Lesson 6: I am Beautiful

esther-background

Remember my tiara? It made me feel beautiful. God has filled this world with beauty. And we are one of the most beautiful things He has created. God placed in a woman’s heart the desire to be beautiful and for others to recognize that beauty. Sometimes we don’t want to admit how much we crave being seen as beautiful. But it’s okay. We ladies know we have that desire. We want to be beautiful and we want our beauty to be appreciated by others.

Men often say we women dress up for other women. We probably do. Let’s face it: other women know how important it is to have our beauty appreciated. So who better to dress up for than someone who understands our need to be seen as beautiful and to have that beauty appreciated?

Think about the complimentary words we receive. Being called “pretty” is okay. Being called “cute” is almost demeaning. “Gorgeous” feels insincere. “Good-looking” makes us yawn. But when someone tells me I’m beautiful, I feel special, loved and lovely…Body and soul.

Dictionaries specify the differences:

Pretty means to be attractive in a simple or delicate way.

Cute usually implies a youthfulness.

Good looking and gorgeous indicate a generally pleasing or attractive appearance.

Being beautiful is more than all of these other adjectives. Being beautiful implies that one is aesthetically pleasing, excellent and of a very high standard. I want God to look at me as excellent. I want to be held to His standard and not found lacking. I want to be beautiful to Him.

Esther 2:7 first introduces us to Esther.

“Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features.”

Esther was lovely in form and features. She was so beautiful she was taken to the King’s palace as part of the harem—the plan devised by the King’s servants to please their master. Immediately, the eunuch in charge of the women was impressed with Esther and provided her with a beauty regime. She spent six months being treated with oil and myrrh and another six months with perfumes and cosmetics in preparation for her time with the king.

Esther was already beautiful but she got another whole year of beauty treatments. This beauty regime was for the king’s benefit—to make the women in the harem even more beautiful and fragrant than they already were. But don’t you think the women loved it, too? Wouldn’t you love a year-long “spa” experience?

i-am-beautiful

Jewish people traditionally were anointed with oil not just for beauty, but in order to prepare them for power, strength and honor, and to make something holy. When King David was still a young man, he was anointed by Samuel (1 Samuel 10:1) in preparation for his taking the throne after Saul. David was anointed in preparation for the role of power and strength he would take on. Could God have been using Esther’s beauty treatments to anoint her in preparation for the role He intended her to have in the salvation of His people?

Our bodies are a gift from God. Without our physical bodies, we cannot be His hands and feet in this world. If Esther hadn’t been beautiful physically, she would not have been taken to live in the palace or been able to speak to the king in order to help her people. God gave Esther great physical beauty and then used that beauty to accomplish His purpose, to save His people from slaughter.

Our bodies are a precious gift. They are beautifully made. And no matter the state they are in because of age or illness or circumstance, they are beautiful, because they are God’s and because they house the Spirit that lives inside. We were created in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27). There is nothing as beautiful as God Himself. Dwell on that a bit—we were made in the beautiful image of our beautiful God.

That said, God still desires more than outward beauty. He reminded Samuel that

“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7

Throughout Scripture, we are reminded it is the heart that is important to God and that a heart for God is a heart that is beautiful. Speaking to women specifically, God tells us

But more than physical beauty, God desires the beauty of a pure heart that loves Him. 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 (1 Peter 3:3-4; see also Proverbs 31:30).

When we love God, obey His commandments, worship Him and seek His face, with a gentle and quiet spirit, the beauty of our hearts shines brightly. He sees and acknowledges our beauty. We are beautiful to Him. To King Jesus.

If Esther were here she would say this was her story. She was beautiful to her king.

Who are we to God? When we recognize that we are beautiful to God our King, we understand how God might see His women of faith. We can answer:

I am (like) Esther.

 

For Thought and Discussion

 

  • In what ways do you feel beautiful? I what ways do you not?
  • Growing up, did you have an ugly duckling complex? How did you grow into an acceptance of the beauty God gave you? In what ways do you still need to?
  • How has your sense of being a beautiful creature created by a beautiful God changed since you met Jesus?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for our lives and for making us in your image. We know we are beautiful to you. Please help us see the beauty you gave us and recognize your beauty everywhere in this world. Amen.

Ruby Blogger Team Carol Peterson

Carol Peterson, Author, is a member of the Ruby Blogger Team and a regular contributor to the Ruby for Women as a book reviewer. You can connect with Carol on her blog, http://www.carolpetersonauthor.com

 

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