TRUE Beauty and the Lie that Kim Kardashian Believes

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When is the last time that you had 3 hours a day or $20,000 a month to spend on your beauty routine?

This, a record of annual time and money spent by a well-known Hollywood celebrity –  and this number just the cost to maintain body and face.

In fact, according to a recent statistic, more money is now spent in the United States each year on beauty, than is spent on education and social services combined.

A fit, trim figure is now the expectation for women on into their 50’s and 60’s.  The cosmetics industry waves its fist at us and warns: Do not age.  You are not supposed to, nor are you allowed to.

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Yet, we are aging.  Each year, we succumb a little more to gravity’s pull, struggling to keep ourselves buoyant, fresh and youthful.

Culture has introduced an unfair fight, and as our consumer-dollars convey, we are more than willing to participate.

So does the Bible offer any wisdom to women as to how we should perceive beauty?

Or are we left alone to battle a message of: Looks Matter? 

 

Confronting The Lie

We cannot help but be aware of reality star, Kim Kardashian. And according to entertainment news, the celebrity is up to something new.  Kim is building a house!  And as part of the design, her new space is to include a “glam-room” where Kardashian can apply her make-up.

 

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Price-tag for the room where Kim will become glamorous?

$870,000.

To state it lightly, Kim Kardashian’s life is hardly about reality!

Traeling to the Garden of Eden, we see that the very first curse to fall on humanity was that of deception. Satan whispered untruth to Eve, and since that time, the world has been under a curse of whisperings of its own- of lies that pose as truth.

One of the primary lies spun to women, is that perfect beauty can be attained.  And if it is not, we are destined to be miserable.

As Carolyn Mahaney observes in her book, True Beauty, Satan is in charge of a master-mind plan, intended to distort our beauty-reality.  Placing trust and hope in our physical beauty, Mahaney warns, is to fall for Satan’s original Ponzi scheme.

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You may remember the Lehman Brothers, notorious for embezzling billions of dollars out of Wall Street accounts.

Well, they came, they lied, they conquered.

We cannot afford to invest our own theology of beauty in a house of cards.

 

A Theology of Beauty

What is a right theology of beauty? 

My friend, Gloria likes to say that: Women don’t have time for false hope.  And nowhere do these words ring truer than in the sphere of culturally-imposed beauty standards.

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Let’s re-visit the Garden of Eden for a moment and engage with the truth.

Does it astound you that upon completing the work of creation, God stood back and declared everything: GOOD?

Nowhere in Genesis do we encounter a God standing back, declaring Eve BETTER  – as though a few tweaks, stitches and augmentations might make her complete.  No, God declared Eve GOOD because she was made according to His creative design.  In His image, for His good purpose.

Your body and face likewise, delight our God.  His is a meaningful and unique creating, with purpose mapped out in every freckle, with every extra pound.

you are beautiful

 

So, Now What?

Don’t we love to parrot phrases to our girls?  Like, it’s what is on the inside that counts.  But in order to be substantive, confident women, there must be something on the inside or they {and we} will be led swiftly astray in our thinking.

 

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The prophet, Zephaniah is just one man who speaks of God’s joy in His people :

The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  The Lord will take GREAT DELIGHT in you.  He will quiet you with His love.  He will REJOICE over you with singing.

Self-acceptance is based in a God who delights in us- mind, soul and body– and it cannot be bought.  Kim Kardashian’s millions can never purchase what God freely gives.

But we know better.  By God’s grace, we have the Truth. 

And the TRUTH will set us free.

 

 

 


Loving Your Husband: {It’s Not a Competition}

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I was fascinated when Kirsten Dunst revealed herself to be a traditional girl at heart.

And then Matt Walsh spoke out against men and women competing over whose role is more difficult.

And in the moments following,  I realized how refreshing it was to hear voices speaking toward the harmony that should exist at home, and against the wars that can find a place there instead. 

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What Are We Competing About?

A few years back, I heard it said: Your mate is not enemy.

At the time, I was full on in a stage of diaper-changes and interrupted naps.  And this did not lend itself to a kind or gracious spirit.  Sadly, much of my frustrated energy was pointed in Pat’s direction.

There were more than a handful of times when he became a target, rather than an ally, as I sought to make sense of a life of continual serving.

It took honest self-assessment and devoted prayer to see that I was directing much of my exhaustion toward him in anger.

And the accomplishment of this misdirected frustration?  A marriage not as close as we desired.

Clearly, nobody was winning.

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You Both Work Hard

Some of the statements tumbling out of my mouth in those conflicted months, sounded like this:

I was up all night.

I do this chore and that chore.

I work day and night.

I am always on-call.

In hindsight, I can see that it takes no effort at all to argue over marital role divisions, but it takes a strength of humility to concede that both partners contribute equally.  And both work really, really hard.

But they do work differently.

Mothers notice details. Mothers notice everything and all at once. Built into every component of a woman’s DNA, is a marvelous ability to observe detail about her family, and to compile that information into a whole which benefits her family.

Fathers notice the big picture.  Fathers note when the family is off-course, and they arm themselves with a plan.  They observe the “holes” in their family lives, and they seek to patch them.  Built into every component of a man’s DNA, is the keen ability to observe the big picture, and to use that information to better serve his family.

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Let’s Get Together

It is so easy to become tangled up in wars at home.  Women keep mental lists of the details we attend to, and we want our husbands to tap into our minds and read our thoughts, about what to do next.  We become so impatient when they fail to do so.

Likewise, men want women to notice the big picture.  Men recall the rescuing and helping they do- and they don’t want to be corrected in the process, but simply respected for it.  They become distant when we fail to do so.

These tensions allow us to feel stretched to the limit sometimes.  But, marriage is not a competition.  If it were, one of us would have to win.  And one of us would have to lose.

We are equals in this fight, matched by God to play for the same team.

We grow weary because we both work hard.

So instead of comparing notes, let’s lend a hand, tip our hats to one another, and keep on loving.

 

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{Loving Your Husband – A Valentine’s Day Tribute, can be found here.}

{Loving Your Husband – An Ordinary Hero, can be found here}

 

 


The Day Kirsten Dunst Spoke Out

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The headlines are bold: “Kirsten Dunst Sparks Debate Over Support For Traditional Roles”.

Uh oh.  She didn’t dare.

“I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued… We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created,” Dunst told this month’s edition of Harper’s Bazaar in the U.K.

“And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armor. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work…”

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If the silence is deafening anywhere, it certainly is not in the media response to Dunst’s unexpected opinions. Feminist magazine, Jezebel, struck back at Dunst.  “Kirsten Dunst is not paid to write gender theory so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that she’s kind of dumb about it.”

But is Kirsten Dunst Dumb?

Or is she simply stating what many of us already think?

For years now, feminists have been trying desperately to blur the lines between men and women, so that all are in essence the same.  Differences, to feminists, are dangerous.  Particularly those which highlight strengths unique to men.

The Christian world has debated long over gender-role semantics.  The Bible clearly advocates for unique roles for men and women, and portrays that these differences, are meaningful.  In an effort to qualify what is meant by the respectful pursuit of  equally valued marital roles, the term complementarian was borne.

What is complementarianism?

In an article for Desiring God blog, Andrea Froelich explains: “Being complementarian doesn’t mean believing that the man’s job is to fix the car and the woman’s is to wash the floor. It goes much deeper than a breakdown of jobs”.

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Rather, complementarianism takes into respectful account, the strongest strengths of both husband and wife.  And by necessity, this definition relates back to the analogy of Christ and His Bride.  Just as a bride and groom approach the wedding day with one goal- to be married- both are specific in how they dress, the emotions they feel, and the subsequent expressions of that emotion.

The beauty of a complementarian theology is the unashamed recognition of differences.  It is, in the words of Kirsten Dunst, letting a man be a man and a woman be a woman.

Why are these differences so threatening to the feminist argument?

Well, because feminism is not really interested in equality.  It is interested in superiority.  Feminist theory is at heart, opportunistic.  It craves power.  And it wants always, to raise women one rung higher on the ladder.

In so doing, men are diminished to a place where they are not needed, and hence, not wanted.  I am afraid that this generation will see an increase in marriages which have fallen victim to the fierce cry of: I am woman, hear me roar.   

As Christians, we delight in the fact that God created man and woman separately.  And we draw confidence from the fact that when God looked upon His human creation, He declared it good.  Male and female, created intentionally for differing purposes.

Kirsten Dunst was on to something when she spoke up the other day.  In the Christian realm, we call it complementarianism.

In God’s realm, it is simply deemed GOOD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Loving {Your} Husband

My husband and I love one another deeply.  He is truly the friend I did not have until we met, and the ally that strengthens me continually through his steadiness and gentle loyalty.  He is a man of strong character and faith.  I am better for his place in my life, finding the longer we are married that we are a healthy balance for one another.

Marriage is a good ordinance from a good God.  I see this more now than I ever did as a newlywed!

 

 

 

But marriage is like any other relationship, in that it has seasons -some which are smooth, and some which are more challenging.  If the past 13 years are an accurate assessment, it would seem that each year we settle into one a valley or town in our relationship.  These are the periods in which we do not connect well and seem to have a more difficult time than usual living with understanding and grace.

These are the seasons in which we are grateful that marriage is founded on a staying commitment that is not tossed about by feelings of love – because the stick-with-you promise is the love.

 

The simple reality is that marriage is committed work, and sometimes we tire of hard work.

The Bible identifies our underlying issue as one stemming from a theology of sin: our world is eclipsed by it, and sin now dwells in the deepest corners of our hearts, pulling us into ourselves.  Thus, his heart is more easily focused on his needs, and my heart is steered in the direction of my needs.

And we hold on to our individual desires for dear life.

In general analysis of the past 13 years, the biggest heart issue that hurts my marriage is this:

Sometimes I fight to love a man that does not exist.

In the valleys of our relationship, I stand in front of Pat and I see a shadow behind him, a vision of who I want him to be.  And all the while I say quietly in my heart: I will love you when you are THAT man.  I will accept you fully when you are THAT man.  I am angry with you for not being THAT man.  See that shadow behind you?  I love THAT man! 

The problem with my vision is two-fold.

First, it is founded on untruth – the lie that perfect human love can be sought and found, and tied up neatly in one person.  This belief denies sin’s pervasive reign and rule on this earth, tempting me with an unrealistic view of one man’s ability to measure up and deliver.  This lie I believe exhausts my marriage if I do not identify it readily.

The second problem with my vision, is that I begin to justify my lie.  One lie always leads to another.  As I commit to belief that perfection should be found in my spouse, I begin to blame him for not meeting my expectations -my unreasonable expectations.

But married vows are based on the premise that perfect love will never be found this side of eternity.  The vows we speak on the day of our wedding when all of life’s bumps lie ahead, are made public to ensure that we know and others know, that we are all in

Countless untruths circulate about married love, particularly the lie that only the one who meets your every need, want and desire is worthy of your love. But healthy marriage cannot be based on continued thoughts of self-advancement.  Real marriage requires tremendous reserves of humility, grace and mercy.  It requires depths of compassion, kindness and desire to elevate the needs of another above your own. It requires a very different temperature of love than that which our misled generation states it will.

 

Someone has beautifully said that marriage is a process of falling in love time and time again, but always with the same person.  And how true!  Marriage is an overall cumulative climb toward the strengthening of the foundational relationship in society.  In the weaker moments of my marriage or yours, the reminder that a perfect mate is not the goal, is helpful.  Til death do us part means loving through every bit of weakness, with a firm foundation of: “ I am with you in this.  I will stand by as God works in you, as He works in us”.  This is the stand-out beauty of committed, married love.  This is the victory!

And this is the truest blessing of being hand-in-hand with one man forever: we are learning through falling down, to fall in love repeatedly in new ways, with new resolve.