Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

Beauty That Goes Beyond Skin Deep

17 Comments

Beauty Beyond Skin DeepMy 5 year old neighbor, who wears a princess crown, and my 89 year old mother-in-law, who visits the hair salon every week, have something in common: they both want to be beautiful! That longing to be attractive must be part and parcel of being a woman. I read once that women reach the height of their beauty at age 31. I was 31 when I married, and I certainly wanted to be as beautiful as possible on my wedding day.

But if women reach the height of their physical attractiveness at 31, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? Younger women struggle with acne. Middle-aged women face wrinkles and graying hair.

As a girl I l watched my mother style her hair, put on light makeup, and dress with care every day. She taught me that true beauty comes from inner confidence and knowing who you are. “A woman who feels beautiful IS beautiful, at any age,” I thought.  I always said I’d never dye my hair because I didn’t like the message it gave: to be beautiful, you have to look young.

But then I turned 45.

Suddenly I started aging more quickly than ever before. I looked in the mirror and saw the smile lines around my eyes extending down to my cheeks. And when the gray streak at my temples spread throughout my hair, I ran out and had it dyed.

Every woman wants to feel beautiful, but maybe the world’s definition of beauty points us in the wrong direction. We see it plastered all over the media: thin, young women with perfect makeup and hair. When we measure ourselves again them we can end up feeling frumpy and dumpy.

What if that longing to be beautiful is from God,  but it’s really pointing us towards something else? In God’s economy we are never more beautiful than when we are reflecting Him, his character and beauty, to the world around us. 1 Peter 3:4-6 explains what kind of beauty God is interested in:

“What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” (The Message)

Hope

This message gives me hope because, let’s face it, our physical beauty is always changing; even lack of sleep affects how we look.  Although my outer beauty might diminish as I grow older, hopefully my INNER beauty will grow greater as I learn how to give God’s Spirit more control over my life.  Who knows, maybe an inner disposition that grows sweeter with time will actually spill over into a more peaceful, joyful countenance?

Conviction

Thinking about inner beauty convicts me because it’s up to me to cultivate it by choosing each day to say “yes” to God’s Spirit and “no” to my sinful nature. Honestly I’m not sure what this inner beauty thing looks like when I’m racing to get lunch after a busy morning, and one kid says, “I don’t want a chicken sandwich” while the other one says, “Mom, everyone’s tired of soup.” Believe me, I don’t feel beautiful during moments like those. But I know that every time I choose a smile over snapping back, every time I breathe deep and count to 10 instead of exploding, I’m saying yes to God’s reconstruction work in me.

God's Recipe for Beauty

As we make daily choices to cultivate these qualities, we grow to resemble more fully the Creator who graced us with His beauty when He made us. Which of these qualities do you  most long for?

Beautiful, Amazing You

This is the first post in a five part series I’ll be writing on Mondays called “Beautiful, Amazing You.” Check back next Monday, April 7th, to read “Deeply Loved.”

Advertisements

Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

17 thoughts on “Beauty That Goes Beyond Skin Deep

  1. Great post! I look forward to reading the rest of the series! 🙂

  2. Good reminder as the calendar flips to a new year for me!

  3. what a beautiful bride! i look forward to reading more of what you share on this, Betsy. i too want to cultivate that inner beauty, and to attract attention to Christ – not to me. thanks for sharing your thoughtful insights.

    • Amen, Barbara. I want to attract attention to Christ too. (And now I laugh to think that I did my own hair and makeup for my wedding. Today’s brides are so sophisticated in comparison, at least they are in Turkey!)

  4. Great post! Looking forward to the series!

  5. There is something I’ve noticed that I think reflects what you are saying about “God’s recipe for beauty.” I have known women that at first appeared plain until I knew them well enough to see their inner beauty. Then when I looked at them they actually did look prettier to me, and I would wonder that I didn’t see that before. Conversely, I’ve met women who are very beautiful by social standards, but if after getting to know them, I find they are not very nice, it always changes my perception of their outer appearance as well. They never seem so attractive looking to me as they did before! It’s like seeing through a mask or something. Of course there’s the third faction that are beautiful inside and out that we all want to be part of, even though we fight ourselves not to put value on appearance.
    I love your wedding picture!

    • Deborah, you are so right. Someone you know and love looks more “beautiful” to you. and I’ve also come across beautiful people who aren’t so nice, and that affects my perception. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Such a timely message for women of all ages, Betsy. We live in a culture that worships outward appearance, but God looks at the heart, and that is where our focus should be, as well. I’ll be back to read the rest of your series. Looking forward to your words of wisdom!

  7. Great message, Betsy.

  8. This is a needed message for me (over 50) and every girl/woman who ever lived! How we need to hear God’s definition of beauty over and over again to drown out what the world claims it to be. Thanks, Betsy. I tweeted about your series. Looking forward to the rest!

  9. Pingback: Your True Identity: Dish Washer, Mom, or Princess? | Faith Spilling Over... Into Everyday Life

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s