What reveals our inner beauty?
We can do lots to change how we look on the outside – new haircut or color, new clothing, fabulous makeup – but it’s when we change how we ‘look’ on the inside that it impacts how we ‘look out’. Given that it is an internal shift we are looking for, how do we counteract all of the ways that we hide our beauty?
Be Adventurous! What does adventure look like to you? I would love to go skydiving some day. Experience the thrill of hurtling to earth and then being caught by the parachute. Perhaps adventure for you has more to do with your heart than doing something ‘active’. Perhaps the adventure is opening your heart to your spouse again after the affair. Is there risk in that? You betcha. Risking is many times required in being adventurous…and the biggest risk in risking is trusting…but the irony is that trust is implied in risking…. Just like if I ever risk jumping out of an airplane to experience the thrill of skydiving, I am trusting that someone has packed the parachute correctly. Just like if I risk to share my heart with Ben, knowing he is the one who can wound me the deepest, I am trusting that there is something good deep in his soul that has been placed there by God. So really, you see, being adventurous is as much about trusting God as it is about trusting anyone else.
“Life is an adventure to be lived, not an unknown to be feared.” Do You Think I’m Beautiful, Angela Thomas
Be Honest: Being honest with each other is an integral component of restoring your relationship after an affair. As we often say, you can have honesty without intimacy but you can’t have intimacy without honesty.
But that’s not all there is to Honesty. It is also important to be honest with yourself about who you are and about your longings and desires God placed within you. Back to that book…Angela says “What lies have you told yourself to make life hurt less and then forced yourself to live them?” Think about it… What is the truth of your story?
Stop pretending! Being authentic is not all about being deep and serious. When life is difficult, let it be difficult. Let your trusted friends see your tears. We are called to share one another’s burdens. When someone asks how you’re doing, don’t just say ‘fine’. And when life is exciting, let it be exciting…it’s contagious you know.
Back to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty: Being loved is number ONE on the list of what makes women feel beautiful. It was selected by an amazing 91% of US respondents.
A husband’s love:
We know you’re not going to love us perfectly, but you have great power to wound or heal. We want you to love us, even when we may be acting unlovely or downright unlovable. Right now may be a difficult time to love your wife, especially if you are in the healing process after an affair or even if she is just being a little grouchy. But listen to how Paul encourages husbands. I’ve included part of these verses in the previous posts as I have talked about our beauty…but the big finish is that you are designed to bring the best out of us.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her…Ephesians 5:25-27
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. Psalm 23:6
You may not have someone in this world who loves you…or you may have someone who loves you, but imperfectly. Well, I suppose that would be just about ...ALL of us. Even when we feel others fail us in love, His beauty and love chase after us, He encircles us with His love. He draws us into His arms and urges us to cling to Him and His love. Listen to what He has to say about us…
I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. Jeremiah 31:3
He says we are beautiful:
The King is enthralled by your beauty. Psalm 45:11 (NIV) The King is wild about you. (MSG)
The beauty he sees is not perfection. We will never achieve that this side of heaven.
Perhaps what He sees is the confidence, sparkle, and hope that he placed in our souls the day He created us that is too often squelched by this sometimes cold, hard world.
We are His Beloved. When I presented this material to the women of our church at a retreat, at the end of the session I had them turn to one another and say, “You are His Beloved.” It was amazing to see these women – some scarred, some scared – turning to one another and hugging and encouraging. I was on the stage alone, so I had no one to turn to and no one to turn to me. When the ladies were through, one of the women – sweet Belinda – yelled (yes, she yelled it) “Ann, you are His Beloved.” I couldn’t contain the overwhelming sense of love from Him and from the women and I broke down sobbing. Right there. On stage. In front of 100 women. Be Adventurous. Be Honest. Be Authentic. Be Loved. And when you do, your beauty will come forth, even in the form of beautiful tears that can’t be held back.