For the ladies…..and the gents

By now (if I haven’t managed to give it away), I am female.

This may take an awkward turn, but please bear with me…..

One of my goals this year is to take better care of my skin. I already have a regimen. For those who do not know, a regimen is a routine that you follow. It does not have to be daily or even weekly. It could even be monthly. The idea is that you intentionally do something specific frequently and according to your timeline in order to consistently achieve certain results. It could simply be termed as a timetable. So, for the ladies, (please help the brethren over here), when it comes to my skin, there is a time to cleanse, exfoliate, do a mask, moisturize, massage, scrub, etc my face. The previous post talked about discipline. So you can imagine with such regimens how much my mettle to stay on course is being tested.

Now, what is this information for?

Today, as I calculated how I had to cleanse then exfoliate and moisturize, I took a pause and looked in the mirror. I saw the improvement in my skin so far, and I was happy. I remembered a time when I cared less about my oversensitive skin. All I would do was wash my face with plain bar soap in the morning like in that nursery school rhyme:

“The sun is there, up in the sky, I wake up in the morning, I wash my face……”

then put on the same lotion I use for the rest of my body and leave the house. There was no elaborate way to handle my skin. In that momentary pause I thought to myself about those two people: the one who cares for their skin and the one who cares less and it made me think about beauty.

Had I not bothered about beauty in those earlier days? Did I suddenly not feel beautiful enough and had to start taking care of my face so I could improve my appeal?

And the answer to both was no.

While the world has done a good job drilling the image of the perfect woman into us, by God’s grace and purely by that, my identity is neither my face nor my body, BUT Christ. There was an awakening in me to call upon the ladies…..and the gents to make the world’s version of beauty of no effect. We need to rebel against the system. Now, now. Before we all start chanting, I am not calling for us to take to the streets with placards having pictures of models with a big ‘X’ marked to show that we refuse this standard. Instead, my challenge is to dig into the Word of God and find out what He says about beauty.

Proverbs 31:30

Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth The Lord, she shall be praised. (KJV)

1st Peter 3:3-4

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (NLT)

Read it, internalize it, meditate on it, live by it. After all, the transformation by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2) can only be by the Word; it can only be by receiving the mind of Christ.

The beauty of a woman is not in her complexion, her figure, her flawless skin, her jewelry, her hair, her clothes, etc. in fact, KJV puts 1st Peter 3:3 nicely: Let not your beauty arise from. My understanding of that is that the outward should not be the source of our beauty, because then it is only skin deep. Going by the thickness of our dermis, that is pretty shallow. Our source, The Alpha and Omega, remains our source even in matters beauty. Proverbs says that if we fear Him then we are to be praised. 1st Peter says that a gentle and quiet spirit is precious to God and is thus more beautiful than any outward adornment. Let your source be God. Let your sauce be God.

That’s not to say that outward adornment is sin; not at all. We can still take care of our skins, have our piercings and wear our jewelry, rock our high heels, flats or sandals and wear our pretty dresses or rugged jeans and a t-shirt. We can just oil our faces and leave or go further and wear our make up and get all glitz and glamour. We can opt to plait elaborate hairstyles or just hold our natural hair in a bun. It does not make us any less Christian. It does not make us any less confident in our position in Christ. It does not make us insecure. It does not make us worldly. It does not make us people-pleasers. It does not make us vain, humble or proud. But the catch is that it does not make us any of that as long as God remains our source.

The gents may be wondering what part they play (assuming they got this far into the post. Haha!) Our affirmation does not lie in you, it lies in Christ. Do not take up the burden of trying to prove to us that we are beautiful. Instead, direct us to Christ. For as long as we draw affirmation from you, we are dependent on your opinions, no matter how right or flawed they may be. Pray for us, encourage us, but instead of taking up that burden, direct us to Christ and leave us at His feet. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying don’t give your wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers and cousins compliments. By all means, please do! All I am saying is that, even when we do discover (for those who are on that journey) that we are beautiful because we saw what you see in us, let it be ultimately because what we saw through your eyes is what you see through Christ’s eyes; ideally, you still lead us to Christ, our source.

Grace and peace fam!

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