The Core of Your Beauty

The size, shape, and weight of my body are not the core of my beauty.

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I wrote this statement on an index card labelled Prayer for Myself.  I wrote it because so often I find myself attempting to value my beauty on the size, shape and weight of my body.    Read the statement again and see if it resonates with you in any way.

The size, shape, and weight of my body are not the core of my beauty.

I had a feeling of certainty today that I am not the only one who feels pressure to value my beauty by external measures.  So my dear reader, please know right from the beginning the size, shape, and weight of your body are not the core of your beauty.

“The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”  Psalm 45:11 (NIV)

This is the Bible verse that I wrote with the above statement on my prayer card.

It is the “enthralled by your beauty” that sticks with me the most.  Lines like this one are the stuff that fairy tales and romance novels pop up for us and are served in massive tubs sprinkled with salt, soaked extra butter.  It tastes so good, but stales so quickly.

What I wouldn’t give to have someone be enthralled by my beauty…

My beauty.  My beauty.  Perhaps beauty was something that I had during a younger period in my life.  Beauty, shiny and new, that I did not even appreciate at the time.  Beauty that has dulled with age, the vibrant shimmer softened to a more muted glow.

How could anyone be enthralled by me?  It is certainly not the stretch marks, cellulite, muffin top, or my chubby arms that will keep one captivated.  Those are the things that make you close your eyes and look away quickly.  It is not pretty.

See how quick I am to equate beauty to the size, shape and weight of my body?  Do you ever do that?

A Deep Longing

There is a great desire in my heart to have someone be enthralled, enchanted, captivated and absolutely absorbed in my beauty.  There is a deep longing to have focused attention poured onto me and into my life.  Not just for the things that I know will continue their gradual fading away, but for something more.

Here is the thing that catches me, while “enthralled by your beauty” sounds like a line out of the latest romance blockbuster, it is not.  It is taken right out of Psalm 45.  If the surface definition of beauty (weight, size, shape) causes the sentiment to stale quickly, then what is the deeper definition of beauty that causes this sentiment to endure?

What is a Core?

What is a core?  Easy question, right?  The core is the middle.  It is the center, the nucleus.  It is the foundation and the heart.  Webster.com offers up many definitions of the word core, but there were two I found most intriguing.  Core is defined as the “most intimate part” and also defined as the “basic, essential and enduring part.”  

This led me to ask two questions.  What is the most intimate part of my beauty?  What is the enduring part of my beauty?

The Intimate Part

What is the most intimate part of my beauty?

“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.”  1 Peter 3:4 (NIV).

A few years ago I was working on a project.  I had to answer the question “what are three words others would use to describe me?”  So I surveyed twenty people I knew to see what their answers would be.  I compiled a list, which I go back to occasionally for my own personal encouragement.  As I reviewed the list today, it just dawned on me that only one word out of the 60 words was more external than internal…the word “smiling.”

Encourager.  Kind.  Generous.  Thoughtful.  Loving.  Engaging.  Intuitive.  Friendly.  Faithful.  God centered.

That’s it!  That is my answer right there to the first question.  What are the most intimate parts of my beauty?  Those things that describe my inner self.  Encourager.  Kind.  Generous.  Thoughtful.  Loving.  Engaging.  Intuitive.  Friendly.  Faithful.  God centered.

My dear reader, pause for a moment.  What are the most intimate parts of your beauty?  What are the traits that describe your inner self?  If you are not sure, ask others what are the three words they would use to describe you?

The Enduring Part

What is the enduring part of my beauty?  This is the second question I was asking myself.  What parts about my beauty will be lasting?

Clearly it is not external.  The size, shape and weight of my body.  Those things can vary so dramatically over time.  What will continue into the future?  What will be around for the long term?  What will carry forward into eternity?

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

Love.  Love is an attribute of God.  As an attribute of God, it will carry forward for all of eternity.  Love will be the enduring part of my beauty.

What if I replaced the word love for the word beauty in the verse from Psalm 45:11 (NIV)

“The king is enthralled by your love; honor him, for he is your lord.” 

Love is the core of my beauty.

Love & Squishy Tummies

One time I was snuggling on the couch with my precious daughter.  I can’t remember exactly how old she was, perhaps five or six at the time.  We were all cuddled up watching a movie when she suddenly said to me, “Someday when I grow up, I hope I am a mom who has a squishy tummy like you do.  Squishy tummies are good for snuggles.”

My daughter spoke truth in love.  It is now an enduring sentiment in my heart.  While my insecurities scream that I should feel bad about this statement and add some extra ab work to my weekly to-do list, that snuggle time is a treasure I will forever cherish.  It was a moment of love shared between a mother and a daughter, a moment of enthralling beauty.

Beloved Lord,

Thank You so much for using a poem written for a king, to also illustrate Your love for us as believers.  Thank you for giving the words such depth and meaning.  Thank you for keeping all of us on a path where we can continue to gain wisdom and understanding over time.  Thank you for the way our struggles can reveal deeper meanings and help us to move forward.

Lord, there are so many strong influences out there that stress body size, shape and weight.  While it is true that we should be good stewards of what You have given us, we should not overvalue that which is fading externally, undervaluing that which endures internally. 

Lord, shape our characters and form our hearts to make us loving, the core of our beauty made strong by Your hands.   May that love be enthralling to You and may it be captivating to others.  May we generously and lavishly share the love that You have given us, shining our beauty for all to see.

In the name of Jesus whose beauty is most enthralling, amen. 

 

 

 

 

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