Do you see yourself as beautiful? Flawless? A rare gem to be treasured?
I struggle with this for myself. I’m not sure I’ve ever really felt beautiful. Growing up, I hated having red hair and freckles. From my childish point of view, I was the only kid in our entire school with red hair and freckles. I was the outsider, often called carrot top by my classmates. The horror!
Then I entered puberty and had terrible acne. I can barely look at my old school pictures. The scars left a lasting impression on the mental view I had of myself. Even now when I look in the mirror, I still see a flawed face from my teen years. Plus a few crow’s feet now resting around my eyes, and laugh lines around my mouth.
Once when I was single, a guy I dated for a short time, pointed out the wrinkles on my neck…and I was only in my early twenties at the time. I had never noticed them until that day. Now I see them every morning when I brush my hair.
Apparent unattractive flaws, all pointed out to me in those impressionable years of trying to discover who I was. It became a real challenge to maintain any self-esteem, but God showed me victories here and there which helped build my confidence.
I even went all out in the beauty department. I had my hair professionally colored and styled. I never left home without my makeup perfectly applied. My fingernails were gorgeous acrylic salon maintained nails and I regularly had pretty, polished toes. I used costly teeth whiteners and had weekly visits to the tanning salon. I dressed in classy, yet sexy clothing and shoes which I thought was so important, especially when it was time to get back to school.
These days I’m a busy mom, wife, teacher, and writer. It’s not uncommon for me to have days when a shower is missed, my hair is finger-pulled into a quick messy ponytail covered with a baseball cap, and getting dressed means putting on running clothes and tennis shoes. Likewise, those days often mean no make-up. And I can’t remember my last manicure or pedicure in 2018, though I had quite a busy year.
My body has birthed two children and is really starting to show inevitable signs of aging. I’m a far cry from the youthful twenty-something I was when my husband married me. In fact, I’m almost unrecognizable. Not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. While my physical appearance is now that of a woman nearing forty, my inner appearance is more beautiful than it has ever been. Life here at the ranch is so fine and every day I’m reminded of the great and beautiful things that surround us here at our ranch through the love of God.
While I may not always feel attractive or sexy, I now understand three important points:
1. We need to have as much respect for ourselves as God has for us. After all, He created us, each a perfect masterpiece.
2. Beauty begins on the inside. The perfectly groomed and well-clothed exterior is artificial and hardened unless the inner beauty of God’s character is present.
3. My husband is a perfect gift from God.
Who am I to say I’m not beautiful? God created me. He doesn’t make mistakes. Not only did He create me, but over the years as I’ve matured, He has taught me kindness, joy, love, peace, gentleness, goodness, and faith. All characteristics of inner beauty, and that’s what we also now will teach our children through their love for God and in return, we will learn a lot from our children again.
And I praise God for the gift of my husband, who makes me feel more loved than I ever have. He always knows how to make me feel beautiful. No matter how I’m dressed. Makeup or no makeup. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t compliment me in some way. Not just in my physical appearance, but in all the other stuff too.
To paraphrase some of the special things my man has said…
“I’m the luckiest man in the world to have a gorgeous woman like you for my wife.”
“Wow, do you look great!”
“I can’t take my eyes off you. You look stunning.”
“You are the most beautiful woman I know.”
“I love your heart.”
“You inspire me.”
“Baby, you cooked up some really beautiful kids.”
“Those girls got their beauty from their mom, no doubt about it!”
“Something is different about you…like you’re just glowing with joy.”>
“You have the sexiest, runners legs I’ve ever seen!”
“I love that your legs aren’t twigs – they’re strong, muscular, and shapely.”
“Baby, you’d look sexy in a burlap bag.”
“You are an amazing and gifted writer. I’m so proud of you!”
“Our girls have vibrant personalities because of you and the time you spend with them.”
And words aren’t the only method he uses to make me feel beautiful. I can’t tell you how many times he’s approached me from behind and wrapped his arms tightly around me, lightly kissing my neck. This is what I’m really grateful for. See also: Moms in Prayer, the Selfishness of Prayer.
He willingly gives me some of the best foot and shoulder massages I’ve ever had. He rubs my back and neck lightly when sitting near me. He holds my hand every chance he gets. And his body language often shows a hunger for physical intimacy.
With my husband, I always feel beautiful. He appreciates me, inside and out, as a rare gem gifted from God, to be treasured forever. It’s truly been a time of great blessings and a good reason to unplug, a thing we should be doing more often.
Friends, you are also beautiful and precious gems, crafted by the hand of God. You are beautiful and flawless. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made too. Believe it. God’s word is true.