Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Set Apart Femininity - Chapter 2

~ Sacred Design ~

Discovering Femininity's Blueprint for Beauty:

"The preoccupations of young women don't seem to change much from generation to generation. But in every generation there seem to be a few who make other choices."

- Elisabeth Elliot -

The Modern "Inner-Beauty" Myth

Why do we sell ourselves short, and not grasp the incredible vision of radiant, set-apart femininity that Christ so greatly desires to showcase in and through our lives? The answer is that we don't truly grasp our hopeless, sinful state. "We don't understand that apart from Him, we have nothing, we are nothing, and we can accomplish nothing." We continue to search within ourselves to find the beauty and strength that only comes from Jesus Christ.

Countless Christian books written to young ladies encourage them to find their "inner beauty".

The Christian book Captivating puts it this way: "The beauty of a woman is first a soulful beauty. And yes, as we live it out, inhabit our beauty, we do become more lovely. More alluring...We want you to hear clearly that beauty is an essence every woman carries from the moment of her creation. The only things standing in the way of our beauty are our doubts and fears and the hiding and striving we fall to as a result."

I haven't personally read the book, Captivating, but I know for sure that if I had read this paragraph on my own I probably would've thought, "Aw, how nice. It's so true!" However, Leslie says something different.

"It sounds so right. But the Bible makes it very clear that we were born into sin, to beauty. Yes, we were created in the image of God. But sin has warped and twisted all the goodness and loveliness we were originally designed to posses. As a result of sin's defilement, we no longer carry an essence of beauty from the moment of our creation - we carry an essence of sin and selfishness. Our womanly souls are no longer beautiful. They are revolting, ugly, and deformed. That's why we need to be completely and wholly redeemed and remade by the power of Christ's blood."

We need to realize our own wretchedness in order to realize the extent of our forgiveness. In order to grasp the amazing sacrifice of God and love Him for it, we need to grasp the great sin of ours that needed that sacrifice in order to be forgiven.

We do have an inward beauty, that can shine and radiate in our faces and through our actions. But that beauty is not our own. It's the beauty of Jesus Christ shining through us. It's HIM inside us that shines so brightly. Nothing of our own.

Charles Spurgeon says, "If a soul has any beauty, it is because Christ has endowed that soul with His own, for in ourselves we are deformed and defiled! There is no beauty in any of us but what our Lord has worked in us."

Any beauty that we posess is only rags compared to the limitless beauty of Christ. His beauty is beyond perfection. We don't deserve it, but by His amazing grace, He desires to showcase His beauty in us! It is not our unique and special beauty that we want the world to see - it's His.

1 comment:

Catherine Wilson said...

I have read the book captivating. I thought it was good but I wasn't really reading it with an objective mindset. I would love to read Leslie Ludy's book too!