Sunday, 5 January 2014

Beauty under the Bushel

I feel like I'm in a battle every day. A battle between focusing solely on being the woman God wants me to be and trying to be a "Christian" version of what the world tells me I should be. Whether it's a desire to have the latest, greatest fashions, shoes or hairstyles or to be the "perfect weight"; I have to battle EVERY single day.

A typical day goes something like this; maybe you can relate...I'll be doing great, confident in who God made me, feeling beautiful in Jesus' eyes, and then I go to the grocery store and see the magazine ads staring me in the face at the check out line. By the time I get in line to the time I check out I've already decided that I really need to change my hair, overhaul my wardrobe and lose a few pounds. WOW! Did that really just happen from the time I set my frozen chicken on the conveyor belt to the time I walked out? Yes, yes it did. And why? Because the world, my flesh and the devil are never going to stop fighting me in my desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

I believe this is a battle that all of us women and young girls are facing right now. Our world tells us  that in order for our husbands, friends, family members, co-workers or anyone to love us we need to be in fashion, in shape and flawlessly perfect. But what does God say? One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 31:30. It literally says that beauty is "vain". What does that mean?

The definition of vain is: producing no result; useless

WOW! Let's think about that for a second... The world's definition of beauty produces no result, it's useless. That really puts things into perspective.

All that the world tells me is "beautiful" is not going to produce any good result in my life; it's all useless. I'm realizing slowly but surely that the world is never going to tell me I'm beautiful just the way I am. They're going to tell me constantly that I need to change something, and it will end up leading to a life of discontent, misery and being self centered. That's not what I want! Do you? If I die tomorrow, I don't want people to remember me for my shoes, clothes or the make-up on my face. I want them to remember my example. My example for Christ, my example as a Godly wife and mother.

Have you ever seen someone that was "beautiful" on the outside but was ugly on the inside? Their attitude and the way they treated people was ugly? It's not a pretty sight to behold. I don't want to be like that. But whenever I start to listen to the world; I become that woman I fear the most. I'm not perfect; I fail, and every day I have to re-focus and ask God to help me not to fall into that pit. I battle this daily!!

I believe that as Proverbs 31 women we can be beautiful on the outside and most importantly on the inside. I know many beautiful Proverbs 31 women that have beautiful hair and faces and dress lovely. It doesn't mean dressing in potato sacks, wearing no makeup and eating unhealthy. Verse 22 of Proverbs 31 says that: "her clothing is fine linen and purple". She was dressed beautifully and she truly was a beautiful woman as our Lord would define it. I love to do my makeup, I love clothes; what girl doesn't, but when those things start to define who I am; I'm in trouble. We can dress nicely, and look pretty but we must realize where true beauty lies. It lies in being the woman God has called us to be.

My husband always tells me something. Whenever I start to focus more on my outward than on my inward he notices. But it isn't a good thing. He always tells me that I'm the most "beautiful" when I''m acting like, talking like and mirroring my precious Jesus in all my actions. The second I start focusing more on how I look, how much I weigh and whether or not I fit the world's mold my attitude begins to change. I get snippy, I get discontent, I get miserable. And most importantly I take my eyes off of Jesus.

I'm sharing all this because I'm battling this alongside so many of you. I hope one day, in God's strength and grace that we can truly be free from this battle as women! Let's pray for one another that we can have victory together!

By Mary
Proverb 31 in the Making

Prayer for Day 4: Heavenly Father, Let the Glory of God manifest in me through Jesus Christ. I ask for inner beauty, contentment and the Character of the Spirit of God...Prov 31:30, Is 61. 1

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