Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Open Book, Closed Case

Recently I’ve begun receiving a popular “teen” magazine through the mail. No, I did not subscribe to it – I believe it is a “courtesy”, if you will, from the kind marketing folks of said magazine. To be perfectly honest, I usually do not read it. Most of the time, I don’t even birth it from its womb of sheer recycled plastic. I just throw it away. I hate being wasteful and before you criticize, I should point out to you that I am a married, thirty year old working mother of two toddlers. I cannot wear neon leggings with a tuxedo vest and still maintain my dignity. I just can’t do it. However, there was something about this most recent issue that caught my eye and I submitted myself willfully to those pages. The cover caption “3 Super-Models Spill Their Secrets” intrigued me so I dove in wholeheartedly. I mean, if there are Super-Model Secrets to be shared, I NEED TO LISTEN! After perusing through pages upon pages of advertising and twee little outfits, and oh! That one model classically posed with cupcakes? She had a virtual pastry in her hair. I was almost ready to give up, but well, “Whimsical” is the most appropriate word I can think of to adequately describe what I saw and I’m not going to lie to you - I like whimsical.

Scurrying through the pages like a mouse on its quest for the finest cheese, I couldn’t help but notice how the magazine practically yelled at me to “GO NEON!” It offered me nuggets of information such as “How to Rock Your Military Jacket” and sadly informed me that the 80’s are making a comeback. Really? Of all the decades to choose from, we picked the 80’s? Feeling a little depressed now because I vividly remember jelly shoes and how they blistered my delicate third grader feet, I trudge through because after all - there are Super-Model Secrets to be revealed!

The next thing I noticed was how tiny all these girls were. I was struck by their protruding cheekbones and non-existent backsides. “What is this promoting?” I asked myself. Before I could even start to answer, I’d reached an article on how the Internet is the reason for teens developing eating disorders. All I could say was O.M.G. I found it a little ironic that I’d just flipped through 165 pages of scarily thin girls only to be informed that the “Internet” was to blame. Hmm? So, I stopped and read it. See, several years ago, personal demons of my own led me to develop an eating disorder so I could relate to some of this article. However, my reasons didn’t involve what the television and internet promoted- I did it because I was trying to fill a void in my life.

After years of struggling, my void was filled when I was saved by grace. I was twenty one years old and for the first time ever, I truly felt beautiful. I was God's Super-Model. He literally whispered the words to me and even better – I believed Him. I knew He loved me for who I was. I was finally able to see myself through His eyes. This body that I loathed and complained of, He gave to me and allowed it to bring forth two precious babies. During my “woe-is-me” years I couldn’t understand why He was allowing difficulty to prevail. I soon realized that He had not only allowed me to walk through fire, but He graciously prevented me from being burned, as promised in Isaiah 43:2 (NIV).

Genesis 1:27 (NIV) says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

What do those words speak to you? Do you understand that God created us in His likeness? That we should be compared to the Lord, in any way, shape, or form, is astounding. If we are created in His image, how can we think we are anything but beautiful? Yet apparently we do. Every day the world projects unhealthy images onto us. Celebrities boast about being size 0 and the healthy ones wearing average sizes are labeled “fat.” Among us are people that torture themselves because they do not meet the world’s standard of beauty. But, you guys? When you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, you shouldn’t adhere to the world’s standard of beauty. Our culture is so focused on our exterior that they fail to address inner beauty. Proverbs 31:30 (NIV) says, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised“. Isn’t that better than what we’re used to hearing?

The Secrets of the Super Model were never revealed to me. In part, because I couldn’t find the article and partly because I decided that I didn’t really care to find it. What difference would it make? If God our Father loves us with all of our imperfections, then who are we to question it? Do the opinions of teen magazine editors carry more weight than that of our Creator? No. No, they do not. To Him, we are all beautiful. He gave us a purpose and in order for us to effectively fulfill that, we cannot allow society to undermine His intentions. We can; however, spend a little more time with our Bibles opened and our teen magazines closed.


Gen said...

yeah....i don't miss the teen years...may GOD give us the grace to raise daughters who don't struggle like that!

oh, the eighties....a comeback....my child LOVES to wear her hair in a side ponytail...and i cringe while her dad laughs. ha!

Cameron Family said...

AMEN! Now I will go eat cookie #4 for the day : )