He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (NLT)
I have two daughters, one with dark eyes and brown curls and one with blue eyes and straight blonde hair. Both are spunky, sweet, a little sassy, and beyond beautiful. Their eyes sparkle, their smiles are huge, and their hearts are genuine and dear.
When I look at them, I see beauty. Sometimes I wonder what it would take for me to look in the mirror and see myself the same way.
Losing the baby weight? Clearing up that annoying adult acne? A fashionable haircut? A cute new outfit? A full night’s sleep to brighten up the dark under-eye circles? Whitened teeth and full makeup? Sure, these things could all help me feel pretty, but even then, I still feel like beauty is unattainable these days.
You see, right now I have a baby and three older kids to keep track of. I’m likely unshowered, wearing last night’s pajamas, and covered in baby spit-up. I don’t have time or motivation to put on makeup or blow-dry my hair, and my non-maternity clothes don’t fit yet. I don’t feel back to beautiful, that’s for sure.
I think this is the part where I’m supposed to chirp, But it doesn’t matter, because my baby is worth every pound and every day of dark circles! Of course he is. Without question. Duh. I also think I’m supposed to say very little about external beauty: It’s the heart that matters. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting and all that.
However, I would argue that external beauty does matter and that there is indeed value in our feeling beautiful. After all, God created us in His own image, and Scripture says He makes all things beautiful. And since we are each created by God, those words apply to us—even on the days when it’s hard to see our own beauty.
The beauty we see in nature stops us in our tracks and takes our breath away. The glory of a sunset. The reds and golds of changing autumn leaves. The joyous smiles on my children’s sweet faces.
It is okay, friends, to look for and cultivate beauty and to feel beautiful.
One summer when I was working as a camp counselor, my roommate was applying a light amount of makeup, and I mentioned that I’d left my makeup at home. To be clear, I was incredibly proud of this fact—and not in a good way. I was proud in a haughty, my-prioritiesare-clearer-than-yours way. She paused, then gently said, “It’s okay to embrace your beauty and femininity.” That was at least twenty years ago, and the moment is still with me.
When God said He made us beautiful, it’s because we reflect Him. We are created in His image, so we are beautiful from the get-go. End of story. Nothing we can do will increase our inherent beauty. It’s one of God’s gifts to us, and we can embrace it.
So I say it’s good to recognize the ways God has made each of us beautiful. Indeed, we should do this. Maybe it’s the way your eyes disappear when you smile big or the tone of your skin. Maybe your lashes curl up on their own or you have perfectly aligned toes or long graceful fingers. Maybe it’s your laugh, silvery and pealing, or your hair, whether wavy and short or straight and long. Whatever our physical traits, God imagined, formed, and created us beautifully. And He wants us to recognize that, because in seeing and accepting our own beauty, we see God’s too.
Lord, just as I see Your beauty reflected in the sunset, my kids, and other aspects of Your creation, may I see it also reflected in myself. I want to be able to look in the mirror and call every part of myself good as You do. Help me to recognize the beauty You have empowered me to live into. Amen.
This article was written by Anna E. Rendell, as published in Empowered: More of Him for All of You.
Empowered: More of Him for All of You, by Mary Carver, Grace P. Cho, and Anna E. Rendell is designed to incorporate the five major components of our being — physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. The sixty Scripture passages and devotions invite you to see from different angles how God empowers us, and each day ends with prayer and reflection questions to deepen the learning. Grab a copy now. We pray it blesses you.Leave a Comment