Leisurely scrolling through my social accounts, I am constantly bombarded with the latest and greatest products to change or conceal my face or body in an effort to obtain so-called beauty. As a work-from-home, homeschool mom of two daughters and a toddler boy, I am tempted to conceal the facial flaws, hide the growing gray hairs, paint over my pale skin, and take the attention off of my tired eyes.
After hosting a group of eight young female Bible College students, I saw they too were feeling the pressure to change their appearance, although they were almost twenty years younger than me. Even my two daughters, who are nine and seven, compare their hair textures, nose shapes, and body features.
No matter the age, women struggle with the way that they look. In our society, image is everything. If you base your value on what the world proclaims as beauty, you will live in insecurity and never fulfill your God-given purpose. We must acknowledge this deception and change the way we perceive beauty.
At the age of eleven, I got Bell’s Palsy, and the entire left side of my face was paralyzed. Although most of the paralysis had gone away, I held on to insecurity about the way I looked.
Seven years ago, I was asked to speak at an Esther conference for young girls and ladies. When I was first asked, I hesitated and made the excuse that I would pray about it and check the date with my husband and get back to them. I secretly hoped that the date was booked on our calendar so that I didn’t have to speak. I had become so self-absorbed and self-conscious, worried that someone may take a picture or video me from a bad angle. Insecurity had me so bound that I could not even minister when the door was opened. God began to speak to me and show to me my hidden insecurities. I have since been on a journey to establish where my security comes from and hope to help other women do the same.
Perception is not reality, and what you see is not always what you get. We cannot base our ideas of beauty on false representations. Growing up in the 80s, I was exposed to photos of unblemished celebrities on the covers of magazines in the grocery checkout lines. Now, anyone with a smartphone or access to the internet is constantly bombarded with endless imagery portraying flawless people. The use of cosmetics and easy photo editing software and filters has made it possible for anyone (not just celebrities) to appear unblemished and perfectly polished. People can conceal, edit, and remove blemishes, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, and even change the shape of their body. Cindy Crawford, a well-known model, once said of the edited photos of herself, “Even I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.”
When we are constantly changing, filtering or concealing our appearance, we are silently rebuking our Creator for the way that He made us. We must understand that we are made in His image. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
God doesn’t make mistakes. He perfectly planned His creation of the first man and woman and said that they were “very good”. We must acknowledge that we are wonderfully made. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works…” (Ps 139:14).
The world’s view of beauty is not God’s view. The world is blinded to the truths of the Word of God. If you have been born again of water and of spirit, your eyes have been opened to His kingdom. You no longer belong to this world or its culture or systems. You are a “new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Believers should have a new standard of beauty. We cannot be conformed to the patterns, behavior, and customs of the world, but we must be transformed by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2).
God wants women who are focused on godly beauty. The world’s view of beauty incites lust and pride. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). He wants us to focus our attention on making our hearts beautiful and attractive to Him and not copying and attracting the world.
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
He wants us to come out and be separate from the world. If we love the world or the things that are in the world, His love is not in us (1 Jn 2:15).
The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Ps. 119:105). We must use the Word of God to reveal where we are and to also shine light to where we should be heading. We need to examine where we are, what our focus is, what gives us security, and then fix what is off-course.
We need a makeover!
Paul admonishes the Ephesians to “put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And then put on the new man…” (Ephesians 4:22-24). We must “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col 3:10).
Our true identity and confidence only comes when we put on our new nature and realize we are in this world, but not of it. We must be intentional. Just as the world takes time to adorn themselves with outward things, we should take time to adorn ourselves with inward qualities that come from Christ. Nothing in this world should define who we are. We are made in His image.
Image is everything and His image is everything we need.
Don’t fall into the trap of the eyelash extenders, the hair highlighters,
The fake tanners and the blemish hiders.
The enemy is trying to deceive us but
The only cover up we need is the blood of Jesus.
We don’t need to be hashtag flawless
We just need to learn how to call on
The only One that can make us feel secure and safe.
He’s the One who can save us by His grace through faith.
Your face doesn’t need to be a masterpiece; you see
He’s the one that made you piece by piece.
And you were made in His image, the image of God
And when He was done He thought you were very good
You can’t live your life trying to fit in
When He called you out of darkness and wholly unto Him.
The pressure and the focus of the world and social media
Is that you look and think and act like their agenda.
Changing your looks may get you a boyfriend or a promotion
But there’s nothing in this world that’s worth that kind of devotion.
The pressure on women is to be on display
But our Creator never intended it to be that way.
His Word gave us the tool of attraction
And, that’s to make our hearts beautiful even though they’re hidden.
So, Sis, don’t be deceived: your enemy hates you.
He sends lies and distractions to disable and destroy you.
There’s nothing more beautiful or powerful
Than a woman who’s chosen to be an unselfish vessel
That’s taken the time,
And intentionally laid aside,
Fear, doubt, insecurity, and pride.
We say it’s not by might or power but by His spirit
But, our lives don’t reflect that, so, Sister, please hear this!
If you look in a mirror and all that you see is you,
Take some time to unwind and time to undo
Everything and every piece of yourself you held onto,
Until you’re broken and empty and you no longer see you.
Then, let Him put you together again
And look back in that mirror and the reflection you’ll see is Him.
Lori Green serves as music director at Austin First Church, alongside her husband, Associate Pastor Kurt Green. They have three children: Adessa, 9; Avalynn, 7; and Aspen, 2. Lori is a recording artist and songwriter and also loves to paint and draw. She works from home doing graphic design and photography as well as homeschooling her children. Her children are Bible Quizzing for the first time this year and have learned over 90 verses. She has a passion for empowering and equipping people to be the best that they can be for the Kingdom of God.