Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could drink a magic potion to become more beautiful? What woman wouldn’t want an elixir for erasing blemishes, wrinkles, and extra weight? My 5 year old neighbor, who wears a princess crown, dreams of being beautiful. My mother-in-law, who visited the hair salon every week until she died at age 90, always cut an elegant figure. That longing to be attractive must be part of being a woman.
When I was a kid, the girls on our block would put on makeup and fancy dresses to play beauty pageant. I dreamed of being Miss America. My mother taught me that true beauty came from inner confidence. I believed her when she said a woman who felt beautiful WAS beautiful, at any age. I even said I’d never dye my hair because I didn’t like the message it gave: “To be beautiful, you have to look young.”
Then I turned 45.
Suddenly I started aging more quickly than ever. I looked in the mirror and noticed the smile lines around my eyes and on my cheeks. And when the gray streak at my temples spread throughout my hair, I ran out and bought a box of Miss Clairol.
Every woman wants to feel beautiful
I read once that women reach the height of their beauty at age 31, but if that’s true, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? Maybe the world’s definition of beauty points us in the wrong direction. We see it plastered all over the media: thin, young women with perfect makeup and hair. When we measure ourselves against them, we can end up feeling less than lovely.
What if that longing to be beautiful is from God?
What if God placed in each woman a longing to be beautiful, but it’s really pointing her towards Himself? In God’s sight we’re never more beautiful than when we reflect Him and his character to the world around us. 1 Peter 3:4-6 explains what kind of beauty God wants for His daughters:
This passage gives me hope. Although our outer beauty might diminish as we grow older, our INNER beauty can actually increase as we learn how to give God’s Spirit more control over our lives.
Challenge to Grow More Lovely
If I really want that gentle, gracious beauty that God delights in, I have to cultivate it day by day by choosing to say “yes” to God and “no” to my sinful nature. Honestly I’m not sure what inner beauty looks like when I’m racing to get lunch after a busy home school morning. One kid says, “Mom, we’re tired of soup.” While the other one says, “I don’t want a chicken sandwich.” Believe me, I don’t feel so lovely during moments like those!
But I know that every time we choose a smile over snapping back, every time we breathe deep and count to 10 instead of exploding, we’re saying yes to God’s work in us. No magic potion can make us more attractive, but God’s Word gives us a recipe for beauty:
As we make daily choices to cultivate these qualities, we grow to resemble more fully our Beautiful Creator.
Now it’s your turn: Do you ever wish you had a magic beauty potion? Which of these qualities do you most long for?
edited from my archives