“You used to be so pretty . . .”
Did these words sting? A little, but so much less than they would have just a few years back.
She’s only in Grade 6. It’s understandable she is vulnerable to what society teaches. (Seriously, aren’t we all to varying degrees – at varying times?) I’m also sure this young lady has heard countless offhand remarks by those who don’t realize the impact they’re having on her. (“I hate my grey hair.” “I really wish I could lose 20 pounds.” “I’m getting so old.”)
It makes me want to take on the world. I want to jump up and down and ask, “Don’t you get it?”
Of course the answer is no. The idea that “you can never be rich enough, thin enough, or pretty enough” permeates our culture. But in my half century plus I’ve learned a thing or two. Thank goodness!
To those who have chosen to allow their hair to go grey naturally, I say, “Kudos!” I’m still on the fence. Mind you, each time I colour my hair – and it’s rarely – I go a step lighter. Should the colour of our hair have any bearing on our perceived value? Actually, it should . . . but the other way around. “They have seen so much and learned so much. I want to glean from their knowledge and experience.” When was the last time you heard that?
As a personal trainer, I’ve seen people who exercise for the purpose of outrunning mortality. (Sorry, it’s not going to work.) Does that mean we shouldn’t get regular exercise? Of course not. Our bodies need exercise and nourishing food, and there are many benefits beyond weight loss and muscle development . . . having the wherewithal to accomplish our day-to-day tasks with energy left over not being the least of them.
When I first noticed Dove’s Pro-Age line, I thought, “Finally, someone gets it.” Anti-aging? Sorry, folks, but if we’re breathing, we’re aging. The question is this: Are we doing it well? Are we setting a good example for the upcoming generation(s)? Are we sending the message we really want to send?
Now, all that doesn’t mean we should disregard how we look. Our appearance sends a message, whether we like it or not. This week, Sheila Wray Gregoire, author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, encourages us to Fight the Frump. Pop on over to her site for a balanced perspective, some great tips, and your opportunity to win some terrific prizes.
I used to think “balance” meant compromise. Such is not the case. For many reasons, it is a good thing to consider what message we want to communicate with our appearance and dress accordingly. However, for the believer, it should all boil down to what the Scriptures say. We must spend far more time on “imperishable beauty” if we want to get it right.
We must heed the words of warning in 1 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV): “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.”
And how do we develop that kind of beauty?
1. Study the Scriptures.
2. Ask God for the ability to apply His Word.
3. Spend time with Him in prayer – every day.
4. Keep a journal of not only prayer requests but answers and an ever-growing list of the abundant blessings He pours out – so many of which we take for granted.
5. Gather with His people regularly. Will there be times of “iron sharpening iron”? Of course, but we really do need each other. Life is all about relationships.
6. Seek to be a blessing to each person with whom you come in contact.
With respect for one another, share your thoughts on true beauty.