The “Real” Campaign for Real Beauty
Editor’s Note: This is Part 11 in the Portrait of Eve series
What the World Says
With TV spots, magazines at checkouts, Internet ads, and even our friends telling us different things about what “true beauty” is, it’s hard to know who or what to believe.
L’Oreal Cosmetics claims that you should use their products… “because you’re worth it.”
Victoria’s Secret, the underwear company (among other things), uses the phrase, “I love my body,” hoping to boost the confidence of every woman who tries their products.
Kay Jewelers has those commercials on television where men buy something for their sweetheart. She smiles and they inevitably kiss followed by the singing voice-over, “Every kiss begins with Kay.”
Notice all of these companies/products focus on external beauty and gain. If you wear Victoria’s Secret underwear will you really love your body? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy for your husband and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be confident in how you look, but will underwear really do that? Do you only kiss your husband when he gives you something? If you don’t wear L’Oreal Cosmetics, are you not worth it?
Ladies, I’m hear to tell you clothes, jewelry, shoes, makeup… these don’t make a woman beautiful. You are beautiful because the King of the Universe created you and adorned you with Himself. You are beautiful because God created you to be beautiful because He, Himself, is beautiful.
True Beauty is Godly
Psalm 50:1-2 says, “The Mighty One, God, the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty,God shines forth.”
When God created the world, He spoke it into existence. The simplest words began the world, “Let there be light.” Everything in the earth is the Lord’s because He is the One who created it (Psalm 24:1). He is perfect in everything – perfect in wisdom, perfect in power, and perfect in beauty. And His beauty shines.
If you were traipsing around in the woods in the dark and you had a flashlight, would you use it? Of course. Why? Because the light helps you to see. And if you were lost in the woods all night without a flashlight and the sun started to come up, would you say, “Oh light, be gone?” Of course not. Why? Because the daylight helps to give you direction. The Light of God shines in your life, giving you direction and purpose (Psalm 119:105). When God created light, notice He said, “and it was good,” but He did not call the darkness good. He even gave us lights to guide us at night – the moon and stars. Light shines beautifully, just as the sun rising would be a beautiful welcome relief after being lost in the woods at night. True beauty has purpose – it points us back to the beautiful Creator God.
Before Christ, you were just wandering around in the woods in the dark, going your own way, unable to make out the True Way. But Christ comes along as the “Light of the world,” and promises that, “whoever follows [Him] will never walk in darkness but have the light of life” (John 8:12). When He is in you, you cannot help but reflect light, glory, and beauty. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus speaks of how we are to shine: “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
One of my childhood favorite worship songs is Light of the World. Meditate on the first lyrics with me.
“Light of the world, You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see
Beauty that made this heart adore You
Hope of a life spent with You.”
When we open ourselves to the Light of the world, we witness the beauty of the Lord and His Shekinah-glory, ever present among His people. The Psalmist asked of the Lord, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4). True beauty opens our eyes to truth about our Lord.
God created us to be beautiful, to be a reflection of Him. Only when we seek the Lord and allow His light to live in us will we be truly beautiful. Beauty is not about products that make us look pretty, clothing that makes us feel sexy, or jewelry that makes us fall in love. That “beauty” is fleeting. True beauty happens when we worship God, when we become “a woman who fears the Lord.”
True Beauty is Powerful
Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Tell me something. In which situation would you feel most powerful? A) You wander into a dark alleyway and are surrounded by some shady looking men, or B) You’re walking down a busy street in broad daylight with your cop brother nearby when a man attempts to steal your purse and you use a karate move on him.
You’d pick B. When we are walking in the light, when we are walking with the Lord, we have been given the power over sin and Satan. When you are walking in darkness, when you are trying to do it on your own, you are like the woman in the dark alleyway surrounded by shady men at night – helpless, vulnerable, and scared. The daylight is God, the cop brother is Jesus Christ who is there to protect you, and the karate moves are the power of God’s Word over Satan, sin, and temptation. While Jesus is there to help, He won’t always swoop in and save the day, but He does equips us with the tools we need (i.e. His Word, His Spirit, prayer, etc). You will shine when you are in the Light because you’ve been empowered through Jesus Christ!
1 Chronicles 29:11 reminds us, “Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” I don’t know about you, but I want to belong to a God who is great, powerful, glorious, and majestic, who has splendor, and who has everything in heaven and earth in His possession, who is the ruler of a great Kingdom, and who is Lord over all. I’m attracted to the beauty and the power of that God!
But God does allow a woman’s physical beauty to be powerful.
Consider Jacob, who worked fourteen years to be with Rachel, “who had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” Her beauty had to be something powerful for him to be willing to work fourteen years.
God used Abigail to intercede on her husband’s behalf because David would have killed him otherwise, and while the Bible mentions she was “intelligent,” she was also described as a “beautiful woman” (1 Samuel 25:13). That’s some pretty powerful beauty if she could prevent the death of her husband.
Esther, a young Jewish girl, caught the eye of the King of all Persia, and she also had “a lovely figure and was beautiful” (Esther 2:7), but because of her outer and inner beauty – her quietness of spirit, her desire to honor her husband and her greater desire to please God, she was able to save her people from a mass execution. God used her beauty to spare a nation from death.
God uses our beauty – inner and outer – to bring Himself more glory, but also to save. Eve was created to be Adam’s “ezer kenegdo,” to “save” him from a solitary life, to be his life partner. She was created because she was desperately needed.
Something I’m reminded of every time I’m with my husband is how much he needs me, desperately needs me. It’s so wonderful to feel needed, not just because the feeling is nice, but because I know that is part of my God-given role. I offer myself to my husband not just because he needs a pretty face or a warm sexy body next to him at night, but because he truly needs my beauty. And that is powerful!
The Real Campaign
While Dove products has embarked on a campaign for real beauty, we know that Someone else has already campaigned for beauty. God loved you, Beauty, so much, that He set out to campaign for your heart. He knew how many things would tug on your heart in this world (i.e. jobs, family, men, etc) and so He decided to set Himself apart. He lived a poor life on earth, hated by many, misunderstood by His own siblings, persecuted by His own people. He allowed Himself to be given up unto death – a brutal, bloody, criminal’s death on a cross – was died and buried. He gave up everything, even His own Son, so that He might bring you into His kingdom, restore your brokenness, heal your hurts, love you passionately, call you His own, and give you His beaut, His glory, His grace, and His life. God isn’t asking you to give up anything He hasn’t already given up Himself – even His own life.
You are even more beautiful and powerful when Christ is living in you. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart...” What sets your beauty apart from a glorious painting of a sunset or a sculpture of a woman is that you are not a replica. You are an original. You are one-of-a-kind. And you are eternal. You will live on forever with God… or without Him. With God, you, who are broken, sinful, full of shame, guilt, and darkness, are made whole, perfect, complete, lacking nothing, free from guilt and shame, released from the bonds of darkness… beautiful! Without God, you are still lost in sin, wallowing in your guilt and shame, blind in the darkness of this world. With Christ, you are a godly, pretty powerful beauty, because even if your youthful figure and charms fade, you still have the greatest beauty of all living within your heart – Jesus Christ.
I’d love to hear from you…
What about this post resonated with you? What do you think “true beauty” is? How has the media affected your view of beauty?
1. And God Said, “It Was Not Good?”: Woman was made for romance and relationship. Portrait of Eve series, Part 9.
2. To read the rest of the Portrait of Eve series, click here.
3. Why we become envious when we forget our God-designed role – to be an ezer kenegdo.
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