We are nearing the end of this Feel Beautiful series, but I definitely haven’t run out of favorite marriage bloggers talking on this subject. And each has something special to add to this conversation.
Today we have Bonny Logsdon Burns, who runs the Oyster Bed 7 site with lower-drive wives in mind. Her outreach for godly marital intimacy is amazing, and she has a compassionate heart for those who struggle with libido. She’s delightful in so many ways, and I can’t wait to share what she has to say on feeling beautiful. So here it is!
I love this series. I feel more beautiful already! The wisdom in each guest post is as unique as the author’s brand of beauty. Thank you, J, for allowing me to accompany all these great encouragers!
For a long while I was not in a good place with sexual intimacy and part of the struggle was trying to reconcile the inner beauty/outer beauty mindset. Scripture seemed to tell me inner beauty was the only thing of value. However, my husband likes me wearing makeup and nice things, which involved my outer beauty. And honestly, I felt better about myself when I spent time on my outer beauty. But, wasn’t this focus on outer beauty a sin?
Can I be both Mother Theresa and Marilyn Monroe (the faithfully married kind)? Is that OK with God? If so, how does that work?
1 Samuel 16:7, “…..The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
It is interesting to me that in verse 7 of 1 Samuel 16 (above), it says the Lord does not look at outward appearance as a man. Yet, just 4 verses down we read:
1 Samuel 16:12 — “He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.”
Then, I saw all of these heroes and heroines of God described as having physical beauty.
Sarah (Gen. 12:11)
Rebekah (Gen. 24:16)
Rachel (Gen. 29:17)
Abigail (1 Sam. 25:3)
Esther (Esther 2:7)
David (1 Sam. 16:12)
Joseph (Gen. 39:6)
God is not against physical beauty.
1 Peter 3:3-4, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment….rather it should be that of your inner self….”
Peter isn’t condemning a woman’s outer beauty. He is saying do not make it a pre-occupation. (Actually, the whole section is about how a believing wife can win an unbelieving husband over to Christ with the beauty of her way.) Christian women are encouraged to develop inner spiritual beauty. I don’t refute that.
However, God is not against outer beauty. He created original eye-candy! He painted lovely even in normal stuff. See?
In the midst of trying to figure out the balance of inner beauty versus outer beauty, I realized inner beauty and outer beauty are like hydrogen and oxygen. Meld them together and create life giving water, H20. InnerBeauty2OuterBeauty. You see, the inner beauty needs twice the nurturing, but outer beauty is still important and a blessing from God. So, yeah, I think it’s okay to be both Mother Theresa and a faithfully married Marilyn Monroe.
Knowing that God created beauty, why is it still hard to embrace beautiful?
Saying that you feel beautiful does not mean that you are arrogant or vain.
Vanity desires to be physically beautiful at all costs. There is no thought to serve any other than yourself. I would venture to go as far as to say it is similar to an addiction, being consumed with thoughts of the mirror and the desire to hear compliments.
Feeling your beauty, will not make you vain, unless you let it.
What if I start letting myself feel beautiful and rejection jumps out of nowhere to trample my heart? This is a real possibility. Your brand of outer beauty isn’t going to appeal to everyone. Just like your brand of inner beauty, having a heart soaked in Jesus, isn’t going to appeal to everyone.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:18).
However, both your outer beauty and inner beauty are pleasing to God. He’s really the only opinion that matters.
Beautiful girls can feel beautiful, too.
Accepting that you have pleasant physical features does not mean you are haughty. It’s acknowledging that God is a better designer than Louis Vuitton, Coco Chanel, and Christian Dior combined.
Beautiful Christian ladies who realize their beauty, may experience guilt, shame, or confusion because of it.
My personal story of confusion is from when I was a child. Because of my coloring; black hair, blue eyes, and fair skin; people stared at me. Occasionally, my mother would cluck her tongue at these people (usually boys) and yank me away. I thought they were staring because of something wrong with me. I didn’t know that people stared when something was good, too. It wasn’t until one of my sisters told me I was, ‘such a beautiful child people stared,’ I realized what all the yanking was about.
You may experience guilt over undue attention or guilt for enjoying the undue attention. The attention is a little nod from God. It’s okay to delight in it for a moment.
You may experience shame that men other than your husband notice or shame that your beauty was the (perceived) cause of sexual abuse (it was not your fault!).
Gorgeous Jesus girls, embrace your God given beauty! He wanted you to look the way you look. If you are actively nurturing your inner Jesus beauty, free yourself from the heavy thought that you are causing another to sin with your outer beauty. Their heart and lack of self-control is what is causing their sin.
Christ’s freedom will help you feel beautiful.
“Through faith in Jesus we have received God’s grace. In that grace we stand. We are full of joy because we expect to share in God’s glory.” (Romans 5:2).
He gave you your beauty so that you can use it to serve HIM more fully.
Admit you’re feeling beautiful, what’s the worst that could happen?
You’ll feel fabulous.
When you start to feel beautiful you might want to take care of that temple you’ve been hauling around all your life. Drink more water, less caffeine/sugar. Eat more fresh food, less processed. Get more sleep and don’t say mean things to yourself. Dance, or at least take a nice long walk. All of this will spill over into feeling beautiful and liking it.
You’ll feel empowered.
Satan uses our negative self-image and negative self-value as a hurdle to many things, including sexual intimacy. Owning your inner beauty and outer beauty chases Satan away and can improve sexual conflict. There’s nothing more attractive than a beautiful woman with beautiful ways about her.
Jesus will be heard.
The reality is, our society values outward appearance. Your pretty face and warmth of heart will help draw people to you. Once they pick up on your hope, you’ll be able to share the story of your favorite designer, Jesus.
“..I have become all things to all people so that in all possible ways I might save some. I do all of that because of the good news. I want to share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
Hi! I’m Bonny Logsdon Burns. I write to encourage the low libido wife at www.OysterBed7.com. I am passionate about empowering and equipping low-libido wives through God’s Word and practical tools. If you are a low-libido wife, please check out my book, Unlock Your Libido: 52-Week Sex Drive Transformation. It’s an easy journey that may have profound results.
My husband, Dave, and I are candid about struggles and victories in the sexual arena. We have three grown sons, two daughter-in-loves, and one sweetpea (granddaughter). My favorite thing to do is laugh at Dave’s corny jokes. We are currently relocating to south Florida, please pray for us because we’re living the notion that major relocations cause serious stress. Connect with me through Twitter and Facebook.