A beautiful woman is the one who never compares herself with others, because what others have doesn’t make her feel insecure. (Author Unknown)
Is it even possible to be a woman and not be insecure? Who defines a woman’s beauty? What does the Bible say to us, as women, about femininity and beauty? Dear Beautiful Woman, as you read this article, I pray that you will allow God to take your hand, hold your heart, and lead you on just a small part of this lifelong journey of discovering the answers to these important questions.
We live in a culture where godly femininity is constantly being undermined. If we, as women, don’t actively resist and choose to build a biblical “normal” for ourselves and the next generation, our culture’s “normal” will inevitably become our future. Comparison. Comfort. Gender confusion. Fake. Self-Importance. Performance. Sexualised. But God’s word says something different about and to us as women.
In the detailed account of Creation (in Genesis 1&2) we find that God’s intention for creating mankind was incomplete, until He created Eve. Man was formed magnificently (Gen.2:7), and yet the Creator said something is not good (Gen.2:18). Something is missing. He crowned creation with one final astonishing masterpiece (Gen.2:21-23). Woman. She is the crown of His creation for a purpose: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them” (Gen.1:27).
God created us, male and female, in His image; which means that we are like Him in some ways, to reflect something of who He is to others. Men magnificently reflect aspects of God’s strength, leadership and Father heart in ways that women are not quite able to. Likewise, there are aspects of God’s beauty, life-giving and nurturing nature, that only women can reflect. Now, just in case you are unsure: if you were born a woman, God created you female, for a purpose; and He wants you to embrace your femininity, be comfortable in your female body and reflect His beauty in the way that you take care of yourself and present yourself to others. As women, God created you and me in His image to reflect His beauty.
What does it mean to be a reflection of God? As women, we are each like a mirror, and we reflect what we look at. If we want to be mirrors that reflect His beauty, we need to be mirrors that behold His beauty. Let’s just ponder the extravagant privilege us humans are given: God, who is invisible, has chosen to make Himself visible through us. God is calling us, as women, to be the mirrors through which the world, who does not know God, can see His beauty. He gives us permission to turn heads, not to ourselves (we are merely mirrors), but to our awesome Creator (in whose image we are created). My sincere prayer for you and me is that God will draw us closer to Himself, that He will open our eyes to see His beauty, and that we will rightly respond by living our lives in view of Him, continually choosing Him to be the One who stand before us, so that the world may see Him in our reflection.
Let’s take a look at some of the scriptures directly addressed to women. 1 Timothy 2:8-10 tells us that we are allowed to adorn ourselves outwardly, but makes it clear that a woman’s beauty is not rooted in external things, and therefore need not be expensive or elaborate. 1 Pet.3:3-4 expands this theme by urging women to seek beauty in the inner character. When we read these two scriptures together, we conclude that our beauty is first inside, then outside. In other words, the way we look on the outside is an expression of what our hearts look like on the inside. As Christian women, we do not seek inner beauty through outer beauty. Rather, our inner beauty shapes our external appearance. A woman’s clothing is an expression of her inner person.
Let’s ask ourselves an important question: Do I believe that I am a beautiful, Christ-exalting woman? If you do, that will shape the way you present yourself to the world. If, however, we do not know Whose we are, we won’t know who we are.
The result: we either become extremely visible, or extremely invisible; because we are trying to cover up the lack we feel inside. Our identity shapes our reflection. The solution: we need Him to define us. Let’s ask God: “Who do You say that I am?” It is only in a living relationship with Him that our lives find purpose and meaning.
On a practical note, God graciously gives us His Word as a mirror (James 1:22-25) to help us get ready each morning. When we spend time with Him, in His Word and in His presence, each day, He clothes our hearts with His identity. In Him, we are loved, chosen, adopted, accepted, holy and forgiven (Eph. 1:3-7). He calls us His beloved and teaches us to put on His character (Col. 3:12-14). Our part is simply to look at Him, then He does the miracle part of transforming us into His image, by His Spirit (2 Cor. 3:17-18). In relationship with our Creator, He defines us, He clothes us with His beauty and He transforms the way we live, the way we speak, and the way we dress. Daily.
Every woman is beautiful. A unique reflection of His beauty. Let’s not compare our mirrors. God is so much bigger than His creation. As we behold Him, we start to notice and celebrate the different beautiful parts of Himself He creatively deposited in each one of us. As women of God, let’s celebrate instead of compare. Together, we reflect His beauty more fully.
God defines women. She is beautiful. She does not reflect beauty in order to be loved; rather, she is loved, therefore she reflects beauty.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juliette Ras, together with her husband Maurice, serve on the Joshgen eldership team in beautiful Wellington. She loves God and His Bride, the Church! Her passion for theology led her to TMT in 2002, and she currently enjoys working with ladies, children and families as a counsellor.
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