A friend asked me recently how I respond to people who feel beauty and the love of it to be superficial. This post is me wrapping my mind around how I would explain it. Not in justification...but to share my heart surrounding the topic.
I wrote a separate post titled Beauty-full for The Heart Mag last year (click here to read it). But today I wanted to say a little more...because I truly believe a love of beauty is an expression of my love of our Creator.
Beauty may be fleeting, like Proverbs shares, but the same One who created the Universe, also created beauty. He designed peonies with lacy edges, glittering with diamond-like drops of water, dripping from soft petals after a swift rain. He adorned the woman living in poverty with the most exquisite smile, joy radiating from deep wrinkles around her eyes.
He created late afternoon sunlight that transforms into rainbows as it shines through the glass window in our living room. He endowed amazing talent to the musicians who craft and play masterpieces through the speakers in our kitchen, making more bearable the mundane task of washing yet another sink full of dishes.
I exhale, close my eyes, and drink in beauty through sound.
Our Father in heaven gave us a deep appreciation for that which is beautiful because He desires our enjoyment of it and worship of Him through it. Celebrating His beauty and creativity is exactly why it was created in the first place.
We need to examine our hearts around how we see beauty. Is it about us? Does it awaken jealousy? No. Let it not. Instead, allow a love of beauty be an expression of love and appreciation of our Father in heaven. Let it flow back to Him.
Beauty is far from perfection, for flawlessness is not what shapes that which is beautiful. It’s beautiful because God created it.
Our girls are young, but not so young they aren’t already beginning to see and feel things in a similar way to me. As they continue to grow, I have a fierce desire that they love how God created them. They don’t look like me, don’t have my blonde hair or green eyes. Instead, their Ethiopian heritage is affirmed through their milky chocolate faces, black curly hair, and dark eyes that glisten so brightly you can’t help but be captivated.
They may not have my same skin or shoulders freckled with evidence of too many childhood sunburns, but they have my same humor, love caring for others, and feel graceful and lovely while twirling in a dress that swooshes elegantly through the air.
I desire that they look in the mirror and see the beauty within. But I also crave that they see the glory in how they were created and remember their body is a temple.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Those of us who have grown up in the church have heard this verse time and time again (though admittedly often out of context), yet may not know that 1 Corinthians 6 is actually talking about the importance of keeping sex only inside marriage.
Even so, it’s a great reminder that we are to “glorify God in our body”, meaning we treat it well. As a family, we strive to eat healthy and stay active. Like viewing beauty through the lens of worship, we also want our children to understand that taking care of themselves is bringing glory to God as well.
We need to care for what He has given us, which means taking care of our appearance in addition to our hearts. He gave us one precious body, and that is a responsibility we mustn’t take too lightly. Yet we must not allow our appearance to be a source of pride or idolatry.
In examining the position of our hearts, the question we must ask ourselves is: Is this love of beauty an expression of my heart? Something that brings me joy? Or does its allure consume me?
Just as some enjoy painting and creating, yet others enjoy more analytical tasks, and some of us find fashion exciting, while others feel it’s a waste of time … neither position is wrong, we’re simply all designed with different passions. As long as our hearts are positioned thoughtfully and honorably, and we’re tending to our bodies with care, the Lord will see that our passions and interests are yet one more way to bring Him majesty.
What do you think? Do you see how God may love the fact that you love to be surrounded by beauty? That it fills Him up, just as it does you?
We should not obsess about it, nor should we become absorbed in a self-pride sort of way. But rather recognize that He made beauty as a reflection of Himself. It's ok to love it...because through it we are able to love and worship Him.
PS are you drooling over these amazing photos by Nicole Dina Photography? This was from a Mother's Day photoshoot she did for the girls and I...what fun we had!
Nicole is gifting a session to a lucky winner! She's even willing to travel! Swing back by on Tuesday for all the details for the giveaway! xo