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Do You Think I’m Beautiful?

Most women tend toward one of two poles when it comes to handling their desire for beauty.  We either become beauty-obsessed or bury the desire under an “I-don’t-care-about-externals” façade.  At one extreme, all the products, the clothes, the accessories, the fitness classes, the highlights, the toned body, and the pursuit of the wrinkle-less face can consume our lives (or at least our thought lives).  At the other extreme, we may give up on beauty either in reaction to an inability to live up to the culture’s preposterous standards or because perhaps we’ve been told we don’t possess much beauty.  We may hide behind “serving,” avoid speaking up in groups (thinking that we have little to contribute), and tend toward letting ourselves go.  The latter can appear to be the more spiritual approach.  The problem, however, is that the denial of our desire for beauty doesn’t make it go away and robs us of intimacy with God. God designed women with a deep-seated question: “Do you think I’m beautiful?”
Many of us twirled and sang loudly and ran hard on the soccer field and brushed our hair and put on a tutu and made straight As and did all of our chores and baked a cake…and we were crying out in the only ways our little girl souls knew how – Am I lovely to you?  Am I enough to grab your attention and hold it?  Am I desirable?  And we received a variety of answers…
Wouldn’t you agree that in your most honest, vulnerable, real moments…moments when the longings of your soul aren’t crowded out by the noise of the world around you…that the little girl is still inside asking the same question.  We want to know – Do you think I’m beautiful?  Do you desire me?  Am I worthy of your gaze?  It’s a deep, pervasive desire that feels hard-wired in us.
I’m learning that it is imperative for women to reject either of the extremes and instead choose honest worship. Being honest about our desire for beauty is essential.  Our voracious desire leads us to a place of desperation; our unfulfilled longings thrust us into the arms of God.  As designed, our search leads us to the author of Beauty – God Himself.
Beauty is so attractive to us because God made us to enjoy it.  As my pastor says, “What God most wants from you is not your service – it’s your gaze.”   Isn’t that true of two lovers?  My husband serves me so well and takes such good care of me, but there has never been a moment that I was more sure of his delight in me than when I saw tears streaming down his face as I walked down the long aisle to meet him at the alter on our wedding day.  Nothing could have thrilled my soul more than his gaze.  God isn’t looking for your work.  He’s after your worship.
We are beautiful because we’re image bearers of the most beautiful, captivating, head-turning Being in the universe.  God’s beauty is literally worship-inducing!  I invite you to gaze upon the beauty of your Bridegroom and bask in his mind-boggling adoration of the beauty He gave you.
Ashlee Johnson

Ashlee is the wife of a pastor, mom of two busy little ones, and a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Seminary. She is passionate about communicating the truths of Scripture to women and magnifying Jesus as the All-Satisfying Treasure and Almighty Redeemer. She has lived in North Carolina for most of her life and loves making the most of the sidewalks and parks in her 1940s neighborhood. Ashlee enjoys healthy eating and exercising, but finds it nearly impossible to resist homemade cookies!

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