It was your typical morning routine- nothing special. You might even say you were just going through the motions…
You slip out of your pjs and into the new jeans you found on sale last week, pair them with your favorite tee shirt, and find some earrings and a bangle to finish off the look.
You contemplate a few hairstyles and plug in your straightener.
You cover your face with a moisturizing primer, then a layer of foundation, some eyeliner and smoky shadow, wiping off the accidental splotch of mascara on your cheek.
You brush your teeth and choose a pair of shoes – the hardest choice of them all – pack your purse, grab a protein bar, and make your way out the door.
Just a normal morning in the life…
But what if I asked you to take a deeper look? What if I asked you about each move, each product, and every choice you made while getting ready?
I’m certain that your heart might reveal something like this:
Those new jeans…I didn’t really need them. In fact, I’m trying to save money. It’s just that I wanted something new – something that might get complimented by my co-workers.
That purple tee shirt…I actually tried 3 different tops on before settling on that one. It disguises that little roll when you sit down better than the other tops I tried.
My hair just wasn’t meant to go untamed…its frizzy and dry, and doesn’t fall in order like I’d like it to.
And the makeup…I know it makes my face break out, but I just feel pasty without it.
When taking a another look, we realize there’s a deeper purpose and motive behind the way we get ready each morning. Maybe you’re dressing a certain way to fit in… covering up things you’re ashamed of… flaunting your favorite features in order to gain attention… or putting on a mask in order to hide your insecurities… following a “foolproof” prescription to look like the girls you admire and envy.
The way we get ready is about more than our physical appearance; its about the state of our hearts.
There have been times in my life when I dressed to impress a certain group of people and there were times when I dressed for the attention of guys. And to this day, I wear blue to make my teeth look whiter; I prefer tunics to standard sized tops because I think they’re more flattering on me; I obsess over how quickly my eyebrow hairs grow back; and I’m still working my way through “all natural remedies” for the dark bags hanging under my eyes.
I’d like to smile, adjust my posture, and say, “Yes. I find my confidence in the Lord” but the way I get ready in the morning reflects the opposite. My morning routine often reflects a heart that’s trying to find security in this world and find it all on her own, by her own strength. It shows a heart that is troubled by comparison and competition. And this is contrary to the life of freedom God has for us.
Because when you step into an overpriced pair of jeans, bought by insecurity, you become a slave to the shackles of if only and I wish. And this is all a part of the enemy’s scheme. He wants to distract you into spending more time looking in the mirror and less time looking into your soul.
I want you to know that you don’t have to let insecurity control your wardrobe. You don’t have to be consumed by every mirror you walk past or every girl you wish you looked like.
Do you know what you can do instead? Each morning as you get ready, invite God into that space. He’ll provide the armor you need to step boldly and confidently into battle each morning.
The Belt of Truth, to proclaim your real value and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by a creative God who makes no mistakes.
The Breastplate of Righteousness, to reflect Jesus in all that you do – not some girl you see in a magazine.
The Sandals of Peace, to calm your anxiety of impressing others.
The Helmet of Salvation, to be confident that this small spec of time is a tiny dot on the grand scheme of eternity, that this place is not your home, and that we have not really seen beauty until we’ve looked in the eyes of Jesus.
The Sword of the Spirit, to fight for love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, and forbearance – the most attractive qualities you could ever show.
The Shield of Faith, to block the attacks of the enemy. When you start to think, “if only I had this” “if I could just change this” “if I could lose this amount of weight” “I wish I looked more like her,” lift that shield and block those thoughts.
(Ephesians 6:10-18 The Armor of God)
The bottom line is this: the body image struggle you’re facing…it isn’t actually about your butt in those skinny jeans or your arm flab. It’s not about your acne or your skin tone. This is a spiritual battle for your heart. And you won’t win this battle with smaller thighs or perfect eyebrows. Those attributes will fade, while your heart remains eternal.
You see, you have a choice in how you start each day. You can step into your shirt that will shrink up, and jeans that’ll fade, following the trends that’ll eventually become outdated (and then come back again – hello, jelly shoes), or you can step into eternal beauty that far surpasses the value of anything found in the aisles of Target. You can still look cute and express yo self. But deep down, you’ll have a confidence that no fashion statement can come close to.
With Love & Freedom,
Ready to gear up with the Armor of God like I talked about in this article? I’ve got a free download to guide you through “praying on” this armor each morning while you get ready!