O, wad some power the giftie gi'e us To see oursel's as ithers see us ~ Robbie Burns.
Somewhere deep inside, most women carry an image of beauty. You know the one; the if I could change one thing about me picture; the if I were slim & willowy image; The I wish I looked like ... sighs. In our deepest hearts we equate being beautiful with being loved. Our sense of self is so warped that even the women unanimously considered beautiful by the rest of us think they are ugly.
It's not that we aren't loved. Most of us are loved by someone ~ & we know it. The trouble is we don't feel loved. What we feel is fat or ugly, or stupid or plain, or whatever it is that keeps you awake at night squirming in the dark.
The desire to be loved is so ingrained ~ & we have so tied being loved to being beautiful ~ that any number of women ruin their feet in stupid shoes to give their legs a longer, slimmer look, tuck their tired tummies into corsets, & wear any peculiar assortment of uncomfortable clothing no matter how impractical or immodest in an effort to attract that lovin' feelin'.
The plain fact is most of us are very ordinary ~ & we are going to remain that way no matter how we push & pull, poke & prod, slather ointments & creams into tired creases, tired bodies into tight outfits till we resemble overstuffed sofas bulging in strange places. Some of us have difficulty even putting an outfit together & wander round looking like a tired & alien object the cat dragged in & forgot behind the fridge.
Now apart from the sin of covetness which I'm sure the Lord meant to extend to coveting our neighbour's lovely high cheekbones, peaches & cream skin, large dewy eyes, He did actually mean what he said about the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in His sight.
Now I came to certain conclusions a long time ago. I am plain. Not ugly, not grossly unattractive. Plain. On those occasions I am forced to look in a mirror I don't see I've got nice eyes & quite a good smile. I see a long horsey face ~ no dispersions on horses but what looks good on the horse is far less attractive on me! I see that my cross~bite never quite fixed itself & my face is lopsided. Five children & menopause have done disasterous things to my figure & age is catching up to me fast ~ which could be good. Now I have to squint to see all these imperfections.
Now I honestly don't care that I tend to look like a car wreck. Generally my mind is on other things & not only do I get that physical beauty is skin deep, I know my scriptures & concluded it's a good thing the Lord looks on the heart. Just the same I think we all hanker to be beautiful in the eyes of those we love, only to get a reality check every time we look in the mirror.
Well I learnt something this week & I pass it along to you my sisters in Christ, because if your men are anything like mine they pretty much take you for granted. It is understood, not only by my sons but also by my sons' friends, that they are never ever, under any circumstances, to get into a car with a drunk driver. They are to ring me & I will come & get them & take them to where they are going. It goes without saying that anyone in the house when the food hits the table gets fed ~ because we know not all of Dino's friends work regularly & sometimes the only meal they see in a day is the one they get here. I pick up kids who have no petrol to put in their bombs till pay day & drive them home because they have worked hard all day leaving the island before sun~up, arriving back after sundown having had to walk to the jetty in the morning. I get rung for that recipe they've been bragging about but can't remember how to cook, to do crosswords down the phone, & provide the theological ammunition for inhouse debates. I figure that's what mum's do. Mine did. Yours probably did. Chances are you do the same.
When God made man in His own image He made him with a rather strange little quirk. A man may be lured by outward beauty. He may sucumb for a moment to the lure of the flesh. He may use & abuse what is carelessly offered but when the tin tacks are down he sees beauty very differently. He sees it as God does.
My son recently told me [as we discussed these very things] that I am the most beautiful woman he knows.] Gulp.
You may all now go, Aww, isn't he sweet? [He is]. Just remember the mirror is the devil's invention & the men in our lives look on us & see the quiet & tranquil spirit we are unaware of but that God has been diligently cultivating in us & we are beautiful in their eyes!