Tuesday, November 30, 2010


There is a new reality show on TV.

The name? Bridalplasty.

What's it about? Brides competing for plastic surgery.

Being an "all-things-wedding" lover, the title caught my eye. SO, I sat down to find out what the show was about. It took less than 10 minutes for me to change the channel. All in the name of "beauty" and offering "the dream wedding," the show is all about a woman's beauty coming from a fuller bust or slimmer waistline. It is about validating one's worth through being cut and "fixed."  As if women need more pressure....

The women on the show compete by writing vows or planning honeymoons and the "winner" of each level is awarded various surgeries. I only watched long enough to witness a few chosen ladies who won a certain level and were moved up, leaving two women who had to return home, with no "cutting" in their future. Both girls cried over their loss, as I expected, but I remember thinking, "They are really very attractive. I can't imagine what they would want to cut on themselves." THEN my eyes caught two pictures hanging on the wall behind them. They were pictures of the same two ladies in beautiful wedding gowns - with a Barbie-like waist, colored hair, toned arms.... Very different from the true looks of the two girls left behind. Interviewing them, one by one, the first woman pointed to "her picture" and said, "I just wanted to look like that! That is how beautiful I could be! And now I'll never have a chance...."  My blood boiled and my heart broke. Here was a pretty, average lady and her sense of self worth was so low, that she was on national television competing for a chance to change everything about her physical appearance. Her natural beauty was not good enough when held up next to mock photographs of some imagined model-like image of herself.

Our society has made beauty to be strictly outward when God Himself said that HE looks on the heart (2 Samuel 16:7). Have you, ladies, ever walked into Wal-Mart into the make-up section and just stood there overwhelmed? What about the shampoo and hair gel section? Or the face wash area? So many choices and so many targeted to "fix" puffy eyes, wrinkles, blotches, blemishes, age spots, freckles, and enlarged pores. Don't mistake me, there is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best or get rid of a few problem areas, but our society has made the outward physical appearance an obsession! The media holds up airbrushed models and tells us that we have to look like that - something that is unattainable, even for the model herself!

Hollywood produces magazines with the latest "how-to-fix-this" and "how-to-get-rid-of-that" in order to "keep your marriage on fire" and the number of lasting marital relationships in Hollywood is....well....I'll just say LOW.

The media has made beauty to be all about the outward adorning and has made marriage to be all about two things: sex and selfishness. Forget intimacy or deep bonding. It's now about the thrill and the fire of a biological act. Forget giving 100% all of the time. It is about getting your own needs met. Women are expected to show no emotion, be aggressive, be seductive little play toys, and never get wrinkles or stretch marks.

I'm on my soap box, I know. But how I wish that the girls and women of today would stop being materialistic and obsessed with their physical appearance. It is Jesus Christ who adorns a woman with beauty and HIS beauty lasts forever (yes, even well into your 70's). You can have all the plastic surgeries there is to offer, but if you do not have an intimate relationship with Christ, then your physical beauty is vain. Meaningless. And it will vanish quickly. You can have all the latest clothes, make-up, and accessories, and still feel worthless and unattractive. How I wish they would see that God did not just created us, He FORMED us. It is up to us to take care of our bodies and maintain them well, not to cut and tuck and change what He made. How I wish the girls and women of today would plant their high heels firmly on the ground and say, "MY beauty comes from my relationship with Jesus. MY marriage stays hot because we have the Author of Love in the center of our relationship."

A word to brides.... YES, it is your day. YES, I know you want to look BEAUTIFUL! But do not fall for the lie of this world. Your beauty comes with from Christ. It comes only from your closeness to our King. Perfect the inner beauty and the intimate relationship with Him, and you will be one radiantly beautiful bride!....no cutting involved!

Proverbs 31:30
"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's Worth It All

Years ago, my family sang a song that said,

It's worth it all to feel a fire that's burning deep within
It's worth it all to know I'm saved and I am free from sin
Just to feel His touch and know that He is coming back again
It's worth it all, it's worth it all

Though that song has little to do with sexual purity, I couldn't help but sing those words yesterday as I was scurrying around the house doing what housewives do.

I was going through my iTunes yesterday after and, to my delight, I found our wedding ceremony loaded onto my computer....so I watched it, reminiscing about that day. During the ceremony, my Dad, who performed the marriage, told my story to the 250+ witnesses gathered there. He spoke of my commitment to purity and all the trials that came with waiting and waiting....and waiting....for 24 years. As he ended my story, he said, "And aren't you glad, Kristen, that you held on?" I was! Just seconds from my first kiss and hours from my wedding night, I was so glad that I had waited for my prince; that I had saved everything for him and him alone. As I watched the video yesterday and heard myself sing "I Do," my song to my groom, I literally wept.

Grant and I have been married for 6 1/2 months and yet it seems like it has been years ago since I sat on my bed writing in my journal about how difficult it was to be patient. It feels like it's been years since I was a single girl, uninterested in any guy, yet hoping and praying that one day I would have a fairytale love of my own. I spent years saying "no" to kisses, trying to avoid the inevitable "Will you go out with me?" pleas. I spent years watching one friend after another get their heart broken, bash their ex behind their back, then hook with up another "perfect" person and....well....rinse and repeat. Years of hearing, "Oh, she's pregnant now. Did you know?" and "She and so-and-so.....you know."

Am I glad those years have gone? Definitely. However, I wouldn't trade those years for anything. They made me stronger, more determined to do things God's way. Yet, looking back, I remember the discouragement that came from time to time. I remember getting on my knees, asking God for forgiveness, and then strength to do things the right way. I remember crying and then hearing my Lord's voice saying, "Come to me. I am your Lover, I am your Prince...and I won't leave. Trust ME."

It was hard. It always is when you do things the Lord's way. Jesus said that His road is narrow. It is filled with hills and valleys, storms and sometimes vicious hurricanes. But oh....how sweet it is to walk with Jesus! To KNOW that you are in His will. Somehow, no matter how dark the sky may be, there is still a peaceful calm and a ray of sunshine when you are walking the narrow road of Christ, with Him at your side, guiding you, leading you, strengthening you, interceding for you....

That's how I feel, looking back. Did I face the storms of laughter, jokes, and condescending looks? Yep. Did I face the loss of friends, the headache of being unable to find a guy who truly wanted to be my friend, no strings attached? I did. Did I wonder if it was really worth it? Did I wonder if all the hard work would pay off? Yes.

*smile* But after 6 1/2 months of wedded bliss with a Godly, handsome, tender, passionate, romantic, strong, faithful husband with whom I will have a little one come April....I have to say, like that old song says, it's worth it all!  

....it's worth it all.


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