Dear Riley, Hannah, Noelle, and Haley,
I thank God that He has blessed me with four granddaughters who have already brought such joy into my life! I love watching you twirl in pretty dresses, giggle, sing, and play with imagination as you begin to discover the world around you. But, more than anything, I pray that you will come to know, love, and obey Jesus Christ, who created you and gives purpose for your lives.
Your unique personalities are already emerging, revealing girls who are sensitive, thoughtful, creative, helpful, and full of life and emotion. Though you express yourselves differently, your female design is intrinsically woven in all you do. Yet, even as I delight in watching your distinctively female qualities emerge, I am driven to my knees, knowing that the world is bent on stamping an identity on you that has little to do with any relationship to God.
You see, while it’s natural for you to want to wear pretty dresses and look lovely, you are growing up in a culture that is obsessed with physical beauty, while paying little attention to purity of heart from which true beauty flows. We are bombarded with images of counterfeit beauty that are both superficial and illusive through television, magazines, billboards, computers, and movies. While a perfectly proportioned figure, flawless skin, and a young and healthy body are highly esteemed in the world, and billions of dollars are spent on cosmetic surgery, beauty products, and diet fads, women are sadly still left chasing the perfect image they believe will make them happy.
Oh sweet girls, how I wish I could protect you from the enormous pressure the world will put on you to be beautiful according to its own definition. But even if that was possible, you and I have a far greater enemy than the false messages we breathe in every day. Our most dangerous enemy is the sin nature we were born with that makes us obsessed with ourselves. You see, what I’ve come to realize is that the world is simply telling us what, by nature, we want to hear, and that’s how to write our own story of glory apart from Christ.
I confess that, while I know the world’s standard of beauty is built on a lie and God’s Word has taught me what true beauty is, at times I still feel the power of this deception in my own life. We can subtly drift from a right desire to dress in a way that enhances our beauty for the glory of God, to using clothes as a means of calling attention to ourselves. We can easily be blinded when a good desire to take care of our bodies becomes an obsession to be thin and work out incessantly. King Solomon called this vanity, a chasing of the wind! Indeed, God created us for beauty, but it’s a beauty that comes from within and points others to Christ, not to ourselves.
Those who have believed that beauty equals happiness, fulfillment, and success have eventually learned (often in heartbreaking ways) that this is a lie leading to death. In the pursuit of outward beauty, countless women have fallen prey to depression, anorexia, bulimia, financial stress, failed relationships, and endless cycles of cosmetic surgery. The truth is, we will never be satisfied as long as we pursue beauty apart from God. Thankfully as we seek Christ, we begin to discover that the beauty we so long to reflect is found only in Him.
The gospel reminds us that Christ died to set us free from sin’s deception. offering us forgiveness and cleansing through heartfelt confession and repentance. This is such Good News that, rather than telling you all the things you should avoid in this dark and dangerous world, I want to lift your eyes to our wonderful Savior who has overcome the world.
I must close for now, but I can’t wait to tell you more about God’s desire and good plan to make you His beautiful Bride who will spend forever with Him!
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you.