Who Calls Me Beautiful?

In the Purity Ring, the drama group I’m in, I was recently required to give a lesson on a book called “Who Calls Me Beautiful?” by Regina Franklin. I love giving lessons; mostly for the writing end of it. I make a little outline and hand it out to everyone. It’s just too much fun. For this project, it was necessary to read the book and summarize it on a level that was understandable for girls ages 12 to 18.

The book was alright. But it certainly wasn’t written for teenage girls! The book dealt with issues of insecurity about beauty that only older women deal with — after pregnancies, losing weight, etc. — and it would have more then likely embarrassed the girls I had to present my lesson to. So I modified it — added in important points it skipped, and took out the parts that didn’t pertain. It turned out in a format compatible to this blog, so I decided to post it along with my work on purity.

Who Calls Me Beautiful?

Worldly Beauty

In today’s culture, physical beauty has become the message of life’s story rather than a mere detail. Walk through the grocery store. Magazines like Cosmopolitan, Teen, and Allure advertise a beauty that is unrealistic and unattainable. Physical beauty is all that matters.

It goes even farther back than that. It has been ground into us that beauty is important — beauty, that is, as defined by society. Think a minute — what do you know about Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty? They were all “the fairest in the land”!

So why is outward beauty so important to the world? I came up with three reasons. First, to be attractive. Being attractive to the opposite sex has become a craze for both genders. One of the main goals of worldly beauty is to get attention from men. Women today have no concept of modesty — they would see that as hindering them in gaining the attention they crave. The attention they get, however, is not godly. A woman who is flaunting herself before men is not going to be appreciated for her mind or personality.

Secondly, worldly beauty is all about being powerful. People gain a sense of power by being in control of their body; i.e., their weight, their clothes, their makeup. Flip through any magazine or Phone Guide — you can hardly turn a page without seeing advertisements for cosmetic surgery, liposuction, drugs to make you lose weight, and the latest in fashion and makeup. To our society, the body is god. They truly have nothing else to live for. Their body is an empty shell — God’s spirit doesn’t live in it — so all they have to do is decorate the shell to seem like something substantial. They feel powerful when they look good.

Thirdly, worldly beauty is often seen as a necessary component for success. People who are not physically attractive are often not projected as efficient, intelligent or motivated; yet the external features of a person are simply a dim reflection of who that person is! No true assessment of a person’s character can be made within the first sight of them — it takes time. As a whole, worldly beauty is shallow and superficial, taking no concern for the depth and value of an individual’s character.

Godly Beauty
Now that we have seen our culture’s definition of beauty, let’s look at what a Christian man had to say about it. In Noah Webster’s dictionary, he defined beauty as: 1. A particular grace, feature or ornament; any particular thing which is beautiful and pleasing; 2. A particular excellence. Now tell me, is there anything pleasing or excellent about a shameless, bikini-clad model on the cover of Cosmopolitan? Or an ample-lipped Angelina Jolie sneering off a People magazine?
What comes to mind when you think of godly beauty? The picture that rises in my mind is of a painting I saw a long time ago… of a girl, about eighteen, standing at the little picket gate that led to her cottage. She was turned to face the artist, and she held a basket of vegetables in one hand, while her other rested on the latch. She was wearing a long dress, covered from neck to ankles — but you weren’t looking at her body, you were looking at her face. Her face was lit with a gentle, serene smile, as if she was obliging the artist to paint her for just a moment before she went about her duties. She was the picture of lovliness and purity.
So what is godly beauty? First, let’s establish something: while the world places tremendous importance upon the externals, your value is is NOT dependent upon your appearance. Which brings us to the question, “what are values?” Values can be defined as “things worth living and dying for”. You must be worth something, because someone died for you. Jesus didn’t look into the future, take one glance at you, and say, “What a homely creature! I’m not dying for THAT!” First, he created you, and secondly, his love is not dependent on how you look. You are valuable to him.

Godly beauty springs from a heart devoted to God. When we “abide in the Vine”, we bear fruit, “and so prove to be His disciples”. This fruit is called the “fruit of the Spirit”, and there are nine of them: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control. These are true characteristics of beauty.

As a side note: everyone called by God’s name, every Christian girl, has a responsibility to represent her king well. While an over-emphasis on beauty is seen all around us, this does not mean we swing the other direction and ignore personal hygiene. For my family, this means a shower every day (or as soon as you begin to look “greasy”), deoderant, attractive hairstyles and yes, makeup. Besides representing God well, you are also responsible for representing your family, and someday, a husband. I don’t know about you, but I want my dad to be able to say, “That’s my daughter,” without cringing at the sight of me. The same goes for the man I marry. I think this can become especially difficult for homeschooled girls. Because we have been (thankfully) protected from peer pressure, we may have a tendency to neglect our appearance. Just remember, girls, that you represent God and your family — when people look at you, do they think, “I’d like to get to know this God!” or “I wonder who her family is?” And someday, some fellow might look at you and say, “I’d like to get to know that girl!”

Conclusion

In conclusion, worldly beauty is based on lust and lies. It is deceitful, unattainable and false. Godly beauty, on the other hand, springs from a heart that is seeking God and his righteousness. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). We should also strive to represent our God, family and self well by keeping up our appearances.

Finally, but perhaps most important, although you are precious in God’s eyes, He cannot and will not call you beautiful if you are living apart from Him. God cannot tolerate sin in His people. As long as you are in submission and obedience to Him, you are beautiful to Him whatever the world’s standards are; but when you are angry, dour, sour or mean, He is not looking down lovingly from on high saying, “Now that’s my girl! Ain’t she purdy!” No, she’s not. And you’re not. So although God IS love, His love is NOT blind.

Godly beauty is a reflection of a beautiful heart and is not connected to your outward appearance. Your face and body are like televisions, if you will; they are only the screen on which we watch your character play forth. Don’t let the world tell you what beauty is. Think of the One who loves you; the One who died for you; the One who “calls you beautiful“!

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One Response

  1. Thank you for posting such timely topics. I will visit again! God Bless you abundantly.

    Judy

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