Hollow Beauty vs. Heavenly Beauty

From the LYWB.com team: Hey girls! Several of you have written to tell us that you love lludy (writer, speaker, and director of the online magazine Set Apart Girl. So we asked Leslie if she’d be willing to write for our blog. She said, “Yes!” We’re thrilled and happy to pass along her first LYWB.com post. Check it out!

I once talked with a graphic designer who worked for a major clothing label. “In real life, no model really looks as perfect as what you see in clothing ads or on catalog covers,” he told us. “We digitally alter her photo. We remove several inches from her waist and thighs. We airbrush her skin to make it look flawless.”

Not long after that conversation, I read an interview with a famous model in which she admitted, “Everything about my beauty is fake. From my hair to my nose to my toes—it’s all fake.”

Our world bombards us with an image of feminine beauty that is not even based upon reality. Yet we as women are constantly pressured to pursue that unachievable standard of worldly allure.

We are constantly assaulted by a world that insists we aren’t beautiful enough; that we need to change our bodies, our clothes, or our personality in order to be more desirable and appealing to this world. And the same culture that trains us as young women to become sensual and seductive also trains men to desire women who possess those traits.

It’s all too tempting to buy in to the pressures all around us, to desperately try to change our bodies, starve ourselves, get plastic surgery, get a makeover, go on a diet—to do anything in our power to somehow make ourselves more attractive to the opposite sex and to the culture. Many of us mistakenly believe that if we can somehow achieve the image of beauty promoted by the world, we will finally gain the self-confidence and security we crave.

But when we yield our entire heart, mind, soul, and body to Jesus Christ, we are set free from the need to gain approval from this world. When we belong to Jesus, our security comes from a completely different source. No longer do we seek our sense of confidence from what guys think of us or how we measure up to the world’s impossible standards for physical beauty. Rather, when we belong to Jesus, our value comes from knowing we have been loved and redeemed by the King of all kings.

The most beautiful women I’ve ever encountered are those who are completely enraptured by the love of Jesus Christ and utterly unconcerned with what the world thinks of them. They are confident, but not in themselves. Instead of self-confidence, they radiate with Christ-confidence. They aren’t spending their time trying to feel better about themselves, seeking attention from guys, or chasing after the world’s standards for sensual beauty. They aren’t even thinking about themselves. Their desire is to decrease, so that Jesus Christ would increase (see John 3:30).

Next time you feel tempted to pattern your femininity after the world’s sensual, self-focused pattern, I encourage you to run to Jesus Christ instead, and find your security and confidence from your relationship with Him. Read Psalm 34 and Psalm 139, and be reminded of His amazing, astounding, incomprehensible love for you. Spend time in His presence daily, and ask Him to become the center of your thoughts and focus. Remember, His opinion is the only one that really matters!

When Jesus is in His rightful place in our lives, insecurity begins to fade away. His radiant, heavenly beauty begins to flow through us from the inside out. We become confident, secure, and radiant—because we know we have been rescued, redeemed, and loved with an everlasting love that will never fade away.

About Author

Leslie Ludy is a bestselling author and speaker with a passion for helping women become set-apart for Christ. She and her husband Eric have published nineteen books with well over a million copies in print and translations in over a dozen languages, including When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, Set Apart Femininity, and her newest book, Set Apart Motherhood. Eric and Leslie live in Windsor, Colorado with their four precious kiddos.

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