13 December 2017

“…and finally . ”

Some time ago, I was invited to speak at a “pampering” evening for young mothers who attended a Mums and Tots morning each week at a church. In various rooms around the church, the women were able to have their hair cut or styled, nails painted, faces made up, massage and relaxation exercises to mention but a few!

raI was given the title “Pampering the Inside.” Three times during the evening I had to speak for twenty minutes, as the women made their way around the various options to give them the feel good factor. My purpose was to help them understand their worth, which was not dependant on outward beauty.

A great deal of emphasis today is put on fashion and glamour and there is so much pressure to match up in order to be accepted by their peers.

Think of the most beautiful woman you know. Is she a model, or a film star?

Think of the amount of time these women spend on makeup, hairstyling, fashion and diet and possibly with personal trainers. For what? Adulation from the public and constant scrutiny from the press?

However beautiful your ideal woman might be, if she’s moody, foul-mouthed, or bad tempered, you wouldn’t want to spend much time with her, would you? Or, you may be intimidated by a woman’s success and achievements. She has a high-powered job, or she’s a perfect hostess or cook.

We worry about what people think of us and strive to gain acceptance and popularity.

This is a time to be reminded that we are all unique, with different gifts and strengths and weaknesses. We have different opportunities and areas of influence. We should resolutely refuse to compare ourselves with others and seek God’s plan and purpose for us right where we are.

I remember seeing a TV programme where a severely facially disfigured man was invited to spend time with a young woman whose whole motivation was to make herself more beautiful. She was initially horrified and embarrassed to be seen with this man. However she was eventually humbled by his beautiful attitude: his self-acceptance and his warmth and love. She came to realise that there was far more to life than outward beauty. It is a lesson for us all to learn.

“Don’t be concerned by the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewellery or beautiful clothes.

You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-5

“People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.” 1 Samuel 16.7

WORDS Fiona Castle