I hope your families enjoyed a terrific Mother’s Day celebration yesterday. I was showered with lots of homemade bookmarks and drawings, along with personalized cards with lots of x’s and o’s. Yep, I’m a mom of kids. I love their creativity, but I must say, I’m also keen on a few store-bought items, as well. 😉
Would you like to know my favorite gift? It didn’t actually come from the kiddos. It came from my husband, and it was given in front of thousands of people. Not too shabby. In his message at MLC yesterday, he paid me some high compliments. Hearty-warmingly high. Brownie-points high. We usually go over his message together, but he kept this part to himself. He’s a little sneaky.
Compliments aside, Shawn taught a liberating, centering, and refreshing message about what makes a woman beautiful. Spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with the outward appearance. Shocking, really. At least to our culture. The drive to measure up to the world’s standard of beauty – at least for my friends and me – is so pervasive, so consuming that we often don’t even realize that we are wrapped up in it. Wondering what people think of us, believing we aren’t fashionable or thin enough, seeking approval, playing the comparison game, unhappy with specific body parts,….you name it, we’ve probably been sucker punched by it.
God has a different standard of beauty, though. He thinks we’re beautiful when we are full of Him. He thinks we’re beautiful simply because we belong to Him. He thinks we’re beautiful when we display the fruits of His Spirit, like kindness, gentleness, and faithfulness. Sounds pretty cliché, I know. But, if you let His definition settle in your mind just a bit, you’ll feel a sense of freedom enter your heart, as well. Freedom from the comparisons. Freedom from the discontentment. Freedom from the constant scrutiny of our bodies. Ahhh, now that’s freedom.
Don’t get me wrong: we are women, and we like to be beautiful. But, our culture has gone too far in defining beauty as only being on the outside. Wear your jewelry, put on some makeup and perfume, show off your cutest jeans, and wear your sassiest shoes. Feel pretty. We often feel prettier when we have surrounded ourselves with these things. But, bear in mind that true beauty is more than your Vera Wang heels and your MEK jeans. It’s so much more. It’s your gentle spirit and kind heart. It’s your unwavering love of your Heavenly Father. It’s faithful way your disciple your children. It’s the encouragement you give to those around you. It’s the faith you build up in others. It’s your generosity and character.
Shawn refreshed my spirit with his message yesterday. If you need some refreshment, too, click here to watch the message. And, hey, you can hear those amazing compliments he showered me with, too. Best gift of all. For sure.