Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who am I?

"You can never be truly happy unless you look like the girls on the covers of fashion magazines.  See their perfect skin, toned look, slim body?  See their beautiful eyes, nose, and mouth?  Their gorgeous, perfect hair?  The sparkling white teeth?  That is how you need to look, how you should look."

Of course, magazines never actually say that, but the pictures boldly profess just so.  No matter where you look, magazines, pictures, internet, TV, all are advertising women's looks.  Why?  1. Because men are visual and will fall for anything beautiful, alluring, seductive, etc. 2.Women will try everything to measure up to what is being advertised.  Pretty sad, isn't it?

We all fall into the trap.  "My body isn't slim enough, my hair isn't curly/straight, my teeth aren't white and even enough, my skin isn't clear and perfect, I don't have fashionable clothes..." the list could go on and on in greater detail.  "I don't measure up."

But honey, you're beautiful to me!" our mothers assure us.  In all honesty, we know that doesn't satisfy our inner want of beauty, perfection, acceptance, self-glory.  Yes, self-glory.  What is it all truly about?  For the attention.  Absolutely.

When you're walking through Walmart or the Mall, and see girls walking by in super short shorts, revealing, tight shirts, heavy makeup, strutting about as if they were "Miss Model of the year!" you know they are attention seekers.  They get their attention too.  After all, you noticed, and oh how you know others have noticed too.  Especially guys. (They aren't blind after all.)

Don't we as well try in our own way to get attention?  "No, this shirt isn't really revealing, but it does fit a little snug.  Same with the jeans.  Oh, I wouldn't dare wear those shorts I saw on that girl, but I'll wear these jeans that fit me snug all the way.  They aren't that bad...really.  And my makeup, no, it isn't too much, maybe just a bit too much blush and eyeliner, but it isn't that bad...really."

There.  We convinced ourselves.  Thankfully I have a mama who always knows when to say no.  Many a times I've been saved by her wisdom. (Thank you Mama!)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing clothes that flatter our figure.  After all, we can't hide away in a big trash bag all our lives.  But that doesn't mean we go extreme.  Same with makeup.  Let me tell you I like to wear makeup.  But I have had my times.  I used to wear way too much, but again, my wise mother knew when to discipline me.  I'll thank her all my days.  Now I think I'm not as bad.  Heavy makeup just screams "I WANT ATTENTION!"  We are blessed with different beauty and makeup is just supposed to enhance that beauty.  I know I don't want people looking at me just because I have dark rimmed eyes, big pink cheeks, thick foundation, and weirdly colored eyelids.  Sounds like a clown to me. (exactly what my mama has said before!  Funny how certain things I didn't want to listen to are the things I use later on.)

What does the Bible say?

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning or 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

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."  -1 Timothy 2:9,10

"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."  -Titus 2:4,5

"Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."  -Proverbs 31:30

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  -1Corinthians 6:19,20

"I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  -Romans 12:1,2

Unfortunately, there are not many passages that deal specifically with these matters.  However, we have a clear understanding of how we are supposed to be.

Here is a question I'm sure every girl asks at one point in her life: Who am I?  "I don't seem to fit anywhere!"  Why do you think we try to get all this attention?  We want love, acceptance, but also glory for ourselves.  "What is man's chief end?  Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

In this life we are not supposed to be out finding glory for ourselves.  God is the one who is supposed to get all the glory, praise, and honor.  No one else deserves it.  We are nothing. (Galatians 6:3)  He is everything.

Psalm 139:14 says, "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."  Remember in Genesis where it says God made man in his own image?  That is true for every single person, man or woman, boy or girl.  We girls especially need to keep that fact in mind.  We are looked upon by God as a beautiful masterpiece.

But there is another side.  We are fallen, depraved, sinful human beings.  Not one of us can attain perfection.  All the so-called "models" really aren't as perfect looking as we are led to believe.  Magazines, pictures, the internet, and TV, all enhance any pictures or movies before we even see them.  Faces are cleared, teeth are whitened, pounds taken off (isn't it amazing what computers and technology can do?), hair is lengthened and thickened, skin lightened, scars are covered, moles, birthmarks and blemishes are removed, and in the end, that person does look perfect.  Just think, you would look like that as well if the same was done to you!  Do we really want to compete with fake?  Everybody comes in different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Nothing can change that.  Wouldn't you rather live life happy and joyful for who you really are, instead of constantly trying to be something you could never attain?

I'm sure if we ever caught any actresses right when they got up from bed, or in their bathrobe straight out of the shower, we would see their natural selves.  They would be natural and regular women just like the rest of us.  Not even they are perfect.  Their computer-generated pictures are, but not they themselves.  Think about that next time you look at Hollywood pictures or movies.  It isn't even real!  Sad what we have to try to measure up to.  Things that aren't even real.

A very wise woman helped me to really look into the heart of the matter.  Girls are very impressionable and I fall just like every other.  But I have two wonderfully Christian minded parents who always eventually steer me right.  Thank God for them!  Without them, I'd be your average-attention-seeking-self-glorifying teenaged girl who only wanted the world's praise.  Thankfully, my Savior's and parents'  approval is all I need!  One day down the road I'll have a husband to please, but since I'll accept no other than like my daddy, he will care more about my heart and who I truly am than if I look like Miss Model.

Yes, I too have wanted attention.  I am a girl.  But there is no purpose.  Why would we want the world's attention of we already have God's love?  Why would we want men to look at us with admiration if one day we will only one man will love us "till death do us part"?  I want a godly, Christian man who will lead his household in the ways of God, not the ways of the world.  Therefore, I shouldn't be trying to gain the attention of the world if I am not to be living according to the world.

My future husband, he'll be one in a million, just like my daddy.  Whoever he is, I want to keep myself pure from the world's influence for him until the day we wed.  How much more special our love will be.

Who am I?  I am a child of God who needs nothing else than His love and acceptance.  Now that He has saved me, I am His forever.  I need not pick daisy petals to figure out His love for me.  I am His child, and nothing can ever change that!


Anonymous said...

What a great article Rachel. You have a rare quality that the girls in this world are in real need of. Purity. My prayer is that you continue to walk close to the Lord all your days and be that pure, beautiful, deserving wife that will lift up her husband and do him good all the days of your life.

Rachel said...

Thank you very much! I appreciate any words of encouragement! I pray that I will be able to do the Lord's will as a homemaker as well. Thank you for your comment. =)

Sharon Cohen said...

The ways of the Lord are amazing.

I was walking home yesterday, lost in thought and conversation with God, when I realized that being as old as I am is very, very comfortable. I am no longer concerned about calling attention to myself by the way that I dress, the style of my hair or the makeup I wear.

How wonderful it is to have the attention of an adoring husband. One man to please. One man for whom I should look my best. He loves me as I am - as long as I am not screaming out to every Tom, Dick and Harry, "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!"

Your post is wonderful for initiating self-reflection and self-improvement in any woman, regardless of her age. I appreciate your posting the scripture that was fleeting in and around my own thoughts during my walk.

(Thank Shanelle Kent for calling your post to my attention this morning.)

Rachel said...

I feel humbled and honored that I could be of some help to anybody! I agree with what you said, and I wish every woman didn't feel pressured to be noticed by the world!

Thank you for stopping by!