Made-up Identity | What Is True Beauty?
SO much in our lives is identity based. We determine who we are based on any number of things - the clothes we wear, the makeup on our faces, the friends we have, where we live, what we do, and even sometimes our relationship statuses. But what if we did something different?
What if we determined our identities, determined our WORTH, based on what the God of the universe says about us?
All of these things can cause identity problems, but a main one for women is our looks. Every woman struggles with it. The classic “am I pretty enough” tied to the more detrimental “am I enough?”. A really common lie is that your image is about you. How you look, how other people think you look, what other people think about how you look, etc. The list goes on.
But actually, here’s the real truth: each of us is created SO individually, SO wonderfully, SO beautifully to reflect GOD’s image. Your “image” isn't actually about you. It’s about reflecting him.
When hairstyles, jewelry, clothes, and makeup are used to hide or diminish the beauty God gave you, it becomes a huge problem! Our identity can NOT be tied to how we look! When it is, we’re essentially telling God “it’s cool and all that you created me like this (in your own image) but I don’t like it and I want to hide it”.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
- 1 Peter 3:3-4
Are you putting your identity in Christ or in how you look? There’s no integrity in being rooted in your looks. When trials come, those things won’t stand. How, then, can they define your very worth? Only the God of the heavens and the earth can do that. If you stay rooted in him, your roots will grow and you will thrive. Find your worth in how good God’s love is, not how “great” the things of this earth may seem.
Let that hope sink in - he created you and he loves you just as you are. You are his. You are secure when you are rooted in him.
The 1 Peter 3 verses don’t say that we shouldn’t be outwardly adorned - otherwise you’d be walking around naked with unruly hair and that just wouldn’t be good for anybody. You’re going to wear clothes, style your hair, take care of yourself etc. As Christians, part of our job is to present ourselves well. If we’re not presenting ourselves well, what kind of message are we sending about God? The real challenge here is to not let these things be the source of your beauty. It’s all certainly a PART of our beauty, but you are God’s creation! You are beautiful to look at! But, what brings real beauty is Christ in you. It’s the strength and dignity that will grow and last. It’s the love shown. The kindness. The gentle and quiet spirit that doesn’t demand attention and praise, but instead seeks to turn people’s praise towards God.
Godly femininity is so much more than just looking beautiful.
When I think of a Godly woman, I see a woman who puts others’ needs before her own and is constantly looking to serve whoever she can at whatever personal cost.
I see a woman that speaks gently and lovingly without a tone of bitterness or spite.
I see a woman who leaves gossip at the door and instead invites wisdom in.
I see a woman who clothes herself in dignity - commanding the respect God intended for her body. I see a woman who submits - not out of necessity, but out of love.
I see a woman who finds her identity in the one who created her and calls her beautiful.
THAT is the woman I see. Not one with cute hair, expensive clothes, or perfectly contoured makeup.
Makeup is an amazing thing. Clothes are amazing things. Having cute hair is an amazing thing. *all when used correctly* Having great hair and makeup is fun! It’s exciting, it’s creative, it’s a mood booster, and it’s an awesome way to take good care in presenting yourself! It all depends on where your intentions lie. I personally love makeup but I have to make sure to check myself sometimes on my intentions! If my intentions are to impress a guy or hide what I think is ugly I make the hard choice not to wear it that day because I know my heart behind it isn’t right.
CLOTHES are fun! They’re a way to show your personality. They’re a way to feel like a boss, like a princess, like a cute individual in general (I rely on this one more often than not). But again - where your intentions lie, there lies your heart. If you’re looking to dress to get that cute guy to notice your body or for that girl that you don’t like to be jealous of you, I’d say you’re not on the right track. I think before I leave the house “Why did I put this on today? Is it because I want to feel cute or is it because I wanted him to notice that I looked cute today?”
It’s all about moderation and intention. I like makeup as much as the next girl (admittedly more probably) and I’m always a fan of dressing well but when my intentions aren’t set, moderation goes out the window. As soon as hair/makeup/clothes becomes about covering your flaws or making yourself into a different “better” person, a line has been crossed. As Christians we HAVE an identity.
Our identity isn’t in our physical appearance -
it’s in Christ.
Once that line has been crossed, our identity is compromised and other things start to edge in. Insecurities overwhelm and intentions falter. We NEED to make sure that we have our sights set on God and our hearts set in truth!
To conclude what I admit has been a pretty lengthy article (sorry) I have to say this one thing: You. Daughter of the King. You were created so fearfully and wonderfully by the very same God who created the heavens and the earth. He sees you, he knows you, and he calls you good. Your very being was knit together to be EXACTLY who he wanted you to be. You are beautiful - not judged by a worldly standard, but declared by a heavenly standard. You are a precious creation. You are so much more than the world says.
I challenge you to check your heart - are your intentions set in Truth?