Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. – 1 Peter 3:3-4
When it comes to appearances, I am simple. I like Chapstick more than lipstick. I like being barefoot more than I like high heels. I like being pretty, but I don’t strive to be sexy. As a young woman who loves God, I often feel conflicted about what kind of woman I should really be.
All women want to be thought of as beautiful. And many of us ultimately hope to be desired by a loving man we’ll one day call “husband.” But I often wonder when I look around me [in my Christian circles] whether we ‘d rather this wonderful man fall in love with how we look or fall in love with how we worship God with our life. I don’t think that women should wear potato sacks because 1) they are ugly and 2) men are more so visually-attracted, but I don’t think that Jesus ever intended for us to be obsessed with appearances or to make them the most attractive part of ourselves.
I often think about Jesus’ time spent on Earth. Jesus was characterized as humble and meek. When He walked into a room, it was never His clothing that caused Him to stand out, but the pure love He had for God and others that radiated from Him. Jesus had a personality and character that made people feel loved. He went out of His way to help those lowest on society’s totem pole, prayed on the behalf of others, sacrificed and poured into others. He was wise, patient, caring, gentle yet courageous. He was never concerned with Himself, but always looking to see who He could bless.
For a while, I have battled superficial. I’ve wondered whether I should be more concerned with looks, things, appearances, etc.
Should I wake up an hour early to put on make-up? Should I spend more money on clothes? Should I be more concerned with how others see me?
Whenever these thoughts come to my mind, I’m reminded that I’m already approved by God and that the way that He made me is perfect. Whether I’m wearing sweat pants or a dress, Jesus sees me beautiful and I don’t need to try harder. If how I look pleases me and pleases God, it’s perfect.
When I consider the women of God that I admire most, they aren’t the women who have the best wardrobe or the most likes on Instagram pics; they’re the women who are beautiful inside and out because they love God, aim to glorify Him in all they do and work to build others up. Also, they aren’t obsessed with themselves. They realize that there is more to life than how they look. Even though you can’t physically see their heart for God, you can see their love for Him through the gentle, quiet spirit they possess and how they unselfishly serve others. Ruth is one of my favorite Biblical women who portrays these characteristics.
I ask myself, what will the world really benefit from having another young woman who is concerned with things that won’t matter in 100 years? Does that really bless anyone? I doubt it.
Instead of trying to be sexy or the center of attention, my goal is to display captivating beauty that reflects the love of Jesus Christ to a dying world. After all, that’s what this is all about anyway…
*This post inspired by Leslie Ludy, Shalonda Rich, Christy Nockels, Maeling Murphy and all of my pastor’s wives…
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV