Many of you responded personally to my Pretty, Pretty Princess devotion yesterday, so I wanted to follow up on the subject. You expressed your struggle to conform to the world’s idea of beauty. At the same time, you also express a desire to adopt what God says is beautiful. That’s hard. I understand because I’m right there with you.
I, too, feel pressured to focus entirely on my outward appearance. I bounce from diet to diet and keep up with the latest fashion for hair, clothes, and makeup. When it comes to exercise, well, I rather someone beat with a whip. I do enjoy the occasional bike ride, hike, or swimming with the kids, but planned physical activity…I just don’t get it. I watch some women work out with such passion that I often wonder if they’re tying to reach their birth weight of 8 pounds and 7 ounces. Does that seem extreme to you or is it just me?
It’s all about balance. If I balance a healthy lifestyle then I’m going to be the size God made me. It may not be the size the world says I should be, if I’m comfortable there then what does it matter to the world?
I think a lot of our struggle is not the need to fit in, but be loved, valued, and accepted. Perhaps you have grown up in a home where love was seldom expressed, or you have had a distorted view of love and you feel that you’re incapable of truly loving others. Take heart. We can look to Christ as an example of how to love others and receive the love we need for ourselves.
Christ’s love for me and you sets the standard of how we should feel about ourselves and how we should love others. Imagine if growing up you and I were never taught what a fork and spoon were. Then, when food was placed in front of us, we’d have no idea how to eat it. We’d make a mess. Likewise, you and I make a mess of love, beauty and worth when it was not taught to us correctly.
The good news is God has loved us completely through His Son Jesus Christ. God knew that the best way to teach us ho to love was to show us how it is done. Throughout the Gospels, we see Christ’s love in action. We also see His love for each of us. The greatest act of love is laying down one’s life for another which is what Christ did for you and me on the cross. He paid a debt we could not pay. How many people do you know that would do that?
Because of His great love for us, no matter what we face or what the world throws at us we are able to endure when we hold it up to the backdrop of the cross. We not only find worth in God’s love, we find strength.
If you and I let God love on us today, tell us that we are His joy and delight and that He is well pleased with us, then we won’t need to impress or pretend anymore We can be satisfied with who we are and whose we are.