God has challenged my thinking lately about my definition and practice of beauty. These verses have been instrumental in His working in me, and I want to share these thoughts with you so we may strive together to be the ladies God designed us to be.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. – 1 John 2:15-17
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. – 2 Timothy 2:4
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. – Colossians 3:23
Who defines beauty in your life?
I have found that the culture of this world insidiously sets the standard of beauty for me. This is nothing new; we are often reminded that advertising, media, and the latest styles constantly teach us the world’s version of beauty.
I thought I was aware of this and had it under control. But God pointed out to me that despite my awareness of the obvious onslaught of the culture of this world, there is a subtler way the culture pervades my thinking. Do you find this to be so? Does the culture define beauty for you?
What is not beauty?
Perhaps this question would be better phrased, what does our culture present to us as beautiful? Thin, tan, stylish, and fit (insert your coveted attribute here)?
The woman our culture holds up as the standard is an anomaly—that which cannot and yet must be attained.
But wait, does God ever challenge us as His daughters to be thin, tan, stylish, or fit? Does He even allude to that definition of beauty in His Word? God’s culture seems to bypass the subject entirely, except where it interacts with our walk with God and our relationships with others.
Can you comprehend a culture wherein we are not all striving to attain physical perfection and rather seeking first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33)? Does it boggle your mind, as it does mine, that God’s viewpoint operates so differently, on a completely different plane than that of this world?
What should we practice?
Your personal culture cannot change overnight. Even as I write this, I am challenged anew to untangle myself from the affairs of this life, to repent of the pride of life and the lust of the flesh. The “principle of positive replacement” requires that we fill our minds with God’s Word. Remember, to walk in the Spirit is to not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).
Is it possible that we could meditate on these truths, praying for a change in our own culture? I daresay, it is! Are you up for the challenge?
Please share how God has taught you on the subject of beauty.
Are there any truths or verses that may prove helpful? What are they?
How have you experienced victory in this area? How?
Laura started attending Lehigh Valley Baptist Church as a child when her family moved to the area. For years, her primary passion was in nursing and furthering her education. In the midst of pursuing a medical degree, God changed her plans and she married Jonathan Snow (read their story here). Now, she has discovered a special fulfillment from being a wife, and Lord-willing, a mother one day! Truly, God’s ways are always for our good and for His glory.