Some would say the official start to summer begins this weekend with the celebration and remembrance of Memorial Day. We will still have another week of school, but the neighborhood pool will be open for business. Does the idea of the pool and a swimsuit cause anxiety in you? I have to admit, being a plus sized women who has struggled with my weight for most of my adult life, I greatly dislike the idea of putting on that suit. But, I love being in the sun and pool. The smell of sunscreen makes me happy…. And so, I have to suck it up and get over my insecurities for the enjoyment of the sun and water. I choose a modest suit that will “hide” a few of my flaws….. or at least lull me into thinking my flaws are covered. Ha ha.
But really, are the size of my thighs that important? Do the other moms at the pool really care and judge me for how I fit in my suit? Or are they too busy thinking the same about their flaws and their insecurities? More than likely it is the latter. We woman are pretty tough on ourselves. We have bought into the lies of this world that beauty is skin deep. We think people will judge us and like us only for how we look, not for who we are on the inside.
I have bought into this lie. I admit it. I know I spend way too much time thinking about what outfit I will wear to such and such event, or how my hair looks today. I usually have make up on, although you will occasionally find me out and about running to the grocery store without makeup…. In my younger days, I would have never done that. I guess with age does come some wisdom. But, I like to look nice and present myself in a pleasing manner. Is this wrong? I don’t think so. But, when I let it consume me or cause me to think less of myself because I am having a “bad hair day”, then something is wrong.
Also, I worry I am passing these same thoughts and beliefs down to my daughter. She turns seven years old this weekend and she loves to get dressed up. On most days she would rather be in a skirt than jeans or shorts. She wants something “pretty” to adorn her shirts. There needs to be a fancy headband or bow in her hair…… She cares how she looks and loves to be fancy. I don’t mind her getting dressed up and feeling good about what she is wearing. However, I do not want her to start thinking her worth comes from this outward beauty. She must know is comes from within.
This is my concern and struggle -to break my own pattern of insecurities about appearance and self worth so that my daughter will see the heart is what matters most.
She says :
The deception that physical beauty is to be esteemed above beauty of heart, spirit, and life leaves both men and women feeling unattractive, ashamed, embarrassed, and hopelessly flawed. Ironically, the pursuit of physical beauty is invariably an unattainable, elusive goal – always just out of reach. (Lies Women Believe, pg 78)
Oh my goodness! This is so true. We will never be able to attain that “perfection” the world says is beautiful. I need to stop comparing myself to others and love myself for who I am and for who’s I am in Christ.
I am not saying I want to stop caring about what I look like or wear, all together. Not at all.
I love how DeMoss states it:
Don’t be afraid to be feminine and to add physical and spiritual loveliness to the setting where He has placed you. You are a child of God. You are a part of the bride of Christ. You belong to the King – you are royalty. Dress and conduct yourself in a way that reflects your high and holy calling. (Lies Women Believe, pg 80)
I am royalty and I should reflect my high and holy calling. This is cause to rejoice in who I am.
I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes. For in the past, the holy women who put their hope in God also beautified themselves in this way, submitting to their own husbands, 1Peter 3:3-5
DeMoss says, “The outward appearance of the Christian woman is to reflect a heart that is simple, pure, and well-ordered.” She goes on to say, “she reflects the true condition of her heart and her relationship with the Lord, and she makes the Gospel attractive to the world.” (Lies Women Believe, pg 81)
Ultimately my life should be about the Gospel; how I am living it out in my daily life and how I am raising my daughter to do the same. If I am spending all my time worried about my appearance, hiding my perceived flaws, and feeling so insecure with myself I can’t talk to someone….. then how am I going to share my story of Christ’s redemption in my life? How am I going to tell how He saved me and turned my brokenness into glorious beauty?
That is what my life should reflect – His glorious beauty in me.
God’s sees the heart.
Yes, it’s a heart thing.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30