Women are praised for showing their bare faces.
No make-up, no photoshop retouches, their blemishes are put on display and they should learn to be happy about that. A confident girl can embrace all of her flaws, right?
Women are scorned for painting their face. They are condemned for putting their best foot forward. They are called down-right shallow for spending an hour on their hair.
And as a Christian, I’m supposed to condone these views and call them right and holy. I’m supposed to clap my hands for every girl who is au-natural, call her the Proverbs 31 woman and throw her a party.
For the girls who spend two hours getting ready, who decorate their appearance with clothing and make-up, I should try and convince them they are surface and that they are “really just masking their insecurity”.
The church is willing to accept that we live in a fallen world. As Christians we can easily take “we all fall short of the glory” and shout “AMEN!”
We praise the pursuit of righteousness. We tell people to strive to live in love, to treat others with kindness, to walk in humility, to give generously. We can easily admit that it’s harder than God intended. He intended us to be perfect and sometimes we feel the sting of our imperfections, our shortcomings and we seek to do better, to be better.
Well, let me break it to you, I am not as God created me to be.
I am imperfect in my appearance. I have permanent bruises from a broken nose. Right at this moment, I have acne. I have thin hair. I have lines from gaining and losing weight. I have scars from falling down. My appearance changes from week to week and month to month.
I am not as I was intended to be in heart or in body.
I am a mess. But this is because of sin, not because of God.
I am praised for making my heart better, but doomed for doing the same to my outward appearance.
I can hear some of you and see you in my mind, shaking your head, wagging your index finger and saying “1 Peter 3:3-4”.
Forgive me for rolling my eyes at you right now. I did not say that my beauty COMES from my outward appearance. I know it comes from my heart. I know that WHO I AM is far more valuable than what I look like or what I wear. God said those things don’t define your beauty. But he wasn’t condemning women for their clothing or appearance either, because let’s be honest, that’s not his character.
He was saying, don’t neglect your heart. Don’t make the outward your priority.
But he never said you couldn’t improve it, better it, or decorate it. Oh, I can hear people shouting the “whitewashed tomb” verse at me.
Jesus said (my paraphrase), “you’re beautiful on the outside and inside you are dead bones and filth”.
Uh. If they weren’t filled with filth, I highly doubt Jesus would have cared if they were looking stylish that day. Maybe he would’ve asked to borrow their shoes sometime. If their hearts had been in the right place, He might would’ve complimented their robe and encouraged them to pair it with a fashionable belt.
Jesus doesn’t have a problem with appearance, WE DO. That’s why he told us these things. Not because he thinks you shouldn’t fix your hair, but because he didn’t want us to think that was more important than the heart.
I assure you, when you get to heaven, you are not going to be gross with wrinkled robes, greasy hair, and with dark circles under your eyes. You’re going to be absolutely flawless and radiant because we will be like Him when we see Him as He is.
If your heart is filled with life and purity, if you’re pursuing the heart of God; please don’t let the church condemn you for showering and blow drying your hair.
The truth is… they would all judge you and abandon you if you stopped wearing deodorant and brushing your teeth.
You are beautiful because of your heart. You are absolutely gorgeous in your own skin because you are a miracle made from the hands of God. Whether you wear make-up, or not… you are enough. But not wearing make-up doesn’t make you more holy. Telling people to stop brushing their hair, doesn’t make you evangelist of the year.
You are broken and fallen. You are flawed. You are not as you were made to be.
I’m not giving you permission to starve yourself and spend $17,000 on plastic surgery and clothes at Nordstrom. But you are free to be natural and you are free to be glamorous. I’m telling you that if you want to wear a cute dress and powder your nose, God’s not disappointed in you, you are not unholy and you don’t have to apologize for it.
It may not mean much, but it’s okay with me if you stick it to the state of sin we’re all living in and say “I’m going to get as close to flawless as I wanna be.”