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
Ruth Mills says
At almost 65 it’s taken me a long time to grasp that wavy, FRIZZY dirty dishwater colored hair is just 1 of God’s creative crayons He chose to use in knitting me together. He is the maker of beauty & I can trust His definition of beauty over Vogue or Johnson & Johnson’s shampoo ads! I’m allowing myself to be awed by the multitude of God’s crayon box rather than complain about His choices & definitions for me. His creation is MAGNIFICENT & that includes me! Just 1 example of His creativity? That dirty dishwater colored hair was once golden blonde that gradually became the ash-blonde that became the dirty dishwater colored now being “grey -, lighted hair all on it’s own! Some travel to see leaves change color every fall. I can look in pics & the mirror & note God’s artistry! Thanks Anna for enhancing my appreciation of God’s definition of beauty! Blessings!
Kathleen B says
Amen from yet another 64 year old on the same path!
Thank you, Anna! You’ll have lots of days ahead to enhance your beauty. Live your moments and love on your family. There is a time for everything!
Kathy Cheek says
When I meet someone and when getting to know new people, I am much more interested in their inner beauty-their character- than how they look. I often think of young David and the lesson on outward appearance versus what is in the heart when God was choosing him to be king of Israel. –1 Samuel 16:7b “For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Loved this but can’t help but think of the many individuals with physical and or intellectual disabilities that our churches don’t include and therefore don’t know they are beautiful to us and to the Lord. May He forgive us and cause us to change and really love our neighbors!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Anna thank you for this post. We are all beautiful in God’s eyes and that is all that matters. Not was the world says about us. God loves us just the way we are. As the saying goes even with all deflaws we might have if we have any. The world will try tell us with all the adds out there and magazines out there you have to look like this. Then they will tell you to get like this you have do this. You can be sucked in to believing them. Doing what they say. By buying this product or going on this diet that they tell you to do. All that matter is how God see you as he made you in your mother womb. He knows what you will look like when born. What you will grow up to be like. God still loves no matter what your are beautiful in eyes. We have to get that into our head then to our heart. God doesn’t say you have to do this to look like this or go on this diet to be beautiful to him. You are all ready beautiful to God no matter what. Nothing will tell God anything else. As he made you. So we have to believe that. Not get into our heads we have to look like the world tell us and do this to get the way the world says you should be. We have to remember it only matters what God think so us and how we look. As we are beautiful to God no matter what. God loves us with all deflaws we think we have. God doesn’t see deflaws the world see in us or we see in ourselves or think we have. As God see them all as beautiful if we have any. As God knew use before we were born as he formed us in the womb. If we read Jeremiah 1 v 5. It says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I sanctified you. I ordained you a prophet to the nation’s” Instant that so good to know the God who made this world knew you and formed you in the womb. Knew you before you were born. I say Amen to that. So God has made us all beautiful. Its really good to want to know what God thinks of us hid Children. If you listen to God Love Letter on YouTube. Type the words the Father’s Love Letter on YouTube. It will tell you how much God loves you. So that means God has made us beautiful. That is all that matter. No what the world says. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Beth Williams says
I often have a hard time seeing myself as beautiful. Society doesn’t help with that either. They show pictures of men & women who are tall with good figures. One thing I/we must remember is that beauty isn’t just skin deep. It comes from the inside out. It’s your attitude & how you treat people. It’s what’s in your heart that counts. Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Great post. Thanks.
I’m a little late to the party but I just have to say a few words. Beauty has never been a word that I have associated with myself about myself. Because I like so many, seem to only see beauty in everything and everyone else but me.
So one day I was looking through a bunch of photos from my childhood and sent one of myself to a childhood friend and the reply I got was shocking. She said it was a beautiful photo of me. I was completely astounded. That had never crossed my mind that someone had that opinion. Changed my whole outlook. I no longer see the age lines and the grey hair and the old woman looking back at me in the mirror. I see that there is a person that God created to be what others may need to see when they look at me. Someone who’s age lines means to them someone who might have understanding and mercy from having lived so long. Someone with kindness in their eyes when you need it the most or maybe just someone that reminds you of your grandmother and the gentleness she showed you even when you didn’t deserve it.
I now try to be kinder to the person I see in the mirror and see her the way I see others and overlook their shortcomings and remember we are all flawed but with God’s Grace we are beautiful.