Beauty. Our culture has twisted and messed up beauty so its original meaning is lost behind stereotypes and sexualized concepts. I just finished reading the book Captivating. Women, if you haven't read it, I highly suggest it. Men, if you haven't read it, it's about "unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul", so you should also check it out. It explains that the essence of women is beauty. Deep, wonderful, awe-inspiring beauty. God himself is Beauty in its purest and most amazing form. Look around--see the creation He has made and the care He puts into his work. That alone shows that He is beauty and He revels in beauty. And women were made to reflect that part of God. However, Satan has spoken lies into our ears, telling us we are not lovely or captivating. He's told us that we're too much or not enough. He pushes us to close up, to not offer our beauty or our strength, to put up masks to hide our true selves. Friends, this is not how we are called to live. Instead, we need to let our essence flourish--which is our beauty. Let me explain what I mean by beauty. Beauty is both an outward and an inward trait. First and foremost, the beauty of a woman is a "soulish beauty", coming from a heart in love with her Creator. This kind of beauty will transform our own physical beauty to be more alluring as our true selves shine through. In the book, Stasi and John Eldredge give 8 qualities about true beauty. Beauty is powerful. It speaks and invites. Beauty nourishes, comforts, and inspires. Beauty is transcendent. And beauty ultimately draws us to God. We can use this beauty to impact the world and to share the glory of God to everyone we meet. This kind of loveliness flows from a heart at rest. Women at rest carry the beauty of trust in the Lord. They are not concerned with the million and one things on their to-do list or about making everyone happy in order to people-please. A heart at rest invites others to come alive in Christ and to enjoy life to the fullest. Far too often, we as women live with striving hearts, hearts that are far from rest. However, this only hurts us and takes away from the glory of the Lord. Therefore, we need to stop striving for perfection, stop striving to stay as busy as possible, stop striving to look like the best Christian. A heart at rest is a heart of beauty to the Lord. A heart at rest brings peace to the world. A heart at rest allows other people to rest.
Women portray God's love for deep, intimate relationships. Think about it--women love to talk and have deep, meaningful conversations. We want to be known fully and completely, and we want to know others. We want to hear people share their hearts about their passions and struggles. We desire to build amazing, life-giving relationships. "How are you" from a good friend is one of the most meaningful questions someone can ask. Yet in this fallen world, it is hard to be vulnerable. We have been hurt when people we shared our lives with have turned around and stabbed our hearts. But even still, we need to be vulnerable and open to others. That's how our femininity reflects the one true God. We will still be hurt because people are sinful and and are guaranteed to disappoint. But suffering increases beauty, and God can use our hurt for good. Our beauty will be deepened by creating these intimate, vulnerable relationships.
Beauty is so much more than this world has defined it to be. It is a design of God for women to reflect beauty. Don't shy away from it. Every women carries a beauty that resonates in the core of her being--don't be afraid! You are lovely!