Monday, January 28, 2013

Fighting for Your Girl's Inner Beauty

Note: This is part of the Fight Like a Girl Series. Other posts are found under the series tag.

My make-up bag used to be filled with high end cosmetics, my bathroom counter laden with the latest and trendiest products.I wanted to look my very best, and I was willing to spend what I thought it took to achieve that goal. I wasn't alone. The beauty industry is thriving - nearly $300 billion in sales in 2011 alone (source). There are plenty of women who have yet to learn what I finally discovered. No amount of make-up will conceal a sin-sick heart.

Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), but it doesn't change who he is. The truth is, God judges our hearts and not our faces (1 Sam. 16:7). I know that in my head. Yet I'm reluctant to post photos of myself online. I feel ugly and unworthy when I look at magazine covers in the supermarket checkout line. I tell my daughter she is not defined by the world's idea of beauty, yet I don't believe that is true for me. Somehow, I don't think I'm the only one.

But what if we decided to use the Word of God, rather than the pages of a magazine, as our mirror? What if we looked to the women of Scripture, rather than the latest offering from the Hollywood factory, as our ideal? What if we could teach our girls to do the same?

Isaiah writes that the Jesus "had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him." (Isaiah 53:2, ESV). Yet most Christians would declare Jesus to be beautiful, even though we have never seen Him. Could it be we consider Him so because He fulfilled His purpose? In Uncompromising: A Heart Claimed By a Radical Love, Hannah Farver recounts how she and a friend decided that things are beautiful if they work the way their maker designed them to work. Could the same be true of people? 1 Peter 3:3-4 certainly agrees with this theory; God considers a gentle and quiet spirit as very precious.

 Paul Tripp offers this exhortation to parents: "Our goal is to produce children who exist in the world of the seen, but who live for what cannot be see, touched, or tasted." He then outlines the qualities of a spiritual warrior, the goals we should have in raising our children. Spiritual warriors "have a heartfelt, internalized fear of God...[exhibit] submission to authority...[practice] separation from the wicked...have the ability to think through [their]faith and apply it to the situations of life...and [possess] spiritual self-awareness." (source)

If we're going to raise girls who are spiritual warriors, we must realize that there's a war being waged against their inner beauty. They're trying to fight it with make-up brushes, curling irons, and fashion magazines. They're getting pummeled. It's time for us to jump off the sidelines, draw our Sword, and start fighting.

Keep Fighting:

~Ask your girl: What makes someone or something beautiful? Why do you think people want to feel beautiful? What do you consider your function in life?

~Read Colossians 1:16 and Psalm 139:13-14 with her. Remind her that "God didn’t make your body in order to please what some fashion magazine decided was attractive. You were designed to reflect God’s own image." (Hannah Farver, Uncompromising: A Heart Claimed By a Radical Love)

~Read Deuteronomy 10:12-13, Proverbs 31:30, and Micah 6:6-8 with her. Discuss what the Lord requires of us, and how we can cultivate our inner beauty. "We are to be primarily known, not for our good looks or name-brand clothing, but our good works." (Farver)


  1. Wise words, Melissa. Even among grown Christian women, there is often an undue emphasis on appearance. And then we wonder why our daughters are like that. It begins with us. Thanks for this!

  2. WOW Melissa! excellent post! I am working with the young girls at my church and I will use this article to talk to them! thank you so much. It was good for me, Ipray it will be good for them. love you!