Every woman wants to be beautiful. I don't care who they are or what they look like. There is an innate sense in the heart of every single woman that simply wants to take someone's breath away. It's how we're wired...how we were made.
When Steve and I had only been dating a few weeks, I distinctly remember a conversation we had where this whole scenario played out. I knew he liked me and wanted to date me. I knew that he thought I was smart, funny, and whatever else he thought at the time. But there was one thing lacking that hadn't been addressed. In all of our "Define the Relationship" talks, he hadn't ever told me that I was beautiful. And I had to know. Was I beautiful to him? Because if he just thought that I was a fun person to be with, that simply wasn't enough for me. I needed to know if I was beautiful to him. Who cares about anyone else. I needed to know what he thought.
So I finally got the courage to ask him. The look on his face was just priceless. He looked at me incredulously like it was a ridiculous question and responded, "Of course I do. Don't you already know that?" Um, no. That is just not something that can be assumed. It's important to every girl's heart. It's like saying "I love you." Women never tire from hearing they're beautiful. Nor do they tire of being told that they're loved. These truths are universal.
Now in my husband's defense, he is a male. And he is also a math nerd. So to him, the thought of bringing up the topic of beauty really never crossed his mind. He's a simple and logical guy. To him, he had already told me that he liked me so he thought I would glean from that the simple truth that he thought I was pretty. A (I like you) + B (I want to seriously date you) must = C (I think you are attractive)!!! He quickly learned that the two were not synonymous and that my feminine ways didn't add up like an equation. At least not the ones he was used to.
So deep inside every woman's heart is the desire to be beautiful...to someone. And it's not something that is satisfied once. It's a desire that continues to well up in a woman's heart as time goes on. It is an insatiable hole. One that can only be fully satisfied in Christ Himself. Yet, it is also a desire that does get fulfilled on many levels in a marriage relationship. God designed it that way.
However, as the years press on, a woman's whole body and look changes. The bearing of many children bring changes. The fatigue of the little years bring changes. Aging and wear on the body itself bring many changes. And as time goes on, the mantra being played over and over again, like a beating drum, is that beauty is only for the young. You have your one time of glory, when you're young and beautiful, and after that, be happy with your sagging body and tired eyes. Because that is your destiny.
But this is what I have been thinking about. I think we have it wrong. I think that some of the most beautiful women I know are not young. They are in the process of raising children or already have done so. The wear and tear on their body is evident as it is for everyone. But the beauty they have from years of selflessness and sanctification, give them a glow that no youth ever could.
They are stunning and they are not young. They are moms. Wives. Grandmas. Friends. And they are breathtaking.
They truly are beautiful.
While the world chases after wrinkle creams and botox treatments, these truly beautiful women have put in years of work with their families, neighbors and co-workers, laboring for others. Others. And instead of it taking away from their beauty, it has only added to it.
One of our favorite movies is Family Man. There is a scene, where Jack (Nicholas Cage) is in the middle of a glimpse into what life would've been like if he would have chosen love over his career and married his college sweetheart. In the glimpse, he is married to her. While out for their anniversary, he suddenly stares at his wife and says, "Wow. You are beautiful. In college you were pretty, but over the years, you have really grown into a beautiful woman." (para-phrased...not exact quote)
That's what I'm talking about. I'm not really sure how it works. I know it is counter-cultural and counter-intuitive even. But I see this idea all around me. I'm surrounded by beauty from the most unlikely candidates. Yet maybe our culture is just so distorted by what is beautiful anyway. We've lived for so long with fake, computer brushed images, that we have forgotten what real beauty is.
For whatever reason, I'm learning to see that beauty isn't simply for the young. Physical beauty may seem to be more perfect in youth. But time, faith and sacrifice intertwine in a woman's life to produce a beauty that lasts...indefinitely.
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