Sunday morning church service had just finished and I made my way across the sanctuary to say hello to some friends. We shared hugs and caught up on small talk…the usual post church chit-chat. We started talking about a friend of a friend’s super cute newborn baby, and the beautiful young mother who gave birth to this baby. One thing led to another and all of a sudden my friends are spouting: “She is literally so pretty,” “No, like she is gorgeous.” “Like she is the kind of pretty when you look at her it makes you sick.”
My heart. It immediately sank. I look back now and wonder why I didn’t ask, “Are you not the kind of pretty that makes other people sick?” As if there is a classification of pretty? Did I miss where pretty was categorized on superficial levels of mediocre to above average to exceedingly pretty to “sick kind of pretty?” And where do I fall on that scale? Does anyone think I’m a “sick kind of pretty?”
When I first gave my life to Christ, I thought I would be joining the women who were completely confident in who they were. C’mon, they know Jesus. Surely these women would not have eating disorders or body image struggles.
In my naivety, I was a little let down when I discovered these women were striving just as hard as my non-believing friends. Just like the rest of the world, my Christian friends were trying to alter their bodies by way of the next big fad diet, make-up craze, or grueling work-out program. I met very few women who actually exuded the spirit that they were free.
Genesis 1:27 states,
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
We are all image bearers of our God. God gave us beauty, and it is powerful, but it is not selective. Beauty is all-inclusive and there is actually nothing you can do to deny it because it is God-given.
Beauty is not one size, it is not one race, it is not one age, it is not one ability; it is not so many things within the context of societal norms and mainstream media. God already imparted his beauty on every woman and man to walk this earth. So we’re covered on the beauty part, y’all.
Proverbs 31:30 states,
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Are you waking up an hour early to work on your face and hair? Or are you waking up an hour early to seek the Lord? See what I mean? But don’t misunderstand me here. I am not saying that wearing make-up or getting dolled-up for a night out is a sin. There are men and women whose occupation is to make us look pretty, and they are make-up rock stars! Bless you, make-up rock stars. What I am saying is there can come a time when our focus is solely on the superficial realm of beauty (idolatry), and we fail to seek the truth of our Father.
The Christian church is full of men and women who are in love with Jesus, but don’t really know who they are in Jesus. To Jesus we are all the “sick kind of pretty”.
Not only does Jesus label us pretty, He labels us as FREE. Free from restrictions, free from rules, free from comparison, free from rigid standards, free to love ourselves the way He loves us. Not because of anything we’ve done, but simply because He made us.
Natalie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who works as an inpatient dietitian focusing in critical care nutrition. She received her bachelors degree at California State University, Chico and hopes to pursue a Masters degree in the future. Natalie is a new resident to beautiful Southern Oregon and in her free time enjoys hiking, camping, archery, and reading. She is excited about where God is taking her and to fulfill the duty of furthering the Kingdom of Heaven on earth by the way of body acceptance and love