I promise. I promise. I really am going to take a blogging break. But, yesterday Kevin totally called me out and I had to share it with you.
I was complaining (yet again) that due to nursing three children and working hard to get rid of my baby weight, my breasts have sadly gone from juicy melons to fruit roll upsâ€”and yes, sometimes I literally have to roll them up in order to properly settle them into a bra. I wondered aloud if it was time to bring in some heavy and permanent artillery.
Heâ€™s all, â€œI thought you were all â€˜Shameless Woman. What about your last post?â€
I mean, the nerve.
I calmly explained to him that women have mixed feelings. WE ARE COMPLICATED, OKAY?
So I just thought Iâ€™d put this out there for you. As Iâ€™m thinking through what it means to be a strong Christian woman in light of the beauty myths in our culture, and as Iâ€™m trying to define that line in the sand for myself, I do believe there are some foundational questions we can ask when faced with the realities of Retinol A, Botox, Veneers, Plastic Surgery, Body Hair Removal, etc..(Seriously, though. I need to find a good solution for that last one. A girlâ€™s gotta do something about the hair on her chinny chin chin.)
Who will I impact? Will this choice cause my community, my friends, or my children to feel worse about their own appearance? What do my best friends think? What about my husband or parents? Have I asked a godly mentor? The wonderful thing about the Christian life is that itâ€™s practiced in community. God has given us the gift of people who are much wiser. Listen to their advice.
What does God think? I know this seems like such a first-world problem; Oh, poor little me. Will God let me get permanently-tattooed eyeliner, or will I have to settle for normal eye makeup like everyone else? I also know that God is personal and truly cares about every detail of our lives. What does His word say? Have I prayed about it and sought the Holy Spirit for direction and conviction? Again, I would recommend doing this in Christian community. It can be dangerous to say, â€œOh yeah, I prayed about it and God totallywants me to get new boobs,â€ without having consulted solid Christian people for affirmation.
Where is the product made? You arenâ€™t going to be my biggest fan for this, but here goes nothing: Are the beauty products we purchase used to enslave women or children? We have to stop and ask ourselves how this item might impact the disenfranchised in our world.
When am I doing this? Is this a reaction to a break-up? An emotional response to someone who has hurt you? What stage of life are you in? A twenty-year-old should not be worried about aging; the same way a thirty, forty, or fifty-year-old woman should not be concerned with looking twenty. Is your timing filled with godly wisdom?
Why am I doing this? Am I hoping this procedure or that product will finally satisfy me? Is my heart so wrapped up in the endless pursuit of looking young and perfect that I spend an unbalanced about of money, time, and energy on it? Am I competing with Sexy Mrs. Jones from down the street? Am I doing this to get the attention of someone who isnâ€™t a healthy option? Is our quest for beauty inspired by a desire to honor how God has made us, or because we dislike ourselves? The attitude behind our decisions (although difficult to determine) is a clue to whether or not itâ€™s a good one.
Now, am I going to live by these perfectly? Doubtful. Women ARE complicated, after all.
But, I do want to honor my Lord, who He has created me to be, and continue to love my community through these choices.
So, what you think? Where do you draw the line in the beauty image sand?