I think I spent more time in my Bible yesterday than I have in a long time.
That’s kind of sad, but at least I’m getting back into it!!
And what I read yesterday seems to fit in rather well with the poem(s) I posted recently.
Yesterday I went through my More Beautiful You book.
(No copyright infringement intended with any of the quotes, or anything like that. Not mine; not claiming it’s mine. Please nobody sue me. I’m a poor college kid.)
I read through 11 of the 12 chapters yesterday.
I’d gone through some of them before, specifically lesson 7 (on love) for my night of leading the small group girls.
Yesterday morning I had the time, and decided to go through most of the book.
There are spaces to write down answers to questions, which I did.
I didn’t answer every question, but a good chunk of them.
What stuck out to me yesterday morning while reading through were some of the things that Jonny’s mother, Gwen, wrote.
(This is where “no copyright infringement intended” & don’t sue me come in–someone else’s book; I’m just borrowing the words and crediting them.)
These are things I marked yesterday that stuck out to me, starting with lesson 1 and going on through:
…there are no particular criteria for outward beauty that we are commanded to achieve.
(About girls in China having surgeries to make themselves taller; referencing the ancient practice of foot-binding) But if making feet smaller is wrong, is making breasts larger, noses shapelier, or legs longer really any different?
Never in the Bible did God expect anyone to serve Him with anything more than what He had already given them. He never said, “Take what I have given you, make it more acceptable, and then use it to serve me.” No! He said, “Give Me what you have, and watch me use it to do amazing things.”
People will see a different in the way we look and dress.
He [God] knew that with every sexual encounter we give away a part of ourselves we can never get back—and we take away a piece of someone else we can never return.
(About the book of Haggai, and the people trying to rebuild the temple): He wanted them to honor and obey Him with what He had given them instead of pouting because they wished they had more.
The glory would come, not from building’s outward appearance, but from God’s presence.
When we accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross … God’s Spirit immediately comes to live inside each of us.
Although it may be difficult to accept, injuring our bodies by starving them, cutting them, over-feeding them, over-exercising them, or abusing them with drugs and alcohol is a way of focusing on ourselves—on our desires and our needs—instead of giving God the right to help us and heal our disappointments and hurts, which brings Him joy and glory.
But most importantly, we need to stop comparing ourselves with others around us. God could have given us any body in the world, but He chose the one we have for a specific purpose. It’s the one He wants to use to reflect His glory.
Then in verses 4 through 7, he describes all of the gleaming characteristics that make up true love. It is far more than an emotion—it is characterized by a series of choices we must make.
This may come as a surprise, but “thin” has not always been “in.” For centuries, women were not considered attractive unless they were shapely, soft, and round. All the models who posed for the great masters like Michelangelo and Leonarda da Vinci were full-figured. As a matter of fact, curves were an essential aspect of beauty throughout most of history. Just half a century ago Marilyn Monroe was considered the ultimate icon of beauty, but today she would have a difficult [time] landing a media job—except maybe as a plus-sized model on a shopping network. However, due to health issues that are now emerging and markets that are currently dwindling, it probably won’t be long before the fashion industry changes its standards and full-figures will be back in vogue.
We know sin can never affect our relationship with God once we are His [children]. … But it can affect our fellowship with Him. It’s just like your relationship with your parents. You will always and forever be their [child]. Nothing can change that fact regardless of what takes place in your life or either of theirs. What can change is your rapport with each other and how much you enjoy being around each other.
There were a few parts from lesson 7, Our Longing to be Loved, that I highlighted for my night with the girls that I want to share, too.
One of the greatest fears a human heart can harbor is the fear of not being loved.
Society wants us to believe beauty is the primary requirement to find acceptance and love. And one of our greatest fears is not being loved.
The fear of not being loved is one of the most devestating emotions we can experience. Satan loves to cloud our judgment and convince us we need to change—we need to concentrate on fixing our “flaws” or lowering our standards in order to attract love. Fear causes us to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do or to participate in events we would ordinarily avoid. And, worst of all, fear keeps us from receiving many blessings God has ready for us.
God created us with a space in our souls that can only be filled by Him. He intended for us to seek His love about everything else. No one else’s love can fill that space. … When we serve God, He promises to meet our needs and fulfill our desires. That includes the need to be appreciated and loved by a man. God knows exactly the right person who can fulfill our hopes, our dreams, and our needs.
I once heard a Christian teacher say, “Don’t keep looking around for the right person to fall in love with. Run hard after God, and when you her footsteps beside you, look over to see who is running along beside you. He will probably be the person God has chosen for you to spend the rest of your life with—the one who will fulfill your need for human companionship and love.”
Until we conquer our fear of being solitary in a binary world, we will continue to be manipulated by society’s deceit. We need to give that fear to God and trust Him to fill our lives with His unlimited and ultimate blessings.
Did you know? Gwen says that according to a study, 8-to-12-year-old girls spend over $40 million a month on beauty products, and teenage girls spend another $100 million.
It breaks my heart to read another sentence further, that “the number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed on girls 18 and younger have nearly doubled over the past decade (Diaz 12).”
I went through and marked a few verses/passages in my Bible yesterday. Perhaps you’d like a peek?
Genesis 3 (Eve, temptation)
1 Samuel 17
Psalm 51 (Who wrote it? When?)
Isaiah 64:8 (Think about a potter. How much time & effort?)
Jonah 2:8-9 (Beauty can be an idol.)
Acts 3:1-9 (Imagine being that crippled man, before/during/after the healing. Emotions?)
Romans 8:38-39 (What separates us from God?)
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
1 Cor. 6:19
1 Cor. 10:21-22 (Now I look at it, I can’t remember why it was included.)
2 Cor. 5:21
1 Thess. 4:3-5
1 John 5:21
I know a bunch of those are about sin and immorality, not necessarily beauty. But Gwen does a great job of combining them and making everything flow. She explains the sin parts in relation to things that connect to society and standards of beauty in a way that I probably never could. I want to meet her and thank her for all the time and effort and prayer and everything she put into this book, I believe at her son’s request. I’m glad she agreed!! And I would definitely recommend More Beautiful You: A Study in True Beauty to women of any age! The song has impacted not only pre-teens, but grandmothers, too! If you can get your hands on a copy of the book, it’s worth the read!