We just got home from Ava`s talent night. And if there`s one word to describe it, it would be JAW-DROPPING. Ok, three words. Jaw-dropping. Hilarious. Crazy.
There were girls who were tossed in the air like stuntmen. Fairies who wore mosquito-net-thin dresses. A lot of sensual dancing. Murder scenes. Acrobatic stunts. Some even bordered on child abuse. Some blew fire. Others were morbid, complete with blood on her mouth for the finale. It was mind blowing!
But more than the jaw-dropping performances, what really struck me the most was how far girls would go just to win the crown. And it`s crazy how girls are ready to show even what should be well covered in clothes just to be the fairest of them all. It was heartbreaking. Honestly. I wonder if these girls knew that their beauty is not in how much skin they show but is in their hearts and in how they choose to live their lives.
The Essence of A Woman
In beauty pageants, they often ask what is the essence of a woman. Since I would probably not join one in my entire lifetime, let me answer the question now (I practiced this in front of the mirror sometime ago. Please don`t laugh at me. haha).
Host: So Cathy, this is your question…
Cathy smiles and takes a deep breath.
Host: What is the essence of a woman?
Cathy: That`s a beautiful question. Thank you. (haha)
Cathy: The essence of woman is in her PURPOSE.
Hmmm… On her purpose? Why?
A woman is valuable because her life is meant for a special purpose.
Stasi Eldredge explains it profoundly in her book Captivating.
When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him".
The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately."
You are a woman. An image bearer of God. The Crown of Creation. You were chosen before time and space, and you are wholly and deeply loved. You are sought after, pursued, and romanced, the passionate desire of your Fiance, Jesus. You are dangerous in your beauty and your life-giving power. And you are needed.
And that is crucial, dear heart. Whatever your particular calling, you are meant to grace the world with your dance, to follow the lead of Jesus wherever he leads you. He will lead you first to himself; and then, with him, he will lead you into the world that he loves and needs you to love.
Do Not Sell Your Beauty
My favorite story about beauty was a real-life testimony of an Armani model who was beautiful and popular—a top model. She went from one country to another modeling for top designers, living a wealthy and popular life until one day, Armani put his hands around her waist, noticed she put on a little weight and told her she couldn`t model anymore.
She was devastated. She resorted to drugs and alcohol and tried to commit suicide. Later on, she decided to just move on and stay in Milan to look for someone who would take her as a model.
She took her portfolio and on her way met an old man. She didn`t know what he said would change her life.
“Are you here to model, young lady? Don`t you know you cannot sell beauty. Go back home, my dear.”
You Cannot Sell Beauty.
The model said it was her first time to hear those words, that you cannot sell beauty. All her life, she was trained to model, to use her beauty to gain a living and achieve. How didn`t she know it long ago.
She went back home to America and later on knew the Lord. She`s now an inspirational speaker to girls and young ladies, teaching what real beauty is.
We may all be far away from the limelight Hollywood and the beauty industry but we may be “selling” our beauty in a different way.
We may be using our bodies, our faces, our God-given beauty to gain the confidence, the admiration, the praises that our heart secretly desires.
I feel so strongly, my dear young lady friends, that beauty should not be used for the purpose of getting the admiration and praises of men. Beauty should used to glorify the King and use it for the purpose why He created it—for Him and your husband and not just any other man or any other person.
Your beauty is not on how well you look outside, but on who you are inside. Not on your long, slender legs or your slim figure but real beauty is in the strength of your heart, the length of your patience, the greatness of your love.
Do not waste your beauty. Do not use your physical beauty for the purpose other than what it was created for. Instead, develop the beauty of your heart and know you`re worth in the King who created you and says you`re beautiful!
You are beautiful! You are!
As a woman who has been ransomed and redeemed, you can be strong and tender. You speak to the world of God’s mercy, mystery, beauty, and his desire for intimate relationship. You are inviting; You can risk being vulnerable, offering the weight of your life as well as your need for more because you are safe in God’s love. You labor with God to bring forth life–in creativity, in work, in others. Your aching, awakened heart leads you to the feet of Jesus, where you wait on him and wait for him. The eyes of his heart are ever upon you. The King is captivated by your beauty.
Let`s live our lives to please the King, beautiful ladies! ;)
We need you. We need you to awaken to God more fully and to awaken to the desires of the heart that he placed within you so that you will come alive to him and to the role that is yours to play. Perhaps you are meant to be a concert musician or a teacher. Perhaps you are meant to be a neurologist or horse trainer. Perhaps you are to be an activist for ecology or the poor or the aged or the ill. You are certainly called to be a woman, wherever else he leads you.