Pretty is Hard

Let the King be enthralled by your beauty, honor Him for He is your LORD.

Psalm 45:11


Lipstick, mascara & an updo.

My daughter’s first high school dance came with an afternoon of primping.   We had spent hours searching for & trying on dresses, high heels & jewelry to put together just the right outfit.  She looked beautiful & admittedly there was a lump welling up in my throat realizing she was trading in her ponytail for a little grown up bling.   I wanted to take some pictures of her alone before her group of friends showed up at our house & the evening of pomp & circumstance ensued.  So I paraded her around the house like my own little model, posing her in front of every good backdrop I could think of & rushing her outside to get a picture with the sweet light of the sunset over the pool.   After a few minutes of this parade, she plopped down in a chair & slumped over declaring that her feet already hurt from the heels and stating quite intently, “Pretty is hard!”

I thought about this statement.  Pretty is hard.  It’s hard to keep up with what society expects of us on the outside; but what about the inside.  We’ve all heard it, “beauty is only skin deep”, but what does it really mean to be beautiful on the inside?

God delights in beauty.  Just look around.  He is the great Creator & He created much beauty for us to appreciate & praise Him for.  Undoubtedly, His daughters should be beautiful as well.  God does not want us to walk around unkempt or homely.  However His desire for us is so much deeper than what the world can see at first glance.  He knows that when we are beautiful inside, the outside will take care of itself.

So how do we obtain inner beauty?

As I searched the scriptures, the Lord revealed some things to me about obtaining inner beauty:

True beauty admits ugliness…Just like when we look into a mirror & can see messy hair or a dirty face, looking into ourselves in the light of God’s standard can reveal where we need a little cleaning up.  Psalm 32:3-7 tells us that sin in our lives will make us feel bad all the way to our bones.  It wears us down inside so that we have no strength or energy.  When we tell the Lord our sin & troubles, He is faithful to meet us in our weakness.  We must be honest before Him.  He can rescue us from ourselves.  He is our hiding place & will keep us from trouble.

True beauty seeks Jesus…David tells us in 1 Chronicles 16:11 to seek the Lord & His strength & His face forever.   This means in every situation we are to be concerned with what He wants in our lives.  We are willing to sacrifice our time & our own desires to seek Him because we know it will lead to the refining of our inner beauty. 

True beauty trusts the Father…Just as we have special “dress up” occasions & regular every day clothes, there will be some seasons in our lives that feel beautiful and some that don’t.  Jeremiah 17:7-8 reminds us that trusting & hoping in the Lord brings blessing.  When we are confident where our beauty lies, we do not worry when there are dry seasons because we know our good Father will sustain us if we keep our heart turned toward Him.  He is our source & we do not need the world to give us approval. 

When we are transparent before God, His standard becomes our goal, His definition of beauty becomes what we seek and our confidence in how beautiful our Father believes we are, becomes our only focus. 

What kind of inner beauty treatments do you need to take time for today?

{For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day & night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of the summer.  I acknowledged my sin to you & I did not cover my iniquity; I said “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” & He forgave the iniquity of my sin.  Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to You at a time when You may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach me; You are my hiding place; You preserve me in trouble, You surround me with shouts of deliverance….Psalm 32:3-7}

{Look to the Lord & His strength; seek His face always….1 Chronicles 16:11}

{Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought & it never fails to bear fruit…. Jeremiah 17:7-8}