The midday sun streamed through the windows of my best friend’s living room.
The gentle hum of laughing and talking was interrupted by my friend’s older sister: she was a college sophomore home for Christmas break and was looking at a photo book of her senior pictures.
“Girls, I need to say something, so listen up. Teenage girls are way too hard on themselves and the way they look. I used to think I was fat and ugly, and looking back at these pictures now as a 20-year-old, I realize that I was actually gorgeous!! So stop attacking yourselves and know that even when you feel like I did, you’re actually beautiful and loved.”
We smiled and laughed at her serious speech, but I kept thinking later that day and week how true and timely it really was.
Maybe you’ve noticed this trend, I sure have. It seems to be a crisis that most, if not all, teenage girls and young women go through at some point. It’s a mini identity crisis. Some girls go from questions such as, “Am I pretty enough?” or “Will he ever like me?” to absolutes like, “I’m ugly.”, “I’ll never get asked out.”, or “I will never be as beautiful as I want to be.”
These “absolute” statements are the opposite of the truth.
It is so deeply saddening to see how these lies from the enemy of our souls, Satan, can become ingrained in our hearts and minds and radically change how we view ourselves, the world, our friends and loved ones, and ultimately, God.
I think that the secular culture is starting to realize the destructive result this mentality can have on today’s young women. We’re observing pop culture icons like actresses, singers, and even politicians offer a comforting message to young women that they are beautiful enough and shouldn’t try to change themselves.
Sounds great, right?
Not when you consider this message from a Biblical perspective; it just doesn’t offer a substantial and lasting view of young women’s beauty and worth.
Proverbs 31:30 says “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
How comforting! Our Lord and King doesn’t appraise us by our external beauty, but our internal beauty. 1 Peter 3:3-4 defines this “internal beauty” when it says, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
This is where the culture’s attempt to empower young women falls short.
They say that “You are perfect just the way you are!” The beauty of Christianity lies in that we aren’t perfect just the way we are. We are sinners, imperfect, and ugly in the midst of our sinful lives. But God… (these are some of the most wonderful two words in the whole of Scripture!) chose us before the foundation of the world to be His children. But God…sent His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, to be the propitiation for our sins. But God…exchanges our identity of sin and despair and gives us new identities as redeemed Daughters of the King.
So when the lies plague your heart and mind, and when you feel distraught with the culture’s paradoxical standard of digitally-enhanced beauty while at the same time telling you that you’re good enough.
DON’T GIVE UP and DON’T GIVE IN!
Defeat the lies that are used to uniquely destroy us as women with the truth of God’s word and of His love for you.
Zephaniah 3:17 is one of my favorite passages, and is such a thrilling picture of God’s love for His children: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”
God says that we’re beautiful to Him, that He loves us…and that’s the final standard of beauty and belonging that any girl should want.
What are your thoughts?
-What are the things that you tell yourself when you don’t feel “good enough” or “beautiful enough?”
-Do you have a favorite Bible passage you turn to when you feel this way?
-How can you actively implement the knowledge of how much God values and loves you into your daily life and the way you express your inward/outward beauty?
Blog Post Written By: Evalyn Homoelle