I’ll tell you what — in the last ten years or so, it seems as though society’s unattainable quest for “beautiful” has become more drastic, more in your face, and more unapologetically superficial than ever.
Hair extensions. Lip filler. Fake eyelashes. Spray tans. And even on top of all that, we’re “Face-Tuning” and photoshopping ourselves within an inch of our lives.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: I do it too! — I whiten my teeth. Obsess about skincare. And I will smooth out a pimple on FaceTune without a second thought.
There’s nothing wrong with doing any of those things.
But scroll through Instagram, turn on the TV, or flip through a magazine for a minute, and we’re bombarded with society’s gospel: the quest for beauty, at any and all cost.
I mean, how many times will we have to hear about diuretic “flat tummy tea,” meal replacement shakes, “waist training corsets,”or tattoo’d-on-eyebrows before somebody stands up and says, “Enough already!”
Is this the type of “womanhood” that we want to usher younger generations into? One where we’re striving for this unattainable standard of perfection, with the ultimate goal of “You, but better.”
Because I can tell you – coming from someone who nearly died from anorexia, trying to achieve that perfection – it’s simply not worth it.
Beauty has been in the news a lot recently. Sports Illustrated is being praised for “expanding” the definition of beauty by including their first Muslim model, Halima Aden, to be featured, in a hijab and “burkini.”
Other beauty brands are being applauded for broadening the different “types” of models they feature, to include more races, sizes, nationalities, abilities, etc. Which – yes, is great. And they should be commended for doing so.
But real talk: that’s still only addressing half of the problem.
Because it’s missing the point. The beauty they’re praising is exactly that which you can capture on the glossy pages of a magazines: beauty that is skin deep. So sure, you can broaden that “skin” to include any and all varieties; or you can be like Dove and “campaign” for “real beauty” but still at the end of the day, their distorted message is the same: Beauty is what you see on the outside.
Well, I think it’s time we change that definition.
I had been wanting to write this post for a while, but didn’t really know how to approach it, to be honest.
And last night, I found myself without any plans. I was supposed to go on a date with this handsome venture capitalist, and he canceled on me last minute — typical New Yorker. And I was annoyed — I mean, I showered for the occasion, and everything. So I was not going to let a “clean hair day” go to waste. So I decided to go to the Young Adult Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And wouldn’t you know — God gave me exactly what I needed to hear. Because the entire sermon was on this passage:
“God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’” Genesis 1:26
That right there is where the skin-deep beauty gospel misses the mark.
Yes – we were made in God’s glorious, radiant, image — which is beautiful to the eye, and yes, something to be celebrated.
But we are also made in His likeness. Which gives us this incredibly beautiful depth that no photo or image can capture.
That is the beauty we need to be striving for. Beauty of the heart. Beauty of the spirit. Beauty that reflects the likeness of God, which we all possess, as handmade creations of the Father.
God is love – and what do we know about love? “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
All of those beautiful attributes are in us too, as reflections of our Father, made in His likeness.
It’s time we start factoring those into our definition of beauty.
What do I want to tell my future daughter about beauty?
That our beauty is not our own. Our beauty comes from our Father who made us. Who made every freckle on your face, the sparkle in your eye and the radiance in your face. The merciful Father who put the kindness and joy in your heart, and gave you the gentleness and patience you have towards others. Your beauty, dear, sweet, future daughter of mine someday (God willing), is so much more than merely what can be seen with the eye. Your beauty comes from deep within, as a child of God.
None of that can be airbrushed into or out of existence. None of that can be fully captured in a photo.
That, is the authentic beauty — the dual beauty — that we should start championing today.
The authentic, dual beauty, that yes, includes outer beauty – but leads with what’s inside, our inner heart beauty. One cannot exist without the other. It’s a divine duality – the image and the likeness — the outer and the inner.
How life-affirming our world would be, if we celebrated that.
What is your definition of beauty?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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185 responses to “What Should We Tell Our Daughters about Beauty?”
Such a good read, it’s inspiring to see your journey in defeating anorexia too 😊
Thanks so much Ilapatricia!! That really means a lot! Hugs and love xox
Amen sister! Thank you for this.
Thanks so much 🙂 glad it resonated with you! Hugs and love xox
My wife and I have grown daughters that shine from the inside out! Yay!
woooo! way to go!!!! that is so awesome 🙂 yay indeed!
We New Yorkers aren’t all so bad.
Haha agreed! Hugs and love xox
Good words, Caralyn. Beauty, in God’s eyes is more than skin deep. It’s a right heart and acting in wisdom. -Jeff
Thanks so much Jeff – amen to that – right heart and acting in wisdom. Love that Hugs and love xox
I used to be a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant. We actually had a gal attend one of our meetings who was of a strict Christian denomination that did not wear make-up. She was a top selling consultant just with the skin care! When I converted to Orthodoxy, I had to pick a saint name. I chose, Matrona. Ironic since she was against women wearing make-up at all. Her reason was that it altered us from being in the image of God! Wow! I still wear make-up tho. 🙂 I’m not a monastic for crying out loud. lol I don’t wear it all the time out in public but I do like it. Do you ever go make-up free in public? It can challenge ourselves to go all natural. What will people think? Maybe we are afraid no one will notice after all. Perhaps that is worse… not to be noticed? In the world yes, but as Christians it’s just about right. Thank you for this thought provoking post. Hugs!
Haha I love this response, Melissa!! I have never thought about that when it comes to makeup, but wow – makes you think! I actually go in public without makeup quite a bit – like when I go jogging — it’s just me and sunscreen! Haha Hugs and love xox
Whatever we teach them of beauty, it must be Godly. This world is such a mess. So glad my daughter married a good man and a Christian. He teaches at their church. A Godly woman is beyond value. 🙏🏻😍😎
Amen to that, John. Oh that’s so awesome! Happy for your daughter! Hugs and love xox
Thank you! My daughter was born with an extra chromosome. She is an authentic beauty in every way. And thank goodness she knows it!
Thank you so much for sharing that. Amen – authentic beauty!!! 🙂 sending big hugs xox
What’s really exciting is what Paul tells Christians at the end of Romans 8:30 wherein he informs us we’ll be “GLORIFIED” beings in the kingdom of God. I’ll take glorification over beautification any time. We’ll truly be “beyond beauty!”
Hi Rollie, you’re so right about that! It’s really hopeful to think about all that awaits us with God in eternity! 🙂 big hugs to you xox
Beauty is what’s in a person’s eyes when love is there. All the money, procedures or products can do nothing for the one without love.
Wow JP, isn’t that the truth!! Thanks for sharing that beautiful perspective!! Hugs and love xox
Beauty fades, that is, the beauty decided by the eyes. Also a biblical teaching. The glory within, from His likeness, shines if not hidden under a bowl. May the men you date see deeply. -Alan
Thanks Alan – you’re so right – His beauty shines! And gosh, what a kind thing to say. I pray that too 🙂 big hugs to you xox
I love this. As a 53 year old woman, I feel like I’m in the minority for not doing the Botox & filler route. We are all authentically beautiful, made in the image & likeness of God. I look at my 4 year old grandson. I can guarantee you that when he looks at me, he doesn’t see wrinkles etc. He sees a woman who loves him. If only we could all see through the eyes of a child ❤️
Amen to that, Lisa! If only we all could see through the eyes of a child – at one another, at the world, and at ourselves! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
I know this sounds way off, but I like that on TV the wife does not have to be model perfect to an out of shaped husband. But back to the beauty, we should tell our daughters that they look beautiful when they look their worst. Tell them when they cry, when their hair is not combed,when they are dirty, when they play sports,when she wins or lose always tell her no matter what that she is beautiful. She may hear something bad from everyone else in the world. But if she hear it from you if will be enough. Just tell all the time when she is little. All little girls want to be called beautiful.
That is so beautiful. I think you’re right – we all want to be delighted it. I think that’s great advice! Hugs and love xox
I’m really sad. 🙁
There’s always hope!! 🙂 💛💛💛 Hugs and love xox
True beauty shines from within. When one is kind to the forgotten and gives them dignity, one who chooses to forgive and not to become bitter, one who loves and accepts others without a selfish agenda. The list can go on. It is not the superficial that people remember but how you made them feel. A women with outward beauty but no character is seriously lacking.
Yes it does! And amen to that – those are such beautiful attributes of a person’s heart!! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Hugs and love!
Yes. Beauty sells, it always has. Until the world rids of money and earthly things, it is going to be the status quo. 🙁 Best we could do is prepare the future generation and let them define TRUE beauty. The kind that lasts longer than physical ….
Thanks so much Bo. You’re right – status quo for sure and amen – TRUE beauty!! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox
My philosophy is young and burgeoning, but I think you’re touching on something really interesting so I will try to convey my thoughts as coherently as possible.
Metaphysical Idealism is the idea that Beauty is a trait of a thing, and that perfect beauty can only be attained by perfecting a thing. This is part of the plague of the world. People are looking at things and assigning values to it, and comparing values across many things. Metaphysical realism, in contrast, is the idea that Beauty is a thing in and of itself, and things that are beautiful share in it. Because God is analogous to perfection, including perfection of beauty, people who are beautiful are sharing in the glory of God. Because God made man in His image (And men and women he made them!), we are able to all share in the likeness of Gods beauty.
People can’t see past their own noses. The things are more important than the underlying essences. That’s why transgenderism is so pervasive: The parts, in their mind, are what defines their gender. They ignore the essences of what makes man and woman, they ignore how God made them and try to remake themselves in their own image, like a cartoon trying to draw itself. So people think Beauty needs to be spread, shared, changed somehow. That people cannot, in and of themselves, share in Beauty, but people must be told who is beautiful.
No one needs to tell anyone who or what is beautiful. It is something we all recognize, innately, because God has shared many of His talents with us, and we recognize them when we see them.
Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam,
What an interesting read. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on beauty! And you’re right – we all recognize it innately!! Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, I love how you put that scripture “God is love” and then went into what scripture says love is and is not. It was like saying “God is… God is not.” incredibly beautiful!
i also love your Be Soul Beautiful picture. And of course your beautiful mom!
God loves you both, Caralyan!
Hi Gail! Thank you so much 🙂 Yeah, I love that 1 corinthians verse – you can read it through so many different lenses 🙂 Thanks so much! hope you have a beautiful weekend! hugs xo
Great reminder in a culture that glorifies the outward appearance over the inward. Jesus chastised the Pharisees for focusing on this and called them whitewashed tombs! I hope to teach my daughter the points you brought out. Thanks
Thank you so much 🙂 You’re right! inward beauty is truly the best! hugs xox
Very well said again. To tell you the truth, I am rarely fascinated with those ladies on magazine covers. I have seen ladies that are far more beautiful than those on magazine covers yet they will never end up there.
Thanks so much JB! 🙂 I agree – they’re all air brushed anyways…not even the model looks like what they do on the cover! hugs xo
You are very graciously welcome so much. Hugs back to YOU!!!
have a great weekend! xoxo
Beauty: Caralyn and her Mom, two beautiful Christ following ladies, with word and action radiating True Beauty, the Glory of Jesus Christ in their lives. As the Radiance of Christ is seen in their countenance and smiles, the Fruit of the Spirit is encountered in word and actions, all giving Glory and Honour to Heavenly Father.
Praising Jesus, and thanking each of you for the example to women of all ages, to stand for Truth, Honesty, Morality, Christianity, boldly.
Hi George! oh gosh, what a kind thing to say, thank you 🙂 Seriously, I am so touched by this, thank you friend. God is good, and you’re a great friend! have a wonderful weekend! hugs xo
I never looked at someone and thought they are not beautiful! It’s almost sarcastic for me how ppl go around trying to blur the equality in which God has made us and criminally gauge us to believe that there is at least one thing to change and we will get beautiful! I add to the verse you mentioned, God created us all equal & based on that means there are no rules no comparison whatsoever! We are all beautiful, created beautifully and that’s all we need to know to be honest! 🙈 Thank you for your wise words sister 💕💕💕
Hi Elber – thanks so much! I agree – no comparison whatsoever! we are all uniquely beautiful!! 🙂 so glad you stopped by! hugs xo
Mic drop. Boom.
hahah oh gosh, thank you! have a great weekend! hugs x
This is such a timely post and needed! I used to have really negative self talk. I despised everything about me. But God has been working on my heart and showing me what HE thinks is beautiful! I realized that when I said negative things about my physical appearance, I was calling God’s handiwork garbage. I am realizing that God made me exactly the way He wanted to carry out the work He has set before me. Thank you for this message!
Hi Crystal! Oh gosh, thank you so much!! I’m so glad it resonated with you. And thank you sharing your story – God works on hearts in such .a beautiful way. Amen! You are a masterpiece!! 🙂 hugs xox
Amen sister. As I tell my wife, “you are never more beautiful than those times when you reflect God’s glory.” Keep on keeping on. The right guy is out there for you.
Hi Michael, thank you so much for sharing that! And what a beautiful message to your wife — you rock!! thanks 🙂 xox
That was so perfectly said. What scares me is the young girls including my own daughter who doesn’t think she is pretty ( which I think is a bad thing to focus on) she thinks then she doesn’t measure up. Oh my my daughter is beautiful inside and out . I need to remind her of this all the time. It’s breaks my heart…..
Oh my, you’re on a reading roll! thank you so much!! Oh gosh, yeah it breaks my heart to think that young girls have such pressure on them. you’re a good mom 🙂 hugs xox
Thank you I try to be a good mom. Oh you know something your right males too have a complex about body image . When my son came home from Basic I thought he looked great . Yeah he lost his muscle that he worked so hard on before Basic but I thought he looked great he told me no I can’t stand to look at myself I need to workout I’m not happy with myself this way . I never realize this bothered him so much . So men do feel this way .
Gosh, yeah you’re so right – men face pressure too. Thank you for your son’s service! 🙂
Love love love this as usual!!!
Hi Georgia! Aw, thank you lovie! Hope you have a beautiful weekend! hugs and love xox
I really like this post. As someone who writes about body confidence and accepting ‘flaws’, I think it’s important that we learn to appreciate physical beauty in all it’s forms but, as you say, the most important ‘beauty’ is the one within. You can have the prettiest face but if you don’t strive to be a good person, it shines through
Hello! Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. Amen – the one within. I totally agreee! glad you stopped by! hugs xox
When we pursue a heart for God, we start to see people as God sees them — crated in the image of God; seeing the inner beauty. Scripture shows us how Jesus saw the beauty in people who were the outcast of the society of that time. Thanks for such a great post on such an important topic.
I love that so much — I pray that sometimes — to see how God sees, and to have my heart break for what breaks His. Amen to that. thanks for stopping by! bighugs xo
[…] https://beautybeyondbones.com/2019/05/02/what-should-we-tell-our-daughters-about-beauty/ […]
Hello dear Tonya!! thank you for the link up!
Absolutely, you nailed it yet again. As always, I love you, beautiful soul! Hugs!xo😄❤
My dear friend, thank you so much 🙂 Your comments are always . bright spot in my day! love ya and have a beautiful weekend!!! xoxo
Love this post. When I was younger and dated, it was the eyes and smile that attracted me. Eyes can tell a lot about a person like a window to the soul of the person. I don’t mean make up covered eyes. I mean the light in the eyes of someone who has depth. Eyes that show understanding and empathy, eyes that light up while laughing. But I am old and don’t date anymore lol.
Thank you friend – I totally agree – eyes are the window to the soul for sure. Kind eyes are a real thing!!! hahhaha you crack me up!!! so glad you stopped by! big hugs xox
So much yes to this!
thank you so much Kara!! so glad you stopped by! big hugs xo
That brings to mind a quote from the Bible which illustrates your point. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.”
Oh yes, I love that verse — it’s so true! our hearts are most important to Him! hugs xox
My daughter, really likes makeup. My gay daughter could care less. I’m not, small so they aren’t either. I think, beauty is the shell for their self worth at, times. They have a huge trampoline in their backyard. We’d lay on it and stare at the stars. I just, got back from the Las Vegas massacre. I told them, they are beautiful. I told them, imagine if it was your last day and how little being beautiful would matter. But, how important you’d think it still was and how much time you’d, waste. Then, I gave them the temple bracelets from my monk friend. I told them, to remember how unimportant it all is.
Wow, what a beautiful message you’ve conveyed to your daughters. thanks for sharing that. hugs xox
Forgot, they date their titles in New York. No one just, falls in love anymore.
Is it, not true? Ever date the door holder? The deli guy? An Uber driver?
Oh, I understand what you were saying now. no i don’t think that’s fair. I see people, not titles.
Really? initially we date based on the models of our parents. Even, us adopted kids. 😂 Just saying, we have no biases is not entirely true. I like dating women that aren’t like my mom. It’s uh, breath of fresh air.
Cool. Yeah i like to go off of chemistry
It’s okay. It’s a class thing. Jessica Alba, married a busser at her favorite restaurant. Wealth, is a trait and promotes a certain behavior. You want, your dude to know what fork to use. 😱😂
I’ve got to be honest, I really don’t appreciate that presumption.
How is it a presumption? Not many, celebrate dating their landscaper. Even the doctor, I dated had the class conflict. The reason to dismiss before starting. Your favorite show, even said they only have beautiful people on The Bachelor. It is, the line in the sand that’s become concrete between classes. We celebrate, you. We denigrate, us.
I tell my daughters they are beautiful every day, but thet understand im not just talking about physical beauty (yes I think they are beautiful but they may be biased). Im talking about from within. Its what comes from within their souls.
Amen to that! From within their souls! Your daughters are blessed to have you! hugs xo
Without question, one of your Best writings! Perhaps you should miss more dates! Lol
Seriously, the concept I focused on was “perfection”. And yes, our society is obsessed with it, but only in a superficial sense… And that is Not authentic.
The only aspect in our lives that deserves #Perfection… Is our Faith. That… Is a noble endeavor.
What I witness in your writing is pure wisdom, young lady, and it makes me smile… So very proud of you. And you know what? I’ll wager it makes God smile as well.
You are touching more lives than you can possibly imagine. Your journey and writing causes me to think about my favorite new TV series, “God Friended Me”… Indeed, you are the Millennial Prophet.
God bless you.
Hi Michael! Oh my gosh, THANK YOU!! I am so touched by your generous words. I love that – you’re right we should strive for faith perfection!!! Thanks so much for bringing a smile to my face 🙂 big big hugs xox
We are all here to support each other and lift each other up…
I totally agree! grateful for you! 🙂 xo
My non-religious take on your message is that beauty comes from the shared humanity deep within us all, that which unites us rather than divides us.
Yes!! That soul beauty that radiates love to one another!! thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to read 🙂 big hugs xox
My dear Tiffany, you show us that while Jesus is “a lamp unto our feet,” we are a lamp of
God’s love. We are beautiful lamps that shine best when we shine with God.
As for physical beauty, I offer one of my favorite poems: Delight in Disorder by Robert Herrick
A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher;
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribands to flow confusedly;
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility:
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.
I pray your day is blessed!
A lamp of God’s love, shining with Him — wow, Jeff, that is so beautiful. What a tremendous father you are to your girls. And I’ve never heard that poem before, but wow – so through provoking. A wild civility. so intriguing. You too, jeff! Hugs to you and Julie! xox
I read that in an English lit class as an undergrad and was so impressed by that imagery! It’s hair flowing freely, a blouse slightly droopy on one shoulder, a slightly crooked smile… Enjoy your weekend, my friend!
love it. you too, Jeff!
This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it! I have a little girl who is 2 and I also think deeply about the message I want to convey to her about who she is and what makes her beautiful, to implant truth about that before society defined what beauty is for her ❤️
Thank you so much!! You’re so right about that, because society is always on the prowl for young impressionable minds! Sounds like your daughter is really lucky to have you 🙂 thanks so much for stopping by! big hugs xox
For about five years in my early fifties, I tried wearing makeup–and then quit. For very special occasions, I will put on lipstick, but that is it. And I go out in public that way–every day. The sky has not fallen.
That’s so awesome, Madeline. The sky has not fallen — hehe that made me smile. Thanks for sharing your heart!! big big hugs to you xox
What is that saying about great minds think alike? My post this morning was on this exact top!
oh awesome!! i can’t wait to check it out! thanks for stopping by! have a beautiful weekend! hugs ox
My definition of beauty is the act of carrying oneself in self-confidence and self-awareness that one is made uniquely in the image of God; that the person–male or female– is not just a physically-attractive shell, but a complete package of body and soul. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body is so helpful here, especially warning about utilitarianism, using another person only for selfish pleasures. Hugs and love from Kentucky– Mike
I love that definition so much! thanks for sharing it with me, Mike. And amen — JP2’s TOB is one of my alltime favorites! hugs xo
This is totally ironic, but I finally just purchased the toothpaste after wanting to for a long time…of all posts, upon reading this one about beauty!
I really appreciate this post…you may know from perusing my blog, but I have a toddler daughter and she is my #1 inspiration in my anorexia recovery. I come back to this notion of what beauty really is and what I’m modeling for her daily! Thank you for this post!
Oh my gosh! haha yay! I hope you love it! i actually just ordered another tube too!! haha ((protip: brush with a DRY toothbrush without water — that really allows the whitening ingredients to really get in there and do their thing! the water dilutes it! it takes a little getting used to, but now i never brush the same! haha)) and thanks so much for sharing your story – how wonderful that you’ve been blessed with a daughter!!!!!! ah, that is so beautiful. you sound like an incredible mom 🙂 hugs xo
As great as makeups and external adornments are great, I have always believed from childhood that those are not what makes people more beautiful or less beautiful. That something is attractive doesn’t make it beautiful. Sometimes I ask myself who defined beauty? Who said she must has a certain body shape, lips size, preferred fashion and all that to be called “beautiful”. For me, I believe beauty starts from a personal view of oneself and proceeds to the condition of our hearts and character.
I had shared some line of thoughts to this regard previously
1. Beautiful & Unique: https://wp.me/p6c73H-Dv
2. Beautiful Deception: https://wp.me/p6c73H-1cP
I strongly believe that looking beautiful and being beautiful isn’t the same thing. Sometimes, the moment we see the condition of people’s heart, we suddenly realize that we don’t judge by sight. Yes, charm is attractive but it doesn’t keep us… The inward beauty is what keeps anyone attractive.
Hi George, thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. I think you’re right – inward beauty is what is truly attractive. I look forward to reading your posts! hugs xox
I’m struggling with body dysmorphia right now, so this was much needed! 💕💕
I’m sorry that you’re struggling right now – i’ve definitely been there. hang in there, love. You’ve got this! Just do the next right thing 🙂 big big hugs xox
Amen! With a beautiful 23 year old daughter – and a beautiful 25 year old son – I am with you!
I have struggled my entire life with wanting to be skinny, have no cellulite, and now, even worse wrinkles and turkey neck! It is a long road to realizing beauty is not just what you look like. This was an inspiring post. As a fellow Catholic/Christian I am especially touched by your faith and that you can share it. Only one thing, I am a mother of boys and believe it or not, they also suffer body image, needing to look great, am I good enough, problems. Society may see girls on the forfront of this issue, but let us not forget boys are people too and subject to the same scrutinity from society.
Hi Gail, thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. I’m so glad this resonated with you. Oh yes – males have it tough too — there are pressures on both genders to meet certain “societal definitions of attractiveness.” Such a great point. big hugs to you xox
Words of wisdom. “Life is too short to dance with ugly women”. Thus far, I have not met any ugly women. If we take the time to truly look, we will find the beauty we seek. The selfie with your Mom, is an explanation of or your premise. There is where the true beauty lies and you need to learn to live with it. You have all the right answers.
We find the beauty we seek — wow, what a powerful thought. thank you so much for sharing that, and for stopping by. big hugs xx
You are welcome.
Amen! Great post. I love that you went in depth with this. The “beauty” that society displays today is not true beauty. Its idolatry. Self idolizing. And we must flee from such. Just as in 1 Corinthians 10:14 says. True beauty comes from God as you said from deep within. We should all allow our daughters, nieces, nephews, aunts etc to know this truth. Blessings & grace to you! 🙂 I really love the encouraging quotes as well to go with the posts 😉 they truly bless my heart! <3
Thank you so much Tammy! I so agree – it comes from God! So glad you stopped by 🙂 Hugs and love xox
You’re most welcome! 🙂 yep! Everything! Happy to! 😀 blessings!
Awww I love this so empowering! Thank you for reflecting God in all your posts. Being a fellow Christian blogger, it can somehow feel like the Gospel is dying and people aren’t interested in the word any more!
I also loved your last post about dating in the post-Christian era! Thank you for always pointing to God in all you do!
Thank you so much Sarah! I’m so glad this resonated with you!! I feel you there. I appreciate your kind words 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Love this so much. I pray each day that my sweet girl sees the beauty in herself. ❤
Thank you so much Carly!! 🙂 I’m so glad this resonated with you! Yes! that’s a great prayer 🙂 hugs xox
So true! And such a responsibility as a mom. What’s in your heart shows on your face.😊❤️
Awesome post addressing a very important and timely topic. You handled it wonderfully. Being made in God’s image and likeness makes everyone equally beautiful in God’s eyes. Inner beauty is the true beauty. I cured myself of leaning on outward looks by a decade of homelessness. I wanted to be in disguise so only people with the ability to see inner beauty would show any interest in me. I like it better this way and it helps me see the inner beauty of other people too. Continue your wonderful and well appreciated work. You are very special. Your message shines brightly in a dark world.
Thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement. It really means a lot. And wow – what a story. I would love to hear more about that. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox
Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, I enjoy your posts, especially the ones (like this one) that expose both your tender heart and your love for the Lord. I am saddened when you are treated poorly by some young man, but that only means God is protecting you from harm. Prayers for you and your reverential and humble ministry.
Hi War, thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words. I think you’re right – and it’s really something i need to remember – that God is protecting me. I appreciate your prayers! big hugs to you xox
Well done! (Sorry about your date—his loss).
ugh thanks Dave. It is just exasperating. Thanks for the encouragement. big hugs xox
You bet. Big hugs right back at ya! Have a great week!
You too!!! 🙂
Beauty follows beauty. It is reflected by those things and people that mirror God in greater fullness to their original purpose — which could be likened to the Aristotelian ‘final cause’—, even as the moon illuminates the more it reflects the sun’s light. It is our likeness being formed in the image of God that gives the human spirit the ability to be the be the most beautiful thing in all Creation. Potentially, of course. Likewise, it is the desecration of this potentiality which may render the human spirit the most hideous of all things.
Sadly, I have known many ‘Christians’ who are amongst the ugliest people the world over. They are filled with hatred and darkness all while claiming to worship Love, Himself. Within the ‘more acceptable’ pale, many Christians abide by the worldly standards of beauty, which is to say, as you pointed out, physical. I have seen incredibly attractive Christians date incredibly attractive individuals to the detriment of their faith. Sure, the other person was in the church but no more lived a Christian life than a non-Christian.To put it more eloquently, one of my old pastors used to say that being in a church no more makes you a Christian than being in a garage makes you a car.
I digress. The Bible makes very clear the idea that the outward person is not representative of true beauty. Peter writes, “Your adornment must not be merely external—with interweaving and elaborate knotting of the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or [being superficially preoccupied with] dressing in expensive clothes; but let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, [one that is calm and self-controlled, not overanxious, but serene and spiritually mature] which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 AMP). I doubt most would consider the adjectives used by Peter as constituting sexy nowadays.
We are also called ‘God’s workmanship’ in Ephesians 2:10; the Greek word for ‘workmanship’ is ‘poeima’ — which you can guess is where we get our word for ‘poem’ and ‘poetry’—, meaning any type of product, though often carrying the connotation of a piece of art, a piece of fiction, or a poem(hence the derivative we find today). We are, in some sense, a story written by God. The thing that is wild is that we, as editors of our story, are given wholesale license to edit, or even rewrite in full, our life’s book. God’s story is there, word-by-word, ours to trace or to ignore — although, I am given to the idea that there are some blanks for us to fill in at our discretion (call it divine Mad Libs). But, as I often criticize of movies based off of books, why in the Charles Dickens would you change a story which is beautifully written? All we have to do to be beautiful is to be who God made us to be.
thank you so much for sharing your heart on this! God’s workmanship – i love that so much. And amen! be who God made us to be! isn’t that the truth! big hugs to you xox
I’ll take stained glass windows any day, over social media make-overs. Great piece. – Oscar
I so agree! thanks Oscar! big hugs xo
In my new book, Simple Faith, that came out last week, I included an essay on Authencity. An early draft of this essay was the subject of a podcast last year (https://t2pneuma.net/2018/05/07/monday-monologue-authenticity-may-7-2018-podcast).
Congrats on your book!!! 🙂 that’s so exciting! thanks Stephen for sharing! hugs xo
Ops. The gist of the argument is that beauty is a measure of Authencity when our inner and outer lives are in sync, which is a divine attribute.
i love that thought!
Better to have a good name than to be beautiful (but there’s no shame in being beautiful).
Roses are red, violets are blue, your mom is beautiful, and so are you.
The truth, however, is that beauty will pass: what matter is eternity.
Thanks Marcelo – that’s great advice! And gosh thank you for saying that! Hugs and love xox
It’s what the world expects – make up is only for those who gloss magazines to sell images and lifestyles. I experienced freedom when I threw away my last lipstick in 2017 after wearing make up over 20 years. Besides we did not come out of the womb with make up on hahaha!
Thanks Jeanne! Aweome! Haha so true! We didn’t come out of the womb with make up! Haha Hugs and love xox
I love this post. And so many perceptive and thoughtful comments. And for prayer
I think when we can add the word ‘beautiful’ into our vocabulary in ways that describe what touches our hearts.
What a beautiful gesture.
What a beautiful thought.
What a beautiful feeling.
This helps highlight that beauty is much deeper pool than tight pours and fancy eyeshadows.
That’s such a great point!!! Yes! Hugs and love xox
You could not have articulated this any better- I have chills! Always appreciate your way of sharing profound truths. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and how freeing it is to realize that beauty isn’t about the outside. Outer beauty if fleeting, while inner beauty is built upon the things that last forever: faith, hope, and the ultimate : love. I ADORE this post. This is a post I feel like everyyyone needs to read.
Thank you so much Mackenzie!! I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 amen – those last forever! big hugs xox
Very thoughtful! Good job. People make themselves sick chasing after the “idea” of what beauty is.
I think you’re so right about that. Thanks friend. Hugs and love xox
Well written friend!!! Great encouragement and inspiration!!
Thank you so much!! So glad you enjoyed it!! Hugs and love xox
No words to say…splendid
Thank you so much Sisira 🙂 I appreciate that 🙂 hugs xo
I loved reading this. I have three daughters, all very young yet, our eldest is just 6 but I am always trying to get the message across of inner beauty. Of course they are beautiful to me on the outside, they’re my girls, but we try and teach them that they are much more beautiful when they’re doing something kind. That they’re beautiful when they’re happy, that their kind hearts make their eyes shine brighter and we love how caring they are.
Their interest in appearance is limited to dressing up like Cinderella at the minute. They are yet to discover make up and the like. However, it will happen and it is scary that the industry around us might make them feel insecure. To be fully aware of how much they are loved by us and loved by God is what we’re trying to instill in them and to hear that you have the same mindset is wonderful. More people should be writing like you! Thank you. Xx
Thanks so much 🙂 I’m so glad this resonated with you! Amen – kindness is the most beautiful! And happiness, and being caring! I love that so much!! Thanks for your support! Hugs and love xox
I had such a nice time reading this post!!
And I found such a beautiful quite as well! “Perfection is stupid.” Haha
A great post we need in our current society!
Thank you so much!! 🙂 that means a lot! hugs xo
Thank you for putting first things first.
When I was teaching college, a young lady began her freshman year. Her face was scared from acne and not outwardly attractive. But, by the end of the year guys were crawling over each other to date her. The inner beauty of her Christian spirit was far too comely to ignore.
Hi again Jay! thank you for sharing that – amen – our inner beauty shines and is what truly matters! hugs xox
Hello Beautiful, Can I send you a private message.
Sure thing Joni!
I sent you a face book message.
Awesome. Thanks. I’m on vacation right now. Will check when I’m back!! Hugs and love xox
Have an awesome vacation. Love Joni
Thanks 🙂 i definitely am!