The King is enthralled by your beauty. – Psalm 45:11
Am I beautiful? It’s a question that haunts many women for decades.
Today’s American woman lives in a landscape of romantic devastation. Times past had their problems, but it seems to me that few eras of history have seen courtship and marriage as battered and defeated as our own.
The path to marriage is blocked by a host of counter-productive teachings, attitudes, and spiritual or emotional injuries. I’ve often thought that this issue is the particular suffering of Christians today. Other generations faced severe persecution, famine, or plague. We have the plague of divorce, broken relationships, and prolonged singleness.
Raising children in these circumstances can be quite demanding. Parenting is a two-person job, and a single mom must accomplish the work of two on depleted emotional and physical reserves. She may also hear the abusive message that she is not beautiful, even that she is unworthy and contemptible. At such times, the idea that she is beautiful can seem as far-fetched as water in the desert.
I believe God can speak through any means, in any way. On Sunday, we sang “You’re Beautiful,” a popular worship song. The lyrics express our adoration of Christ. It occurred to me that God could easily sing the same to his people – especially to those who seldom hear how beautiful they are. Perhaps this is a message single moms need to hear.
When you get up alone in the middle of the night to comfort your frightened child… you’re beautiful.
When you bravely square your shoulders and pile your children and their things into the car for another long day at work and daycare… you’re beautiful.
When you take a call from a friend, even though you’re exhausted and have finally gotten the kids to sleep… you’re beautiful.
When you find a way to get dinner on the table, putting your own needs aside… you’re beautiful.
When your stress level is off the charts, but you take a few minutes to read to your child at bedtime… you’re beautiful.
God notices every choice you make to love, when it costs you more than anyone will know. When no one’s looking, he sees and he calls you beautiful.
Now, obviously we don’t always behave beautifully when others aren’t looking. But God has a remedy for that, too. He understands the factors that go into a blown fuse, and he doesn’t judge us the way people do. He knows it’s much harder to be kind when you’ve slept only four hours, your house is a disaster, and you can’t pay to fix the car. Furthermore, the blood of Christ cleanses our sins and mistakes. God sees us through Jesus, who is beautiful in grace – grace that applies to us no matter what.
Sing it to him, and you’ll hear the echo return from Heaven: You’re beautiful.