God's Love, Identity, Perspective

Beauty: How Do You Define Beauty?

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I have five decades of life under my proverbial belt. And still, there are days when I let the mirror try to tell me truth as it sees it.

The bad hair days . . .

The days when my face bears pimples (yes, at fifty, I still get these) . . .

The ever-enlarging pores on my face . . .

The rounding middle, flabby thighs . . .

The thinning hair that sports more gray as the boys grow older and try new things . . .

I confess, I still fall to the lies the mirror tells me. The lies that began when I was oh, about twelve. Those lies that I came to believe because of what others said about me.

“You’re ugly.”

“Spaghetti hair!”

“Your eyes are a little crooked.”

It’s sad how beauty is too often defined by what that mirror of society tells us. Society tries to convince us beauty only has certain characteristics.

Size. Hair color and style. Eye color. Clothing that fits “the criteria.” Make-up applied in a specific way. Enhancement of our external features.

Maybe beauty is a compilation of qualities that come more from the inside than from the external. Why do I let the mirror—culture—dictate what beauty should look like on me?

No, the perfect make-up, the perfect hair-day do not a beautiful woman make.

Beauty comes from a heart poured out in loving others.

Beauty is spoken over us—about us—by a loving Father. His gaze doesn’t stop at the face, the skin-level appearance of who we are.

He sees us at the heart-level. He sees our insecurities, our quiet strengths.

He sees our desire to serve and love on our families, our friends, those around us.

And He takes delight in us.

He doesn’t look for perfection. Nor does He wait for us to do things exactly right before saying He loves us.

God loves us in the middle of our mistakes, our shortcomings. And when we come to our senses again and realize how we messed up, God still loves us.

Our Father sees us as beautiful because we are His creation. He knows the plans He has for each one of us.

God carries out those plans in unique ways, dependent on how each of us was crafted.

God doesn’t define our beauty based on how well we follow Him, how perfectly we carry out His instructions.

We are beautiful because we are His.

He created men and women, and every work of His hands, and He calls it good.

Why do we, then, diss what He says about us? Why do we allow our culture to define beauty for us? To tell us we need to wear a size two and have curves “in all the right places?”

What if we could begin to define our beauty through God’s eyes? His word tells us He is enthralled with our beauty (Psalm 45:11–NIV). He delights in us.

What if we choose to believe the words God says about us, that we are beautiful in His sight, whether or not the people around us say so?

When we believe the truth of God’s word, what He says about us, we will walk in greater confidence. We don’t wait for others to define what beautiful looks like on us, because God has already declared it. We are beautiful to Him.

And that is enough.

What about you? What does beautiful look like in your eyes? How do you reconcile what God says about you and what you believe about you?

Click to Tweet: Beauty comes from a heart poured out in loving others

Today I’m linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story,  #RaRaLInkup

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19 thoughts on “Beauty: How Do You Define Beauty?”

  1. How do I define beauty? Why, that’s SO simple…it’s defined by a blog written by my dear friend, Jeanne Takenaka.

    The grace of her writing, the faith-filled and gentle leading to God is something that the world has sorely needed…and now, she’s here!

    The caring craftsmanship of her words, the attention to detail in the clear knowledge that God relishes the details…Jeanne’s writing is both a primer and advanced text on Godly writing.

    And the photos…only a blind man could fail to be moved by the images and the intimate, transparent and vulnerable way with which they connect with the text. But the blind man need not worry, his seeing-eye dog will tell him…once the dog has stopped shedding grateful tears.

    And this doesn’t even speak to Jeanne’s fiction, which I have been privileged to read. She has the gift of character and setting. She makes you CARE.

    There is enough beauty for a lifetime to be found right here.

    Jeanne, I think I speak for thousands when I say, “Thank you…you have made our lives better, and have brought us closer to God.”

    beauty, indeed.

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    1. Andrew, your words touched me so deeply. Thank you for always being an encouraging voice in this place. I am thankful for the gift of your friendship and humbled that God saw fit to use anything I’ve written as an encouragement to you. You bless me, friend!

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  2. “Beauty is spoken over us—about us—by a loving Father.” I love this.
    My culture and my faith speak about beauty SO completely differently. Thanks for this wonderful reminder to value a generous, loving heart over the reflection in the mirror.

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    1. Laura, I think most cultures focus more on the external—earned/self-applied—beauty. I’m so thankful God’s declaration of beauty has nothing to do with outward appearance. And I’m thankful He’s gracious when we fall short, as we so often do. I so appreciate your visit today!

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    1. Jodie, you’re right. Why is it so easy for us to see the beauty in our friends and see only the ugly in ourselves? I’m so glad God not only sees beyond those rough parts of us, but He promises to complete the beautiful work He’s already begun in us. I am grateful you visited today. Thank you!

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    1. Alice, thank you for the information about the other post. I will take a look at it. Beauty is a fickle thing in the world’s eyes. I’m so glad we are God’s girls, and that He sees us as beautiful, regardless of our age or exterior. 🙂 Glad we are in this together! Have a great week!

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  3. Jeanne,
    As I get older, I think my definition of beauty is coming more in line with God’s definition. For so many years I was focused on the outward appearance….was i thin enough, fit enough, pretty enough. Then I started to ask….thin enough or pretty enough for whom? My first husband left because I wasn’t _______enough so it was then that I started to live my life for an audience of One. I decided it was going to be God’s definition of me that mattered. I may never be enough of whatever for the world or other people, but as long as I’m okay in God’s eyes (and He looks on the inward and not on the outward) then I decided that I was, indeed, okay. Like you said, beauty is truly a life poured out in love toward others….
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bev, first off? The first time I saw your meme I saw beauty. God’s light in your eyes shone brightly. 🙂 And yes, when we come to realize that God’s definition of beauty has nothing to do with what we look like on the outside, so much pressure is taken off of us. Living our lives for an audience of One is the best mindset to keep. You are more than okay, friend. You are beautiful–inside and out.

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    2. “Enough” yes. When will we realize that we actually are enough. Your comment here reminds me of the Chris Tomlin song Enough:
      “All of you is more than enough for all of me
      For every thirst and every need
      You satisfy me with Your love
      And all I have in You is more than enough”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband rescued a little puppy (we call her Daisy) one Sunday on his way home from Church. We have two other furry friends, one a Pomeranian, you know how beautiful these little red haired creatures are. However, this little rescued female dog ( not a pedigree, just a mixed puppy), somehow fit in like God sent us to her, and she to us. Any other Sunday or day, Len would not have stopped to pick up this little creature going up the highway. She has the sweetest nature, little deep eyes, playful, trained surprisingly well, and fit in our family like a glove. We simply could not give her up for adoption, and we definitely did not need a third dog.

    This to me, is just how Jesus see us when we obey Him, His Word, and live a life with the hope of eternal life. Beauty, love and respect has nothing to do with how we look on the outside. It is our nature, our kindness, our ability to fit in, our love for mankind, and our desire to be like Him. People do not always see us as we are, and sometimes we hide who we really are for varying reasons.

    I want to be like Daisy, easy to love, easy to become a part of any of God’s family.

    Enjoyed your post, your thoughts, and your knowledge of God’s love,
    Linda

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    1. Linda, I so appreciate your story about your puppy and how your husband picked her up. And I love how you tie this in to how Jesus sees us. You’re right, beauty, love and respect have nothing at all to do with our outer appearance. I’m also thankful that God not only sees us as we are now, He also sees the “finished picture,” who He is creating us to be.

      I’m with you. I want to be easy to love and easy to be with in God’s family.

      I am so glad you stopped by!

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  5. Culture generally defines personal beauty as something found in outward appearances, the bible defines it quite differently.
    1 Peter 3:3-4 (NIV)
    “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

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