The above picture is the before and after of my workout today. Before- pencil skirt and heels. After- gross, sweaty, baring my thighs in running shorts (which I always hate). I’m working on embracing my confidence again in who I am in my own skin…figuratively and literally. I have to say that I started my day in a skirt & heels feeling just so-so. By the end of my workout though, after a hard workout of flipping tires, lifting weights, shooting hoops, and time with God I felt more confident than I have in a long time because I felt like I was embracing the woman he’s built me to be.
Which leads me to the reason for this post (forgive the length, God just gave me too much to share so I hope you’ll make it to the end). So I’m in this self-image struggle that so many of us women deal with. Two other women from my church and I are getting ready to do a Ladies Night this Friday night focused on celebrating our beauty as women and just as God created us. So of course it makes perfect sense that I would be under attack for that very thing this week! I know that each woman struggles with feeling not feeling beautiful, attractive, wanted, pursued, sexy, etc. no matter if she is single, dating, engaged, or married.
Last night I had a bit of a jolt by the Holy Spirit into seeing the lies I was believing and even beginning to. Put frankly, I wanted to feel desirable, sexy, beautiful, loved…the list goes on. I woke up to the reality that I was wanting these things without realizing it. I also realized how critical I’ve been of my body and not feeling beautiful externally. I have to admit, when I realized all that was in my heart I felt…dirty. I felt like I was squandering my purity and my virtue in wanting these things that were ultimately coming from a place of..well let’s just put it on the table, lust.
So here’s 3 areas that God addressed with me today that I want to share. First is about being BEAUTIFUL. The thing is…that who God says I am and what others see when they look at me are so different from what I see. While it’s a struggle sometimes to take hold of what God says about me and what others see, I need to condition myself to do just that. I was walking with a friend the other day and I made the comment that I really like my hair and I think I have pretty feet (weird, I know). But we agreed that for whatever reason, it’s “normal” to body-shame ourselves and rattle off the list of what we don’t like or want to change about ourselves. However, it is considered conceited or at least feels awkward to say things about yourself that you like. We’ve created this culture.
But the truth is that a beautiful woman, a true BEAUTIFUL woman is seen for who she is as a person; for the light that radiates out of her; for her character; for her personality; for her heart! I have a quote on my mirror that God gave me: Beauty is a pure heart! And we can be confident in that! God has given us a pure and new heart. I am created in HIS image. He has made me beautiful by his glory and power!
The second thing: Godliness is sexiness. Sexiness, wanting to be wanted, passion, whatever interpretation you want to take was created by God. But God brought this verse to me for the single woman wanting to feel sexy. Song of Solomon 2:7 and 3:5 both say:
I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.
God created us to be passionate people. He created the desire for our spouses and to be enjoyed by our spouses. But those of us still in our single seasons, those passions are not to be awaken prematurely or it will only cause trouble and lead down a path of lust. We end up wanting things from other people that God ultimately intended for the intimacy of marriage. Pray these words out loud over yourself so if any of you are in this season like me, we can put these passions to rest until the proper time. And guard your mind and eyes from whatever you have to so you are not tempted in this sex saturated world we live in. (And PS- this scripture doesn’t say for people under 30. There’s a stigma even in the Church that if a person is over a certain age and still single then it is OK to give into lust because it’s “childish” or “naive” for there to really be a 40 year old virgin…false!)
A revelation I feel like God is giving me even as I am writing this post is this: wanting to be desired, found attractive, etc won’t change once I finally do get married. I’m sure there are some elements of that which will be satisfied. But the lies I’m struggling with have everything to do with my IDENTITY and how I view myself! Also, God created us for HIMSELF so unless we are tapped into the intimacy part of our relationship with him, we will be left feeling a void. I just feel like that is a BIG lie that many of us single women believe and I want to speak to it! You, we, I…do not need a husband to feel desired, pursued, attractive, sexy, or beautiful!
Does God reveal himself to us through relationships? YES! Did God create woman to be a helper for man? YES! Did God parallel marriage to the relationship Christ has with His Church/Believers? YES! Does a wife want to be attractive, sexy, beautiful, pursued, etc in her marriage/to her husband? YES! Does a husband have a responsibility in telling and showing his wife that she is those things? YES! But if I do not find those things solidified in Christ first…then nothing a man will say/do will make a difference. It’s a huge reason for so many relationships/marriages ending…people looking to people for their identity. I could go on.
Lastly and most importantly, the Enemy and his lies MUST be defeated! John 10:10 keeps popping up around me and I believe what God wants for me right now. Jesus speaks these words regarding the Enemy vs Himself, speaking of the Devil,
The thief comes ONLY to steal and kill and destroy. I [Jesus] came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
I love that! Jesus doesn’t just want us to live this life…but to live it abundantly! The Enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy us. The word kill in the Greek in this passage means to sacrifice. So if he can’t steal or destroy, he manipulates us into sacrificing things for our own detriment. In my case, it’s been how I see myself. But there is power in the name of Jesus and there is power in rebuking the Enemy out loud! Do not give him the power! Do not surrender to him your purity and your virtue because he’s manipulated you to do so, single AND married. Do not chose to give into or agree with the lies that he tries to tell you about yourself!
Do not give the enemy ground over ANY part of you life! We have abundant life waiting for us through Jesus. A life of confidence with who we are and confidence that God is a good and loving God. There is so much life to live and the enemy wants to take as much of it away as he can…don’t let him. Speak out loud. Speak scripture to him. Claim your inheritance as a Daughter or Son of the King. He has NO POWER over the children of God.
This ended quite longer than I intended so thank you for getting through all of it. I pray that at least some of this was encouraging and that the Holy Spirit stirs up inside of you! You are valued and loved and worthy because HE says so!