By Michelle R. Welsh
It seems that many people want to be twenty-something, preferably the early twenties. Teenagers are trying to look older, and the older folk are trying to look younger. The twenties seem to be a time of healthful vigor, a time of new adventures such as graduating college, starting careers, traveling and doing things just because you have the time and freedom to, getting married, and starting families. As women, we have a slender body and pretty skin and hair. Our muscles are taut from being young and active.
But then as the decades pile up, our calorie intake is supposed to decrease just as our physical activity decreases. The hours in the day are filled with our work and caring for our families. Few of us are as active physically as we were in our teens and twenties. Then one day, we wake up to take on the day and discover that we have gray hair, wrinkles, and extra pounds. Some of us get discouraged because from many directions we are told what we need to do to look like someone we are not anymore. It may be through the visual or written media, through fashion, and even through people we know.
I’d like to stop this spiral. I wonder if the women of years gone by have felt the same, or if this is just a recent cultural phenomena. I even wonder if women in third world countries have been brainwashed this way, or if they are free to be confident in who they are regardless of age or weight.
I believe that the Lord wants us to be healthy so that means eating properly and getting some exercise, but we should not become obsessed with this and be ashamed of who we are and how we look.
I wonder who comes up with the sizes anyway. Have you ever wondered how a person can be a size zero since zero is nothing!?
In 1 Peter 3:3-5, it says, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.. . . You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”
True beauty is being the woman God made you to be, walking in His ways, doing what He has set for you to do to the best of your ability.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” This is from Isaiah 52:7. Romans 10:15 also speaks of how beautiful are the feet who bring good news.James 1:11 says, “For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.” Our youth also fades away while we go about our business.Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 says, “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.”
Youth and vigor are desirable, but they disappear through the years, slipping unnoticed. There are benefits of age, one of which is wisdom learned through a long life.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones,” says Proverbs 3:7-8.
We are given one body in this life, so we should take good care of it, but if it doesn’t look as it once did, we should remember that true beauty shines forth from within. Beautiful is the woman who works hard and brings up godly children, who stands with her husband and does her best to follow the Lord’s teachings. When she meets her Maker, He isn’t going to look at the size of her dress or her gray hair, but He is going to look at what she did, whom she touched.
May you see your true beauty as our sweet Jesus sees your beauty. Do your best to not listen to the devil’s lies. God LOVES you because you are His beautiful creation.
Michelle Welsh, the mother of five, has been home schooling for 12 years. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, reading and writing. She and her family reside in Brodhead, Wisconsin.