Watch any current commercial or flip through a catalog for any major clothing company and you’ll find that there is an overt war on beauty coming down from the top.
Beauty is now being redefined for us: obesity is beautiful, a man claiming he’s a woman is beautiful, or a woman dressing like a man is beautiful.
Some would say that beauty is subjective, arguing the old adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
But is that true?
Or is there a standard for beauty?
One that no company, corporation or culture can redefine for us no matter how hard they try?
It all started at creation. With a Creator. Who cared about beauty.
In fact, did you know that the Holy Spirit is known as the great Beautifier who brings order out of chaos? We see this in Genesis 1:2: “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
God’s creation did not remain without form and void, nor did it remain dark. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, it became a thing of magnificent beauty, order, and light.
The description of God’s handiwork in Genesis 1-2 is not one of drab colors, or disheveled, unkempt bodies.
It’s one of incredible beauty, vibrant sights, sounds, and smells, and intelligent design.
And His crowning achievement came when He created man and woman.
We are created in God’s image, unlike any of the plants or animals. We are special because we bear His likeness.
So, the war on beauty is really a war on our personhood – the very essence of our innate identity.
Since the beginning, God created us to pursue beauty. And for women, this includes pursuing beauty for our husbands, our homes, and ourselves.
Very often, when the Bible mentions women, it also mentions their beauty:
- “Rebekah was very beautiful and old enough to be married, but she was still a virgin. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again.” -Gen. 24:16
- “Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” -Gen.29:17
- “When Abram was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live.” -Gen. 12:11-12
- “Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.” -Est. 2:12 “Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins.” -Est. 2:17
Throughout history, women have sought to accentuate their looks through fashionable clothes, accessories, hairstyles, and beauty products. God designed us to enjoy and promote our femininity through beauty. It’s what makes us unique and different from men.
Promoting the degradation of beauty and feminine style hurts society. As gender lines are blurred and the differences between men and women are skewed, men and women alike are suffering an identity crisis.
I’m not suggesting that a woman needs to “dress to the nines” on a daily basis. Or be a fashion model or love the color pink (although how could you not?!).
What I am suggesting is that the constant messaging of our culture (and if I’m being honest, in a lot of churches as well) is beauty is bad, frumpy is good; femininity is bad, unisex is good; health and fitness are bad, being overweight and unhealthy is good. And for the church folks, just replace the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ with ‘holy’ and ‘unholy’, and you get the “spiritualized version” of the same message.
This constant barrage of toxic messaging eventually affects the way we think about ourselves, particularly young women.
And what you think about yourself will eventually be reflected in how you dress. It’s that simple.
If you’re depressed, confused, or having an identity crisis, your appearance will reflect this. If you’re happy, secure, and embrace your God-given femininity, your appearance will reflect this.
Don’t fall for the devil’s lies.
Cultivating feminine beauty is not worldly; it is godly. It is not shallow; it is meaningful.
Pursuing beauty in your life is God’s design for you.
When we seek to bring order out of chaos (i.e. organizing and beautifying our homes and our selves), we reflect the image of our Creator. We honor Him and we tell a watching world that beauty is worth pursuing because it brings us closer to God and makes us more like Him.