, or even purchasing tanning lotion that shades over time. From under age 10 to over age 60, females are obsessed with being beautiful. It would be interesting to know the amount of money spent each year on make up, expensive body lotions, nail manicures, hair coloring, and of course the ever important weight loss programs.
From a young age I have been taught that beauty is only from within and wishing for outward beauty is being vain. I know there is a lesson to be taught on our inward beauty and there is much truth to learn about that. But the fact is there our millions of Christian women in our world who hate the way they look, strive to change or improve their outward appearance and are never content with their God-given beauty and on top of that, they feel guilty because they desire to be beautiful.
Is it wrong to “paint our faces” ,tan our bodies and highlight our hair? I believe it depends on our motive. Women love to surround themselves with beautiful things such as flowers, pretty colors, lovely fragrances. Surrounding one’s body with beautiful things to enhance our natural beauty is a wonderful thing. But what happens when we go to great lengths in the morning to enhance our body, our face, our hair, all the works………and then look into the mirror with complete disgust of the final product. That is a red flag that there is a problem that began even before the “enhancing” started. If we truly believe we are beautiful, we see the beauty before the first layer of makeup touches our face. How many women do you think truly sees beauty when she looks into the mirror?
Proverbs 31:30 says that beauty fades away. The church has always taught us that beauty is from within, that in order to be beautiful we “should” serve others, put ourselves last, be quiet, dress humbly, be very involved in church activities. I know many women who do this, and still at the end of the day of their serving, they still see inadequate beauty.
So what is the key to seeing the beautiful women that we truly are? To having the assurance that even with the after-baby-extra-pounds, we are still beautiful? Even with wrinkles and changing hair, to know our beauty is still there? The key is to see ourselves through the eyes of the beholder, our Creator, our Father, Redeemer.
When I was struggling with an enormous amount of self-hate, it included every part of me, including my outward appearance. I was in therapy for self-injury and an eating disorder. Through a wonderful counselor, God revealed His divine love towards me, His complete acceptance of me and who I am in His Son, Jesus Christ. As I began to receive God’s love for me, my distorted view of myself began to change. First, God showed me my beauty through the eyes of my children, especially my preschooler who thinks I am the most beautiful mom in the whole world. Then as God began to heal the intimacy in my marriage, I was able to see the beauty that my husband sees when he looks at me and during our times of intimacy. But nothing compared to the unveiling of the “beautiful me” in the eyes of my Divine Lover!
My Cinderella dream had come true! There is a Prince who left His home to search for me and desires to have a relationship with me. Jesus Christ has sought after me and pursued me with a love that is far greater than any that has ever loved me. This love is not a love of pity or simple compassion as on a stray dog or even a needy child. This is a love that says, “How beautiful you are my darling, Oh how beautiful!!......Show me your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.” (Song of Solomon) I am so beautiful and loved by this Prince that He gave up everything for me…..to be humiliated and beaten, he even gave up his life for me. This is a love that has fought off every enemy of mine and has come out of the fight victorious!! He has conquered death for me! He has built a mansion for me! He has given me life!
God has created every one with a need to be loved that can only be filled by Himself. And He has created women with a need to know they are beautiful, and this can only be met by Himself. No matter how much others tell us we are beautiful or how much we try to make ourselves beautiful, until we see our beauty through the eyes of the Divine Lover, we will continue seeking and longing for the approval of others. Knowing of our true beauty frees us to “enhance”, rather than “create”, or “repair”. It also changes the way we relate to others. Women can be very mean, extremely jealous, and quite envious. How wonderful to be free of these things. How awesome to look in the mirror and not cringe or have disappointment. I admit, there are sometimes when I look at the mirror through the eyes of Susie, and Susie leaves a bit to be desired, and the old “your fat and your ugly” voice comes through. When that happens, I ask God to remind me of His love for me, and to see myself through His eyes and I leave it there. It is amazing how the next reflection in the mirror is one of a beautiful woman and in her eyes I see the love of Christ.
At every wedding, no matter the circumstance, the bride is always very beautiful…… the most beautiful woman in the room. And as the groom awaits her, when she enters the room, he is delighted by her beauty. As a Christian woman, you are the bride of Christ and he delights in your beauty.
You are beautiful on the outside because Jesus sees your beauty. You are beautiful on the inside because Jesus has redeemed you, cleansed you from all unrighteousness and now dwells within you. You are beautiful because of Christ. Keep your focus on Christ and pray that you might see your beauty through the eyes of Christ instead of your own fleshly eyes. Pray that the Father would reveal his total love and acceptance of you.