A Letter to My Granddaughters; Part 2

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Dear Riley, Hannah, Noelle, and Haley,

Do you remember when we went to see the play Beauty and the Beast and the important lesson that Belle learned? As you know, the beast was ugly and mean until he learned how to love others more than he loved himself. And what happened when he did? Instead of seeing his scary face, Belle began to see his beautiful heart. And when she began to love him because of his changed heart, he became a handsome prince!  While this is just a make believe story, there is an important truth we can learn from it. But let’s start by talking about where beauty originates from.

In Psalm 27:4, David said that the one thing he desired more than anything else was to be with God all His life and to gaze upon His beauty.  Pastor John Piper says: “God created the world to put His beauty on display.”  He paints sunrises and sunsets that take our breath away. He decorates His world with beautiful flowers of all colors, trees of every kind, and oceans vast and deep. God created animals, fish, and birds, and everything else. Yet the Bible says His best work was creating man in His own image to have a relationship with Him.

In the book of Genesis we learn that, rather than making all people the same,  God created us male and female, that we might glorify Him by  reflecting His character according to the way He formed us. Girls, while all people have equal worth in God’s eyes, He has uniquely designed you to display His beauty  and you will increasingly do that as you come to know and love Him!

Sadly, while God made everything good, sin marred God’s creation (you can read about that in Genesis 3). Simply stated, being a sinner means that we love ourselves above everyone else (including God) and, besides wanting to be in charge of our own lives, we want the glory that only God deserves. When we don’t get what we want we are quick to whine, complain, lie,  get angry, or even reject God! Sin is a power inside of us that is too strong for us to overcome, but our faithful God made a way to rescue us by sending His own Son.  Jesus Christ took on human flesh, lived a life fully submitted to His Father’s will,  perfectly obeyed God’s laws, and then died on a Cross to pay the penalty for our sin. Since He took the punishment we deserve, setting us free from the power sin has over us, we call this Good News the Gospel.

When Jesus is our Lord and Savior and we submit to His authority with full confidence that He does all things out of love for us; we are on our way to becoming beautiful the way God created us to be.  Here is what the Bible says is the difference between worldly beauty and beauty in God’s eyes:

  • The world defines beauty by what people look like on the outside, but true beauty flows out of a woman who fears the Lord (Proverbs 31:30). As we worship God and gaze upon His beauty we become increasingly beautiful to God and others. Wise women understand that while God is merciful and good, one day He will judge every person’s heart in the light of His holiness and only those who are in Christ will be able to stand. When we truly understand the gospel, our response will be joyful obedience to the ways God directs us to live as daughters. We won’t even try to pretend we are perfect anymore because we now understand that, while we are more sinful and flawed than we ever believed, through Christ, we are more deeply loved and accepted by God than we ever dared to hope. As we look trustingly to Him through His Word, His beauty shines through us.
  • The world says that women should be self-sufficient, independent, and demand their rights, but God’s Word says that a gentle and quiet spirit is precious in His sight (1 Peter 3). I used to think that meant you could never speak up or voice your own opinion. But a gentle and quiet spirit flows from a pure or undivided heart. It speaks of a person whose every desire is united with Christ’s good purpose for her life. This woman has stopped trying to prove, promote, or make much of herself because she has put her hope in God and not man. We display God’s glory when we trust Him to fight for us rather than battling for power and control with our own resources. God knows that when we put our confidence in Him, we’ll have peace.
  • The world sees submission as weakness, but God says submission flows out of our confession of the gospel and glorifies Him  (2 Corinthian 9:13). Submission commands us to respect the authority structure that God has put into place and, while it does not mean that we should just stand by while someone uses their authority to abuse others, it  will often require dying to self rather than insisting on our own way.
  • The world assigns value according to its own standards of success,  but God says, “Beautiful are the feet that bring the Good News of the Gospel to others.” (Romans 10:15). The more we preach the gospel to ourselves and others, the more we will emit the fragrance of Christ. Breathe grace in and you will breathe grace out. That, my precious girls will make you beautiful.
  • True beauty grows as we understand that being created as a helper is not a less important role than being the head but is a privilege and calling to partner with Almighty God to accomplish His purposes (Genesis 1:27; 2:18; Psalm 121:1-2). As we recognize that one of God’s attributes is Helper, we begin to see that we reflect God’s beauty most when we are serving others in His name.

Remember that God created you for a love relationship with Him. He created you to display His beauty through your words, attitudes and actions. But none of us can do that apart from Christ who came to rescue us from making  much of ourselves so that we can increasingly make much of Him.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you,

Love, Grandma

 


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