You are beautiful!
You are. Woman is. We were designed for beauty! Although context matters, 1 Corinthians 11:7 speaks to this. Yes, this is a problematic verse, and I will dive into that a bit. Hopefully, clarifying a few things for women who need to hear of their beauty.
“ A man, in fact, should not cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory,
but woman is man’s glory.”
One issue that arises is that Paul says man is God’s image. Now we know that Genesis 2:27 records that He made mankind, both male and female in the image of God. Both man and woman are made in the image of God. Paul goes on to teach about head coverings. He writes to not be contentious about this because he nor other churches have any practice about it. In other words, don’t fight about it. Most of us are tempted to ignore this passage altogether because of the difficulty to understand what Paul is really teaching.
For our purposes, let’s rest a minute on “woman is man’s glory.” Woman, the jewel in the crown of God’s creation, great and wondrous mysteries are hidden in her form and heart. Man can be gentle and caring, but something was lacking in the perfection of the garden. The only thing that filled the void was woman.
Take a moment to admire all that woman is. Her form is desirable. It’s random to quote Seinfeld, but he said it best, “The male body is for getting around.” The male body is made for work. There is wonder in his strength, but we are looking for beauty.
Everything about her body is made for beauty from her hair to her toes. The wonders and beauty of childbirth are unmatched in creation. There is nothing lovelier than a newly married bride or a mother with an infant. And, we could go on for every stage of a woman’s development. Right now, I even have pictures of the beauty of silver hair and kind eyes of the lovely mature women in my church. They are beautiful. Peggy, Patsy, and Sue, ya’ll are beautiful, just to name a few!
But, what do women really need? Do they need to hear they are beautiful? Does this really heal their broken places? For a moment, and then tomorrow you will need to hear it again because believing you are beautiful does not heal your broken self-image. It puts a salve on it. It soothes the pain that sin has caused, but it doesn’t take it away.
Mankind’s self-image was forever broken in the garden, when Eve questioned God’s goodness and His plan for her. She saw that the fruit looked good. Sin always looks good, and then it turns on you. She wanted to know for herself. She didn’t want to trust God. She wanted to determine what is good for herself. From the moment she ate the fruit, she knew she was naked, but now our cravings and desires will sway and distort our ability to reason. We have the cloud of sin, a broken self-image.
We cannot see ourselves as we truly are, and often, those who sin against us blame our beauty for their cravings. They use our beauty against us! “You are so beautiful, I couldn’t help myself.” In response, the abused woman starts eating to put a layer of fat protection to ensure this will never happen again. When did women become responsible for controlling the lust in others?
We didn’t! We are not that powerful!
Even in the Muslim culture, where women wear burkas, rape and all manner of harmful sexual situations exist.
Maybe you can’t identify with sexual abuse, but you can with the emotional bully who, through words, stole from you. I have been there. I guess I was an ugly kid because a significant person in my life called me an ugly duckling. I have never felt like I measured up. If you asked me to describe myself, I would say, “I’m not ugly because guys have objectified me, but I’m not pretty enough to be loved.”
And here is the problem. How does God fix it? I can look in the mirror and recite mantra after mantra, “I am beautiful.” I may feel better a little, but my self-image is broken. This mantra, “You are beautiful!” fails to restore your self-image.
Only Jesus gives us Truth in a world filled with lies.
Women, we are not powerful enough to control the sin in other people’s hearts. The only proven method of conquering the curse of sin is the death of the Sacrificial Lamb.
We can’t be pretty enough! We can’t be good enough. We can’t work hard enough. We can’t be born to the right parents, after all, Adam and Eve had the perfect Parent, and they still sinned. We can’t make enough money. There is nothing that we can do.
He is prettier than I am.
I can never be good enough, kind enough, pretty enough. I still fail. I still fail to do all that I want to do. Even my best is not enough. Isaiah 64:6 says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” I have to take responsibility for the sin in my life that has broken my self-image.
So, how can we truly be beautiful?
Romans 13:14 says, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” How does this happen? 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” His righteousness and clean garments are ours by faith. They become ours at the moment of our salvation.
Applying the reality of salvation is a process. With our first step of faith we begin a life-long journey of growing in our knowledge of Christ. Knowing Jesus is the goal of our salvation. If my goal is merely my own healing, I am settling for far less than what I could have. If my goal is my own sense of beauty, I am missing the beauty of Christ. In Him, I am completely beautiful. He gave me His beauty. He is much prettier than I.
Let us rest in the truth that we are beautiful
because Jesus is beautiful.