Choosing Love: Defining Beauty

Okay, a day late and a dollar short, but here it is – my definition of beauty.  I thought long and hard and finally settled on writing a letter to the girls I love the most, because it seemed to be the easiest way for me to frame it in my mind.
——-

Precious Girls,

I worry about you. I worry about the culture you’re growing into. I worry about the messages that you receive about what makes you beautiful and what makes you worthy. I know your parents worry, too, because we’ve had the conversations about how much we love and care for you.

But I worry more than most, I think, because I know just how hard it is to dig yourself out of the hole once you’ve spent so long believing that you have to look a certain way to be beautiful. That you have to match up to some “ideal” to be worthy of time or care. You don’t, I assure you – and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. You are worthy of time and care because you are here. Because you are a beloved daughter of the most high King. You are worthy, dear hearts.

And you are beautiful.

Your confidence is beautiful.
Your perseverance is beautiful
Your honesty is beautiful.
Your generous heart is beautiful.
Your humour is beautiful.
Your passion is beautiful.
Your faith is beautiful.
The way you love is beautiful.
The way you trust is beautiful.

Do not lose those things. They are more important than any physical definition of beauty. And while we’re on the subject of physical beauty, if there were only one thing I could tell you, it would be this:

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you.” –Song of Solomon 4:7

No blemish. Please don’t mistake this to mean that you are “perfect” in your beauty in the way that the world would like you to believe “perfect” beauty exists. We all have quirks about our appearance.

To say that there is no blemish in you means that there is nothing – let me repeat that – NOTHING about your physical appearance that makes you any less than someone else. There is NOTHING about the way that you were created that spoils your appearance or makes you unlovely.

In fact, it is those very flaws that are the hallmarks of your beauty. Your beauty is not wrapped up in the fact that you are six feet tall with perfect skin and blonde hair and blue eyes – though perhaps that will be true for you, and you will, for a time, get by with relative ease in this culture. But there will come a day when you will see a “flaw” – something that those perfect, airbrushed models don’t have – and you will be faced with a choice. You can either believe the culture or believe the One who made you.

There is no blemish in you.

It is the scars from the times you fell off your bike that are precisely your beauty, because they tell the story of how you got up and kept going. It is the way that your left foot turns in ever so slightly, showing your perseverance and strength as you learned to walk. The way that your nose crinkles just before you sneeze is beauty. Your crooked smile. Your curly, kinky hair. Your long fingers. Your short toes. Your big hips. Your wide shoulders.

Beautiful.
Beautiful.
Beautiful.

Take care of that beauty, girls. Take care of those hips that love to shake and dance, and those legs that are strong and powerful as you run across the playground. Spend time every day acknowledging that you are beautiful now – not five pounds from now, not when you get your braces off, not when you grow a few more inches – NOW. Because you are, beautiful, my darlings – and you have to know that in the core of your being so you will not be shaken when the storms come.

They will come – maybe sooner, maybe later – but they will come. And when they come, you have to be able to stand solidly in the middle of them and know who and what you are. You have to be able to look the storms in the face and tell them that you are a daughter of the King. That you are beautiful and there is no blemish in you. You have to be able to hide that truth in your heart and guard it with your life.

That is my prayer for you, sweet girls.

I love you.
You are beautiful.

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