The Beauty Myth
Western culture bombards us with them constantly: slim figures, pouty lips, perfectly straight hair, smoldering eyes... the list goes on and on. Young women are pressured to look and dress a certain way in order to be accepted as "beautiful." So many young women (including myself once) have accepted the lie that you must look a certain way to be beautiful.
Ladies, we must not believe this lie that Satan tells us. By putting our focus on outward appearances, we take our eyes on what matters -- the heart.
Do not let your adornment be merely outward --— arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
Satan wants us to focus on our outward appearances in order to take our eyes off of Christ.
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
Why do we care so much that we have to be beautiful? Every woman has a deeply rooted desire to be loved and appreciated by a man. So many women will go to extraordinary lengths to obtain this appreciation -- even if it literally means killing themselves. We go to such great lengths to produce a physical appearance that the world defines as "beautiful" in order to be loved -- only to find utter shallowness and low self-worth.
This is what drives so many young women to eating disorders. Ladies, this is wrong. Period. I know from personal experience that starving yourself and/or binging is the wrong way to lose weight. You are hurting your body, which is a temple of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19). Let me give you examples of what can happen to your body.
Anorexia -- when you consistently starve yourself of vital nutrients found in food, you begin to deplete your muscle tissue (a very bad thing) and can even sterilize yourself (an even worse thing).
Bulemia -- consistent vomiting will severely damage the lining of your esophagus and eventually you will not be able to stop vomiting (even if you want to). You can give yourself Acid Reflux. Recovery is slow, frustrating, and often painful.
At the age of fifteen, I weighed nearly twice what a girl of my small bone structure and height should have weighed. I really did need to lose weight for medical reasons, but my desire was to be skinny and "pretty," not to be just healthy. Purging after excessive eating was not the answer to my problem -- in fact, in only added to my problem. After two months of this, I grew tired of vomiting and wanted to stop -- but I couldn't. The lining of my esophagus was already so badly damaged that I vomited every time I ate -- regardless of whether I wanted to or not. It took medication and years of recovery to repair my body. Even though it's been years, I am still paying the consequences with acid reflux. Acidic foods still make me nauseous.
Seven months ago, I finally began to handle my weight the right way with healthy eating and exercise. Losing weight is not easy for me, but up to date I have lost 35 pounds and three clothing sizes. It can be done, but it takes discipline and dedication to keep your body healthy. I did not set a goal weight, because losing weight is not my goal. My goal is to be healthy so that I can serve God to the best of my ability.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23)
Take a look at the Proverbs 31 woman. Not once is her physical appearance praised or even mentioned -- it is her godly character that is exalted. Also remember that a man will never complete you -- only your heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, can complete you and love you with perfect love.