Pretty or Not?

19 Mar

In chapter 4 of novel 2, Meeting Mr. Right, Julia confesses to her parents that she’s been secretly hiding pictures of her and Jay together, looking at them in her bedroom when she was alone. Why? Because they remind her of a time when a handsome guy thought she was beautiful.

In response, her mother asks Julia an unexpected question: “So, if Jay hadn’t found you beautiful, would that have meant you weren’t?

When Julia doesn’t know how to answer her mother, Grace says, “That’s because you still need to learn what true beauty is, Julia. Physical beauty gets a lot of attention in our culture, but that kind of beauty has little value, mainly because it’s both subjective and fading. One man can look at a girl and think she’s pretty, while another might not find her attractive at all. The girl’s appearance is not the variable—just the opinions of her observers. This will be true for her as long as she lives.”

When I was in high school, I can remember an incident that illustrates this truth. In my day, few families had more than one car. We walked or used the bus system to get around. One sunny afternoon, I decided to walk downtown. The sidewalk I was using ran parallel with the main road into town and stretched ahead of me for a dozen or more consecutive blocks before reaching the shopping area downtown.

As I strolled along, taking in the scenery, I heard some very shrill whistles and turned to see a car full of young men passing by, hanging out the windows. They shouted out, “Hey, Beautiful…Want a ride?” I ignored them and continued walking, but felt very flattered to receive such a nice compliment.

As I got closer to town, another car came along with a different group of guys. They shouted out, “What a dog!!! You’re so ugly!” As before, I ignored them and kept walking. After they had passed by, I stopped and started laughing. To the first group, I was pretty; the next group found me ugly. How could that be? Nothing had changed. I looked exactly the same for both evaluations.

I guess the old saying Beauty is in the eye of the beholder holds some truth after all. What Julia needed to learn (as well as every young woman reading her story) is that in God’s eyes, every woman is beautiful and valuable. Once you receive His love and approval through Christ, the opinions of others won’t matter as much. When you see yourself as a beautiful and valuable daughter of the Most High God, it will affect how you walk, talk, and relate to others. Eventually, they will see the beautiful you He sees.

Lisa and I already see a beautiful you!

Barbara

photo credit

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