I recently heard about a story in a magazine that asked its readers to send in a picture and a letter describing the most beautiful woman they know. One of the letters submitted caught the attention of an employee. This letter was from a little boy from a broken home. He wrote about a woman who lived down the street. He visited her every day. He said “she makes me feel like the most important kid in the world. We play checkers and she listens to my problems, she understands me and when I leave she always yells out the door saying how proud she is of me”. He ended the letter saying “This picture shows you she is the most beautiful woman I know. I hope someday I have a wife as pretty as she is”. The picture showed a woman with grey hair, wrinkles, and a missing tooth.

Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder……

This little boy learned a valuable lesson that beauty true beauty begins on the inside and works its way out

1 Peter: 3-5 Describes beauty so well

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as elaborate hairstyles, and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. This is the way holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. As we read this description of what beauty is, note it’s not saying there is anything wrong with getting your hair done or desiring jewelry and fine clothing. In fact, the way we dress is a reflection of our unique personalities

I jokingly refer to one of my favorite parts of ministry as my “Shopping Ministry”. It’s fun to go shopping with ladies and I love encouraging them to be comfortable in their skin, and to embrace the way God made them. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and that starts with the way we view ourselves. Our culture is all about physical appearance. Advertisements are geared to set an impossible standard. It’s a cookie cutter beauty that has us comparing ourselves with others rather than embracing who we are and the unique way God created us.

When you look at a field of wildflowers it is so beautiful, different shapes and sizes, shades of color each unique in its beauty, and so it is with us. One of the things I love about our EN church family is we represent so many different cultures; we don’t all look alike, so the atmosphere is not one of comparing one with another but rather to appreciate our uniqueness.

A few years ago I worked in a clothing store. I enjoyed my job because I was in a position as a sales associate to influence women to be comfortable with the way God created them. I found that I could assist two women with basically the same figure type, one would gaze in the mirror and was quite comfortable with what she saw and it was reflected in the way she carried herself. The second one had insecurity about her, a lack of confidence in her appearance and it was reflected in her posture. It was the second woman that I enjoyed styling the most. Teaching her how to dress to compliment her figure and helping her to see herself through new eyes. I could say to her “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!!” There is nothing wrong about us being aware of our outer appearance but we need to realize that there is a beauty that will never fade. In fact it can become even more radiant with time.

It’s that beauty that is a result of God’s transforming power.

As Christian women we have something money can’t buy, the transforming power of God inside of us.

1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us… We are a temple of the Holy Spirit

2 Corinthians 16:18 says

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord the veil is taken away now the Lord is a spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom and we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lords glory are being transformed into his likeness with an ever increasing glory which comes from the spirit

My question for you is this… What is your top priority?

Is it your physical appearance? Or is it how the holy women of the past made themselves beautiful in the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. My prayer for us as woman of God is that we will have a quiet confidence in our unique beauty and embrace the way God made us, not compare ourselves one with another. Then we will see ourselves through God’s eyes and hear His voice as he speaks to us through scripture

Psalms 139:14 I praise you Lord for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…

As we walk in that confidence our top priority should be to surrender our will and our ways so that the beauty that shines out of us would be a reflection of a life that is being transformed from the inside out. A beauty that will never fade but will become more and more radiant as time goes by