This last weekend I spent some time with a few of my favorite ladies from my church study group, and we discussed what it means to be beautiful.
For a Christian, our self value should be based in God. However, societal standards of beauty and associated self worth can get in the way of the perspective we have of ourselves.
For women, beauty and physical appearance are often portrayed as the most important quality for our self worth. This is the case, often, when being judged by peers, first getting asked out, etc. This image is continuously portrayed and reinforced through the objectification of women in media and particularly in secular music which fills our ears each day.
However does our value merely lie in our sex appeal and ability to perform tasks of companionship and homemaking? Or does our value and beauty come from something more?
Some would argue, our value comes from our intellect, accomplishments, or what we contribute to society. Yet, I still do not agree with this. Our value is something deeper, more inherent, & more pure.
God made us all in His image. The fact that He loves and values us, sent His son to die for us while we were sinners, and that He made us all unique and with different traits is what makes us valuable. We are valuable because we are valued by God.
God gave us hand picked personality traits and skills that make us uniquely beautiful. Being good at things (soccer, public speaking, etc.), having personality traits (ie. sensitivity, compassion, strength of conviction), and pursuing after God's heart all things that make a person beautiful.
When we use our God given traits to glorify His name and spread His Word, then we are praising Him with our life.
Our exterior beauty is a mere fleeting physicality. However, it is one to be cherished, loved, and respected too; as a temple of God. This is because He "fearfully and wonderfully" made you.
If you are struggling with your self worth,
remember these truths...
God values and loves you.
You are beautiful in God's eyes, because He made every part of you. He knows every hair on your head, every inch of your skin, every single part of your physicality that makes you, "you."
Real beauty lies within.
Physical appearance does not out way inner beauty,.. in annnny wayy!
And it is what you do that defines who you are, not what body you were born into.
Your beauty and value far transcends the curves and features of your physique, it is inherently in you by the hand of God.
Remember you are loved, and you are valued by God and others.
Everyyone struggles with self doubt, physical appearance, acceptance, self esteem, etc. at some point or another. I think it is a continual journey to grow and learn about yourself and what makes you unique.
However, the important thing is to work through it, because the human struggle to find self importance is crucial to our growth.
At times, this struggle can be crippling. So please, if you (or someone that you know) suffers from depression please seek out a school guidance counselor, therapist, teacher, trusted family member, or church official that can provide help in recognizing your personal self worth and value.
You are important and beautiful inside and out!
Thanks for Reading.... &
Big Thanks to my friend, Inbar for these rad shots!
... xoxo SP
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A little while ago on my 19th birthday....
I did this photo shoot and began wondering about what it meant to be '19.' With turning 19 I had new responsibilities, had graduated high school, and was stepping into adulthood and the world.
My family was no longer responsible for taking care of my every need and I had the freedom to make decisions that I had never encountered before.
But I still felt young. What does an age mean, truly?
What I came to understand, is that age is a number used for other people to associate you with and to categorize you based on.
However, there are days that I feel 100 years old and days that I feel like a baby. (not literally.)
So what is the difference that age makes?
People begin to treat you differently...
... sometimes with more respect ...sometimes with more responsibility & ...sometimes with prejudice
No matter how you are treated, age is just a number.
And you choose how your age defines you.
A few weeks ago, I went to Yosemite and hiked Upper and Lower Falls. Upon my decent on the trail, I passed a beautiful women who commented to her friend, "... and I just turned 70!"
Upon overhearing her, we struck up conversation and she explained that she had not been joking (as I had thought) and was actually a 70 year old woman who was descending the Mist Trail! She did not look a day over 50 and was fit as a fiddle.
In Contrast, a friend of mine's grandmother believes that she is on the downward slope of her life. She believes that being 70 means winding down, no more adventures, health problems, and the decay of her beauty and relative enthusiasm for life. How on the contrary that is! I love the woman to pieces, but there is so much more life left for her!
Writing, reading, growing, exploring, car rides to new places, poetry, music, films, and knowledge are all hers for the taking!
Our perspectives are everything.
The second that we recognize the sanctity and fleetingness of our own lives, is the moment that we must make a choice. Do we choose to love life until its very end or settle in its certain decline?
I choose the first.
I want to be the woman who still chases her dreams, conquers the trail, and pushes forward in life until the end.