You are More

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These days I’m noticing more and more just how much women are objectified. Women are viewed as pretty objects, pleasurable things to look at and toy with, something fun to use for a while until they’re temporarily satisfied or a prettier one comes along.

Before I go any further, let me get this straight: I am NOT a feminist. In fact, I feel that I’m about as far from modern “feminism” as one can possibly be without being labeled a “sexist” (like many men are wrongly accused of being these days, when actually all they’re asking for is a little respect. Funny how their cry for “equality” is always labeled as “sexist.” Shouldn’t we be calling it “masculism” and quit shoving “feminism” down their throats, because last I checked, every human has rights. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day). So, no — I’m not a feminist who hates men, and this post is not about how women are mistreated and we need to stand for equality, blah, blah, blahhhh. Nope, none of that nonsense here on my blog, people.

Anyway. Now that we’ve got that straightened out (and if you’ve read any of my other posts it was clearly obvious already), let me just get back to what I’m supposed to be talking about. Sorry for rambling.

As I was saying, women nowadays are severely objectified. And while I will point out that males were intentionally created to be very visual people and their brains are just wired differently than females’ — that’s how they always have been and how they always will be — it doesn’t at all mean they have a good excuse for looking at a woman and lusting at her body, or only “caring” (if I may flippantly use that word here) about her physical appearance. But y’all, there is a huge difference between attraction & admiration and lust & selfish sexual desire. A man is naturally going to be attracted to and admiring of a woman’s body — again, that was exactly God’s intention — but there is a line that must be drawn there, so that attraction doesn’t turn to lust, which can then become merely a selfish desire to be sexually satisfied. Outside of marriage, sex is not a holy thing created by God; it is a sin. And thinking of someone, who is not your spouse, in a sexual way, is lust. Because of their visual characteristic, men have to work pretty hard to control their thoughts and guard their hearts in this area in order to be pleasing and faithful to God.

But I’m not here to harp on the men. I’ve explained enough and said plenty about them up to this point, but I am obviously not a male and therefore not qualified to instruct the male population how they ought to conduct themselves (#notmyjob).

Yet, I’m also not writing here today to harp on my fellow female population, either. I just want to make a point in as few words as possible and be on my way (because I am doing such a great job being so short winded thus far — ha ha).

When I said earlier that I’ve noticed women being viewed as pretty objects and things to be used, I didn’t specifically say that we’re seen that way only by a lot of men. No, women are seeing themselves that way, too.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Society is telling women that “you’re beautiful just the way you are” while at the same time using half naked women in advertisements in order to sell everything from underwear to books to cheeseburgers. Hypocritical much?! It’s no wonder we’re so confused!

From the beginning, when God made the first man and the first woman, He made them special. He made people in His image (Genesis 1:26) and then when He was finished creating on Day 6, He “saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). First and foremost, you were created by God in His image, and He says you are good.

And as if that wasn’t enough, He says that women specifically are very special. A virtuous woman — a woman who is good and kind — is so very valuable in this world. Proverbs 31:10 says that a good woman is worth “far above jewels.” Later on in the same chapter (verse 30), it says that charm and beauty will fade away, but what is on the inside is what’s really important: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who reverences the Lord, she shall be praised.”

We can dress up — or like so many around us, dress down — or fix our hair or wear nice jewelry, but that’s not what makes us beautiful. What matters most and what truly defines genuine beauty is our heart. Our heart is so very precious to God, and if we have a good heart, the right people will see it and it will shine so bright it makes us beautiful on the outside as well. I’ve met people I thought were gorgeous on the outside until I got to know them a little, and came to find that their heart was bad, and unfortunately that then made them ugly on the outside. Peter tells us what God thinks about the inward-to-outward beauty in I Peter 3:3-4: “Your adornment must not be merely external — braiding the hair, and 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.”

We can wear pretty clothes and fine accessories, but true beauty lies beneath all that. And if someone can’t see past what you have on in order to know you are beautiful, or if the only way they think you’re pretty is if you’re not wearing anything, then you’re not looking to the right person to attract. A good man values women as precious humans to be loved and cherished, not looked to as a pretty thing with only one purpose — to please them.

Paul said in Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.” Ladies, if we are to be treated by our husbands as Christ treats His church, then we can know that our value is more than skin deep, and we don’t have to dress provocatively in order to be beautiful.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather dress modestly and discreetly and be respected by real men, called beautiful by my own husband, and know that I am cherished and valued by my Lord than to dress in as little as possible or show a bit of cleavage or too much of my legs in order to turn heads everywhere I go just so guys will think I’m pretty on the outside.

You are pretty on the outside, because God made only one specially perfect version of you, but don’t let that alone define you, because outward beauty is shallow and temporary. My great-grandma used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does,” and I remind myself of that often. If your heart is pretty, you’re a pretty person. Worry about being pretty on the inside, and that will shine out of you so that others will see your true beauty, inside and out. Wearing skimpy clothes doesn’t make you beautiful; it just takes away from the real you. You are more than how you look on the outside. You’re fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and that’s enough, so don’t ever tell yourself otherwise.

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand…” (Psalm 139:13-18)

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith

You Don’t Need a Thigh Gap to Be Beautiful

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I am so sick of hearing about “thigh gaps.” The whole skinny craze for girls and women just disgusts me. Today’s standard, wished-for look is a flat tummy, little bitty arms, and of course… the “thigh gap.”
You wanna know what I think? If you have a thigh gap and you’re not starving yourself for it, then good. Fine. Congratulations–you have a natural little space between your legs where your thighs don’t touch. BIG DEAL. But if you don’t have that longed for, apparently-all-girls-want-it Thigh Gap, don’t kick yourself for it. It’s O.K. if you don’t have one; it is not the end of the world, and a thigh gap is NOT going to be the solution to your problems, anyway.

The world (media, magazines, Hollywood, etc.) has set this standard of so-called beauty. They make girls think they have to look flawless in order to be acceptable in society, if they want to get anything out of life. But if being beautiful means having to starve myself and exercise extensively in order to achieve the thigh gap, I don’t want to be the world’s kind of beatiful. The whole idea of wanting this thigh gap because you think it will make you beautiful because “everybody else” has it is just plain ridiculous. God made you beautiful! Yes, He wants you to take care of your body because it is His temple, but no, He does NOT want you to stress yourself over some other person’s idea of beauty, trying to make yourself into something you’re not. We should just worry about being healthy and simply taking care of our bodies, and not let the world’s idea of beauty corrupt our minds into thinking we’re not good enough because we don’t have that one thing that it says we need in order to be attractive.

You know what? You are enough. I think so, and most importantly, GOD thinks so. (HE made YOU, remember?)

I used to worry about my weight a lot. I thought I was fat. The world showed me that I didn’t have that cookie-cutter look, the look that all female celebrities are *made up* to have, that all the girls on the magazine covers are annoyingly advertised as having. And since I didn’t have the thick, sleek hair that never frizzes up on a humid day, or perfectly straight, white teeth, or weighed under 120 pounds, I thought I wasn’t beautiful enough. But I’ve learned something very important. It can be hard, but I’ve learned that we don’t have to compare ourselves to other people. We don’t need to let the world poison our view of true beauty. And we need to not focus so much on the outside, because it’s truly what’s on the inside that counts.

So, ladies, don’t feel bad if you don’t have a thigh gap, and don’t be arrogant if you do. We’re all made differently, but we are each made very special, crafted individually by the hands of a mighty Creator who loves us just the way He made us.

I am not saying we don’t need to exercise or eat healthy. We should be doing those things regularly, but not so we can look like someone else’s idea of beautiful. Simply take care of God’s handiwork, and glorify Him in all you do.

Because He thinks you are beautiful.

She Shall Be Praised

Week before last both of my grandmothers celebrated their birthdays, just a day apart, and I got to thinking about just how blessed I am to have these two wonderful women in my life.

My mother’s mother is Esther, and her name means “star.” This is very fitting because I have always thought that she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever known, because her beauty is not only physical but comes straight from the heart, and anyone around her can see it so vividly. Everything she does shines bright with her goodness and love.

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3 NLT)

My father’s mother is Vera. Her name means “true” and “faith,” and I believe this is appropriate because she is very faithful to God to her loved ones, and to herself. I’ve never known her to be selfish, even if others took advantage of her giving heart. She has so many talents, and enjoys finding new ways to use them and learn more.

“The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you have entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your lord.’ “ (Matthew 25:20-21)

~

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be blasphemed.” (Titus 2:3-5)

Both of my grandmothers grew up farming and gardening and came from large families. They were taught to work hard at everything they did, and that you can do anything you set your mind to do, as long as it is honoring to the Lord. I honestly think they do not know what laziness feels like, because they have always kept busy in working and helping people and providing for their own. They can garden, they can cook like nobody’s business, they are wise, and they are simply a joy to be around. They love their Lord and their families more than anything, and I am very thankful for these two wonderful examples in my life who have taught me so many valuable things.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who reverences the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)

Who are some good examples you cherish in your own life?

Have a blessed day!
~Courtney

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, have I got it?
‘Cause, mirror, you’ve always told me who I am.
I’m finding it’s not easy to be perfect
So, sorry; you won’t define me.
Sorry; you don’t own me.
Who are you to tell me
That I’m less than what I should be?
Who are you, who are you?
I don’t need to listen to the list of things I should do;
I won’t try, no, I won’t try.”

(BarlowGirl, “Mirror”)

Beauty.
What is your definition of beauty? Is your idea of true beauty based on what the world has been telling us? The world tells us that you must have perfect hair cut just right, flawlessly tanned skin, lots of makeup, fashionable size-0 clothes, a cool phone and all the latest gadgets, and a hunk of a boyfriend every weekend (even if it’s not the same boyfriend every weekend), etc. in order to be “beautiful.”
But what does GOD think about true beauty? Shouldn’t His opinion matter more than anyone else’s? I mean, after all, He is the Inventor of beauty; He created us!

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:13-14) 

So, what does the Bible say about beauty?

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; (Proverbs 31:30a NIV)

“Physical beauty will fade,” is basically what this is saying. But what is true, lasting beauty? The end of the verse explains it this way:

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30b NIV)

“A woman who fears the LORD” is beautiful. That kind of beauty (good character/beliefs) doesn’t fade away.

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. Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperatefaithful in all things. (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 3:11 NASB)

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and 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)

Think about the women of the Bible for a minute. Queen Esther was indeed physically beautiful, but that is not the legacy she left behindWhat do we remember most about her? Her courage, faith, compassion, and conviction to stand up for what is right!

The godly women of the Bible are remembered for their works — NOT their looks. Looks fade away and are easily forgotten, but good works and good character remain, and are what we will be known for in the end.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness(Proverbs 31:25-27)

The Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31…

  • Is strong,
  • Dignified,
  • Smiles (and doesn’t worry about the future),
  • Is wise,
  • The teacher of kindness,
  • Looks out for others, and
  • Is a hard worker.
Ladies, THAT is true beauty
“Mirror, I am seeing a new reflection; 
I’m looking into the eyes of He who made me 
And to Him I have beauty beyond compare; 
I know He defines me.”
 …How does your mirror define you now?

 Have a blessed day!
~Courtney