From as far back as I can remember, there has always been such joy associated with getting dressed up with my mom and grandmas for tea parties. The thrill of shopping for the perfect “twirling” dress and “princess” shoes to go with it was always part of the whole experience. When we were small,twin my sister and I didn’t question whether or not we were beautiful, because surrounded by the love of our mom, dad, grandpas and grandmas, we just knew we were. Yet, like most girls, as we grew older this assurance started to fade.
Like other girls and women, we long to be beautiful and even though we are surrounded by godly women who daily set us an example of true beauty, by the time our teen years drew near, doubt began to invade our self image. Like generations of women before, the lie was whispered in our ears that we weren’t as beautiful as “so and so.”
But let’s take a step back, because I think it’s important to realize that this lie that is told to us, hasn’t been told to just you or me. Way back at the beginning of creation God created us in His image, each one of us as a woman, was created in God’s image! Just look out at the majestic mountains or the colorful little butterfly and know that the same creator who made those beautiful creations, loved you so much that He not only fashioned your innermost being, but He did it in His own image!
This beauty isn’t one that can only be seen on the outside, as the world would have us to believe. It is a beauty that radiates from the inside out. It is “the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit.” It isn’t a beauty created by “outward adornment,” but rather one that shines forth from our very spirit. It isn’t subject to whether or not we eat the “right” foods, put on the most “stylish” clothes or are wearing the “perfectly” applied makeup.
Yet all too soon, we begin to succumb to believing this at one point or another and it isn’t an accident. When we start believing we aren’t beautiful and start striving after all the things the world says we need in order to be beautiful, we have allowed the enemy to attack us as women. By making us believe we aren’t beautiful, the enemy is not only attacking our self image, but also our ability to shine forth God’s love from the inside, from our very souls. Ephisians 6:12 says, “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Knowing that our beauty is rooted in something deeper and more lasting, my friend and I still asked “do we believe it enough to live it out?” Although we thought that we truly believed our beauty radiated as a reflection of our Lord from the inside out, if we couldn’t live it out, we knew there was a problem. Neither of us wear a lot of makeup and we both strive to dress in a becoming and modest manner. Yet we decided that for one week we wouldn’t wear any makeup. If we had a mask that we put on each morning to try and make ourselves beautiful to the world’s standard, we knew it might be our makeup.
Don’t get me wrong, makeup isn’t the issue here, but it can be a tool used by us as women to hide behind our fears that we don’t measure up and aren’t beautiful enough. As we use the concealers and masterfully wield touch up brushes each morning, we first must find our “imperfections” and then hide them. So for one week, we were going to eliminate this area where we so easily criticized ourselves and hid behind layers of powders, by not wearing any makeup at all.
I’ll be honest,, although I intentionally don’t wear much makeup it was frightening waking up Monday morning and not putting on any concealer to hide the zits and the blush to conceal my pale complexion. Both of us agreed that as we left the house to go out in public, we missed that extra boost of confidence putting on that little bit of makeup gave us. You know, that the feeling touching up the eye shadow and putting on the touch of lipstick to complete the beautiful image you are trying to capture, right before you go out of the house to face a world that you want to feel beautiful in.
As the week continued, we each had days where we would be seeing many of our friends and I personally thought Wednesday would be one of my toughest days, as I was going to speak in front of a group of at least 30 others without any make up. Nothing was going to hide the “imperfections,” mainly those pesky zits, that despite my best efforts, continue to appear on my face. As Wednesday came and went, I was a bit surprised at how little I actually thought about the fact that I wasn’t wearing makeup. I was so caught up in conversing with friends and speaking in front of the crowd that I had little time to think about whether or not I had make up on.
On Thursday, what I believe was one of my friends hardest days of going without makeup, she was surprised and delighted to find out that her boyfriend hadn’t even noticed and even when he did find out, he thought she was still just as beautiful as with makeup! As the week wore on, it slowly became easier not to wear makeup and I even began to sort of like the feeling of not having anything on my face to worry about smudging or touching up.
As the end of the week drew near, we both learned that indeed we could go without makeup! We could even go a week without makeup in a world where women are quick to say (myself included) “I can’t go out looking like this! I don’t even have makeup on!” Looking back over our week, we both found out that we could not only live out it, but that 1 Peter chapter 3 verses 3-4 say “3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, 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.” we could also do it without makeup!
After the week was over, I did go back to wearing makeup but I almost put it on reluctantly as I knew it wasn’t where my beauty was coming from! Besides, when I wasn’t wearing, it I had an extra 5-10 minutes each day that I would have normally used to apply it. All in all, it wasn’t that wearing makeup was wrong, just like wearing a pretty skirt to church isn’t. It was about the fact that neither of us wanted makeup to become something that came between us and God and hid our true beauty that daily grows more beautiful as we seek the Lord and continue to live our lives for Him.
So remember, God created each of of us in His image, an image that was so beautiful that Moses could only glimpse the back of God and then had to wear a veil because just glimpsing God’s beauty made his face radiate. The enemy knows that when we are confident in the beauty God gave us, we can go and accomplish great things for God’s kingdom. Thus, next time the lie that you aren’t beautiful is whispered in your ear, remember you where created in the image of God, beautiful, just as you are!
PS If you would like to take the “1 Week Make Up Free Challenge,” please leave a comment that you are doing so and we will pray for you. Don’t forget to come back and leave another comment as to what God taught you on your journey of seeking His beauty in your life♥