This one’s for the girls, though men would do well to read and understand.
We live in a society that demoralizes and dehumanizes women. In this supposed era of liberation, women are still essentially valued for their physical characteristics. The ideal woman is a Size 2 (or even a 0 – think on that; you are encouraged to literally become nothing), has thick hair, preferably blonde or at least a lighter shade of brown or red, possesses perfectly symmetrical features (and her eyes really should be blue). Her skin never breaks out, her waist is impossibly small, her boobs surgically enhanced, her skin golden. If she is smart, she hides it. She is “sexy,” not feminine, which usually means lots of skin, accompanied by a hard-edged expression that often goes unnoticed. If she has had children, she must not have stretch-marks, sagging breasts or a flabby tummy.
If she is smart, she hides it. Ladies, this is so true. Look at women like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Whether you agree with her politics or not isn’t the point here; she is derided for being successful and intelligent. If her dream is to be a wife and mother, working within the sphere of the home, she is also scoffed at. Essentially, you cannot have a career and you cannot not have a career.
You must work out but you must not sweat. Your home must be neat but nobody should ever see you clean it. Your clothes should be name-brand and you should never wear something more than once. You should cook five-course meals (but you should never really eat). You should have a French manicure. You should wear a bikini.
Is anyone else tired of being a punching bag?
We are bruised, used and abused, often more literally than we’d care to admit.
You who read this, I have no idea where you are in relation to God or what you believe about the supernatural, but let me tell you this: we have a very real Enemy who desires our harm. He doesn’t want us to catch a glimpse of what God longs to do for us. If we have a relationship with God, the Enemy doesn’t want us to understand or accept how God sees us.
Satan gets a great deal of mileage out of poking at women, all in the never-ending quest to believe that we are ugly and worthless.
What dark, candle-snuffing words.
We were created in the imago Dei, the image of God. We, as women, reflect something of the Divine that men do not. (Please don’t get into men-bashing. That isn’t the focus of this post, and degrading men has not and will not ever lead to health and healing for women). When we think of ourselves as trash, we spit in the face of the Creator. We tell Him that He didn’t know what He was doing when He made us. Instead of being blessed by all the different shapes and colors and sizes and varieties, we assume that He only finds one type lovely.
We ascribe to God the work of the Devil.
Think on that a moment.
You will not find a place in Scripture where God calls a woman ugly or worthless. Are women, just like men, made to suffer the consequences of their actions? Yes. Does the Bible even outright say that women can be punished by God for straying from His path? Yes. Yet these things NEVER give us permission to believe that God sees as the world sees.
We do not have to be defined by our society. We do not have to be enslaved to the demands of the scale, the store or the sensual. We don’t have to take a beating, over and over again, in the hopes of one day finally fitting into the mold. You see, it’s a fruitless occupation. The mold is ever-shifting.
Is it wrong to enjoy fashion or make-up? No. On the contrary; God made this world, and so I believe that He greatly appreciates beauty. Is it wrong to work to take care of ourselves, making sure that we do get proper exercise and that we’re eating healthy? No. Our bodies are a blessing and a stewardship. What we must learn is that we are ALREADY lovely. The make-up and the clothes and the exercise are there as tools for us to celebrate our existing beauty, not to drive us in the attempt to manufacture something unattainable.
Oh, if we could just believe that! If we could see ourselves as God sees us!
Those of us who know Christ, we are royalty. Princess brides. Pure and spotless.
I sincerely hope you understand. We are beautiful, created to be filled with grace and dignity. If we know Christ, this is our status – we must take it. If we don’t know Christ – we must reach out to Him, because being a princess bride has got to be better than anything the world has to offer.