Lie #1: Love and Worth are Based on Physical Appearance

**Warning: A lot of rambling thoughts happen in this entry**

This lie has stumped me for weeks. I so badly want a bible verse that says, “your physical appearance is not what defines you, gives you worth, or love.”

The closest thing I can find (and it’s pretty close) is 1 Peter 3:3-4

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 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.”

Ok, so this verse pretty much says that God doesn’t find worth in outward adornment, but in the unfading beauty of the inner self.

Basically, love and worth are not based on physical appearance to God…but what about humans?

1 Samuel 16:7 says, “7 But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

Cool. So God doesn’t care about my physical appearance, but humans do. So, here is my issue: Now I have to decide if God’s love is enough for me. What about my what my husband thinks of me? My husband says he will love me unconditionally, and I truly believe he will try his best to do so, but he isn’t blind to the physical beauty of others or my physical potential. I often wonder if there is ever a tiny part of him that wishes I looked more like “her” or had less of “that” or whatever. If he came across a power to change my physical appearance without anyone knowing he did it, would he? And now I have to sit back and say, “that doesn’t matter to me, because God thinks I’m beautiful because of my heart and inner stuff.”

So much of me has a hard time with this. I want to be beautiful…physically beautiful.

Does God create ugly people? Are any of his children physically ugly in his sight? Or is he so beyond that, that he doesn’t even see it? He must see it, I mean, he is God, he sees everything. I don’t know! All I know is, I still want to be physically attractive! Part of me sees that I have physical beauty, but goodness gracious is my physical appearance a fragile thing. Every day I feel like I get 10 more gray hairs, another hint of a second chin, and about 50 dark and coarse chin hairs. The patches of cellulite grow. The varicose veins show. And I can’t help but feel sorrow over the little wrinkles and sags around my once very perky breasts. All things, that for some reason, I think mark my diminishing beauty.

So I guess the problem isn’t really that I’m believing a lie; I mean in the context of humans it’s partially true. Not ALL love and worth come from physical appearance, but we certainly do value physical appearance very highly. The problem is that I don’t believe that God’s love is enough for me. It WOULD be a lie to say, “God loves me and values me based on my physical appearance.” But that’s not the love and value I’m worried about.

I know God loves me. He says it a bazillion times in the bible. He shows it in a bazillion ways in the bible. He has shown me personally how much he loves me. And for a while it was enough. For a while I was completely lost in it (in the best way). I was immersed in it. I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus; I was like a middle school girl who wanted to talk about her crush all the time, especially since he like-liked me back!! And it didn’t matter if my husband thought I was beautiful (it still felt good to hear it), because I knew God was totally in love with me and that was better than anything ever. So when did it not become enough? When did I start worrying again? How did I let this amazing love evaporate?

The problem now is that I WANT love based on my physical appearance and I simultaneously dread it at the same time. But my brain knows that wanting to be loved for my physical appearance won’t bring me what I truly want: true, everlasting, completely sustainable, unconditional love.

I mean, is it even possible to truly love someone based on their physical appearance alone? I am brought back to this question once again, “what is love?” Maybe lie #1 really is a lie because maybe real love is only possible for God. So maybe love really doesn’t have anything to do with physical appearance after all. And the love that we humans try to be a part of is only love in part. We can’t get it quite right, not on this side of heaven, anyway.

1 Corinthians 13 (the love verses) don’t say anything about love being connected to physical appearance. Maybe my issue is that I give and withhold my love of others based on THEIR physical appearance, and thus perpetuate an incorrect belief about love. But who really wants to admit to something so shallow? I’m scared to even look for a behavior like that in myself.

Why is it every time I start to write a blog that should have a simple answer to it, I end up with more questions?

All I wanted was a simple bible verse I could memorize and tape to my mirror to remind me that my physical appearance was not what made me love-able. And now I see I need something so much greater than that! I need an attitude adjustment! I need to demolish some really ugly structures in my life all based on physical appearance.

Oh Lord Jesus come! Help me. I need you. I need to be more like you. I need to love like you. Help me to want to love like you. Help me to see with your eyes. Help me to stop judging others based on their physical appearances. Can you do like a “Shallow Hal” thing to my eyes and mind. Let me see my brothers and sisters as you see them? Thanks for loving me even though I judge your children. Thanks for exposing this ugliness in me. Thanks for thinking I’m special and worthy just because I am me. I love you. Amen. 

An Object to Be Saved

Chosen.

It’s not a word I ever relate to myself. I don’t really understand how I could ever be chosen. That’s a big problem isn’t it? Excuse me for wanting to shift the blame, I know that’s not the way to go, but I just need to get this out, I need to put words to my thoughts, even if just to recognize the lies I am believing:

Somewhere along my childhood I learned to never believe I could be chosen for me, just me. Circumstances taught me to not see myself as worthy. I was taught to be a damsel in distress that needs a prince, a knight, a savior: I was an object to be saved. That was my purpose; saved so someone else could get the glory of saving me and I could be deemed “saved” and thus forgotten about. No one would have to worry about me anymore, think about me anymore, and I would just fade into the background of a happily ever after story. As a damsel in distressed I was chosen to be saved out of pity for my circumstances and the more pitiable the circumstances the more glory for the savior. Life taught me that I was chosen to be saved, not out of a desire to truly save me, all of me, but out of a desire for the savior, knight, or prince to earn more glory.

And upon the return of Prince Charming the town erupted into cheers and applause. The children chased after the prince’s horse and house wives paused from hanging their washing to wave and bow to the two riders upon one horse. The rumor going around was that Prince Charming slayed a dragon and freed the damsel from her fiery prison. The damsel was imprisoned for years and thanks to the prince she is free! Free to live a life beside the prince. Free to be remembered as a person of pity, then of salvation, and finally free to forever sing the princes praises to all. Free to give glory but never glorified, because the damsel is only good for saving. She has no other purpose and they lived happily ever after…

I know, it’s a bit extreme, but there is some truth to it especially when my knight in shining armor, is constantly switching between Jesus, my husband, and a made up version of everything I think a husband should be. When I think of Jesus as my savior I’m “ok” with not getting the glory…because I’m not supposed to want His glory. There is so much in me that wants to shout from every mountain about what Jesus has done for me, but I also want someone to shout from the mountains about how wonderful I am too. Is that wrong?

I am totally itching to tell the world about how Jesus saved me from the dragon of anxiety and panic, how he broke open the dungeon door of depression and carried my weak, starving body outside the walls of a prison masquerading as a beautiful castle. It’s a great story really, but what about afterwards? What am I good for afterwards? What about me?

And they lived happily ever after.

WAIT! What happens now that I’m free?

And they lived happily ever after.

I know the end of the story is that I live happily ever after in eternity with Jesus, but there is a moment, a breath of life, a split second in eternity where I am free and not yet happily ever after. There is that moment before the “and”. The knight saved the damsel (breathe in)  AND they lived happily ever after. That moment, that pause right before the “and”; a slight intake of breath before the eternity of happiness. What do I do in that moment? Because that moment is now, and I don’t just want to sit around waiting for the “lived happily ever after”.

And can I find that “what now?” in the REAL reason why the knight saved me? Because I can’t bear to believe that I was saved just for the purpose of that savior to gain glory.

There has to be more to me. I need to be chosen for more than that. I don’t just want to be a pawn used and discarded. Because if I was created just to suffer so someone else can be glorified, then why create me at all?