Holy Spirit I thank you for your Spirit of revelation and TRUTH. Your words have pricked my heart and I thank you for allowing me to share your TRUTHS. I pray for your Spirit of Protection of the message, the messenger, and the readers. We put on the full armor, standing firm against the principalities, and lies of the society. Speak to us individually as we read, as we sleep, and as we press ahead. Let our thoughts, words, and actions be honoring of you Lord. Protect us from the Spirit of anger and offense, let your peace and glory abound. You are so awesome Lord and must be praised. God Speak.
I was having lunch at a local restaurant. Two young girls, about high school age, waltzed in and instantly drew attention. The volume of conversation was much louder and the topic of conversation was boys. As I was reading the NT, the girls sat down next to my table. Their conversation progressed into reading horoscopes for relationship advice. One of the girls said she was scared to read the info and the other said it was the “truth” and her dad has a big horoscope reference book at home for advice. The reading seemed to be quite a dark for anyone, especially young girls or women, to read. It spoke heavily of betrayal, not making others angry or else revenge, jealously, etc. The other girl said she was really afraid and wanted her friend to stop reading it. The girl that was reading the book said something to the nature of “Okay, but this is so your boyfriend. He is just like this.” Then the conversation turned to the experiences of being controlled and having a jealous boyfriend. I prayed over the conversation and for the girls who seemed to be filled not with the joy that God designed for us but discontentment.
Prior to this, I had dinner with a good pal at a book store and discontentment became the topic of choice. A book geared to preteen girls called Boy Talk was staring at us. The entire book was filled with lies to young girls about them not being enough. Dress this way; talk that way, show interest in their hobbies, etc etc etc. It made me quite sad to think that the truth was not being told. The truth of girls and women being fearfully and wonderfully made was not being expressed. Instead the lie of being not good enough was being spread. We then looked at the magazines and how they spread the same lies to women. Every fitness, style, or beauty magazine toted the same theme of self improvement. Plump up the lashes, plump up the lips, plump up the butt, plump up whatever you can so that you can be validated by man. The idea of encouraging envy or jealousy by friends or acquaintances was cleverly disguised and prevalent. The idea of enticing men to lust after you was also very prevalent. Cover after cover, article after article, filled with nonsense about what we, women, can do to make ourselves better or validated. LIES
At some point, many of us have been trapped by the lies being pushed. My adolescent trappings were my skin was too brown, my hair was too thick and needed the creamy smack and all day hair appointments to be beautified, I was too skinny and must not have been trying hard enough to be thick like the friends or family who naturally had “meat on their bones”, and a host of other distortions. I hated to look at myself because I wasn’t what was in the magazines or TV. Fast forward into my thirties and God has given much clarity on those LIES. God knit us together and he knew us before we were born. He knew the color of our eyes, the curl of our hair, the height we would reach, our body form, and the brownness of our skin before we were born. The best thing of all, is that he made us all different, he made us fearfully, and he made us wonderfully. He didn’t create us so that we would pick on ourselves. He didn’t create us so that we would try to change what he created through crazy dieting/overeating to fit in, bleaching or tanning ourselves to be more, donning excessive makeup, or a host of other things to be validated as beautiful.
So the young girls left the restaurant and as I watched them leave, I was saddened to see one of them at midday wearing only cut off shorts, a bikini top, and unzipped sweater. I was that age and I could instantly see their desire to be validated as beautiful. The validation they sought was a LIE about what is beautiful. The TRUTH: “Your adornment must not be merely be external braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 NASB. The TRUTH is wisdom is beautiful. “How Blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing your desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all those who hold her fast.” Proverbs 3:13-19.
Now as women of all seasons, the challenge is to live according to the TRUTH. The TRUTH is our beauty is not the external but internal. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30. “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” 1 Timothy 2:9-14. We are beautiful naturally by God’s measure. We must reject the LIES of society. LIES in kid’s books like Boy Talk, women’s magazines, television ads and shows, music videos, and personal distortions (eating disorders). Too much of our time is trying to imitate the world’s design of beauty. The TRUTH is “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11.
So, the simple question I have begun to ask myself and we should all ask ourselves is: “What is the motivation?” What is the motivation of buying that magazine? What is the motivation of buying those expensive shoes or bag? What is the motivation of buying the lip plumper? What is the motivation of wearing a provocative dress or too tight jeans etc…in church or the club? What is the motivation of participating in a club or group? If the motivation is pure, God seeking and God glorifying, then we have no problem. But if the action or motive (intentionally or not) is to be validated by man, to be “noticed”, seek praise, gather attention, distract others from focus on God, we must stop ourselves and exercise self control as women submitting our actions and motives to God. Proverbs 7:10-11 describes well a busy lady, dressed to seduce, loud, rebellious, and never home. She is described as a predator seeking to devour a prey. I wondered during those K to 12 years of Catholic school why we had such strict dress codes (knee length shirts or dresses, white blouses, sweaters). Was it to eliminate disparities between kids of all backgrounds? Maybe. Was it cheaper? Maybe. Or, the answer was quite simple. They were encouraging us young ladies to be modest and to be the fearfully and wonderfully made women God designed. They were encouraging us to be the natural beauties that God designed. Go beautiful friends and share the TRUTH. Be God’s beauties.
Thank you Lord for sharing your message, as these are your words not mine. May they be a Blessing to those who read it and Bless those who have not read. Give us your Spirit of Truth. Amen
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