Fashion fads, jewelry, hair appointments, waxing, pedicures, manicures, scarfs, shoes, diet fads, lingerie; our eternal quest for beauty manifests itself a thousand and one ways. All women seek to be beautiful and to surround ourselves with beauty. We primp, diet, decorate, exercise, and express ourselves through makeup, clothing, and hairstyles. In Style magazine recently conducted a study that revealed that the average American woman will spend over $15, 000 on beauty products in her lifetime! And keep in mind thats the average! Amidst it all, its comic that we women never ask the question…why? What is the purpose behind this quest? Why does this desire to be beautiful pull at my heart relentlessly, from my earliest of memories? Why in my own eyes do I always seem to fall short…not pretty enough, not skinny enough, curvy enough, etc despite our constant pamperings, diets, primpings, and quests?
Lets demystify why women seek to be beautiful? Before we delve into women, specifically, however, lets delve into the source of beauty. God is beauty and as the Creator is the source of all things beautiful. Like man, created in his image and likeness, God delights in what is beautiful and surrounds himself with beauty. He created the whole earth, the solar system, and the wondrous animals and plants and “God looked at everything that he had made, and he found it very good” (Genesis 1:31)…in other words God found that creation was pleasing, good…beautiful in His eyes.
Notice, that God created the earth in stages. Each subsequent creation was more wondrous, elaborate, and more beautiful culminating with His creation of man…human kind made in God’s own image. First came light, dry land and oceans, vegetation, the solar system, animals, man, then last but certainly not least God created woman, Eve. Notice, God did not create Eve from “clay” (Genesis 2:7) as he did Adam, but he created her and created woman from Adam as “God…took out one of his ribs” (Genesis 2:21); Eve came from man himself. Eve…woman is the pinnacle …the crown of God’s creation. Upon seeing Eve for the first time, it is clear that Adam is overwhelmed with joy and taken with her beauty exclaiming “this one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!”(Genesis 2:23). Out of all creation it is clear by Adam’s exclamation that Eve, that woman, is the most beautiful and extraordinary. Thus, we as women, created in God’s image and likeness, are by our very natures…beautiful.
Both men and women are instinctively drawn to beautiful things because beauty is a reflection of God, the source of beauty, and of the eternity that awaits us in heaven. Thus, earthly beauty is merely a reflection of the eternal. The great apologetic C.S. Lewis once wrote that men and women “do not want merely to see beauty. We want… to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” This human craving for beauty is rooted in our hearts’ deepest desire to find God and to achieve eternal life with Him in heaven. How incredible is it then that God reserved beauty for women as the pinnacle of His earthly creation?! Being and cultivating earthly beauty is God’s special plan for women in salvation history; we are reflections of heavenly beauty here on earth. Glimmers of light… hope in the darkness.
But, you may ask, if we as women are in fact intrinsically beautiful, why then do we always feel as though we fall short? Why is it that no matter what we do, buy, achieve, or grapple for….we never believe we are beautiful enough? The answer is, the Devil. Think about it, if women are the custodians and reflections of heavenly beauty here on earth made in the image and likeness of God…how then the Enemy must loath and despise women! To make matters worse for the Enemy, it is a woman…Mary a teenage girl in Nazareth who ultimately ensured the salvation of mankind by giving birth to Jesus Christ. The Devil has a relentless and particular hatred for women and this hatred manifests itself in our society today. Given that beauty is God’s earmarked gift to women, thus beauty is a woman’s greatest threat to Satanic agenda and beauty is what the Devil will attack, seek to deceive, and destroy. Satan must attack and distort the very nature of what a woman is. Hence”the father of lies” (John 8:44) will tell her the exact opposite of what is true about her. He will unceasingly try to convince her that she is ugly, plain…insignificant; that she is not enough and not what she should be. He will blind her, persuade her that she must strive for something she has already obtained. And if he is lucky, he convinces her that beauty has bounds and criteria, that it is reserved for only those who wear C-cupped bras and size zero pants. He rejoices when this pursuit of cosmetic beauty will distract from her pursuit of sainthood and her role as God’s beauty bearer.
It all comes down to the beauty of being versus the beauty of seeing. The Devil’s victory over a woman is to lie and convince her that she is not beautiful in being and that she must strive, diet, and buy to be beautiful in the eyes of others; seeking beauty in seeing. But the truth is, we are intrinsically beautiful by our nature as women, we are beautiful in being, and have been since the day of our conception. Saint Theresa of Calcutta is a prime example of beauty in being. Glance at any photograph of this modern saint, and you can see the beauty of her soul brilliantly radiate through her face and through her works. God shone through her and how beautiful she was! Our mission as God’s beauty bearers on earth, is to bring forth life, seek beauty in others, and develop a beauty of the soul that will gain us and lead others to eternal union with God.