“In the Summer before I go to 7th grade, you said I could wear makeup.”
How could she forget? I had the same rule with her older sister.
Oh be still my heart. My youngest daughter, who already seems so mature for her age, was about to embark on a new adventure.
As a mom of daughters, it is important that I teach them what God says about beauty. I tell them that true beauty comes from within and that this is the only beauty that truly matters to God. Even though they know and are learning to understand this truth, they still long to feel beautiful.
The desire for beauty is deeply embedded in a woman’s heart. We desire it, we long for it, we yearn for it. Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God. The essence of a woman is beauty. God created us to desire beauty.
Yet, what type of beauty are we to desire?
Even though I teach my daughters that outward beauty does not last, still they yearn to be beautiful. As a mom, I want nothing more than to see my daughters cultivate their inner beauty by growing in their intimacy with God and learning what He has to say about the matter. My desire is that they would be confident in their own skin, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are beautiful, loved and accepted by God no matter what.
I did not cringe too much when my daughter reminded me of my promise. We set aside a special day to go to Target and get her the basics – mineral powder, lip gloss and mascara. I taught her the importance of what makeup was really for — to enhance the beauty that God has given to her. I tried to instruct her on the “how to’s” of proper application, but apparently she already knew all about that.
This entire experience has had me reflecting on how I see myself. I struggle with “feeling beautiful”. I know what the Word says, yet my heart cannot seem to grasp the information that my brain knows and understands. It is hard for me to look into the mirror and see the beautiful woman that God created underneath the hurt, pain and disappointment that I wear most days.
But God says that I am beautiful.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love,
behold, you are beautiful! (Song of Solomon 4:1a)
And God does not lie.
In the society that we live in there is so much pressure to conform. We are inundated with images on TV, billboards and in magazines that show us a false image of true beauty. Somewhere along the way, I have believed a lie that says I am not beautiful. I am working this out with the Lord, but I do not want my daughters growing up with a false perception of their own beauty.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
The more I remind my daughters of the truth of their own beauty, the more I am reminded that I am beautiful in God’s eyes, and His are the only ones that truly matter. No amount of makeup, fancy shoes, or frilly skirts can make a woman beautiful. We are not defined by our outward appearance, but by a gentle spirit, one that walks in true intimacy with God. True beauty can only be cultivated in a deep and abiding relationship with the One who calls us beautiful.