“Can I want to be beautiful?” is not answered by telling girls to focus on an undefined “inner beauty” or forcing them to mentally accept a body they struggle to embrace. It is answered by showing them the balance of God-defined body image.
I knew love as a choice. Even when falling in love with my husband, it was the product of a planned, discerned choice for a man who shared my values and life goals. Love was not an impulse, sometimes not even an emotion. It was an action. It was resolve.
I read it a hundred times, in several different versions, but never in the version in front of me. I kneel over the page and read it again:
“…I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:1-2, HCSB)
Do not be conformed to this age.
I used to think an atmosphere of worship required flickering candles, Bethel music, and hour-long prayer sessions. When I was single, that used to be my reality. I’d read my Bible, turn on worship music, and spend more than thirty minutes enjoying the presence of God. It felt like worship. It looked like worship.
Then I quit my job, moved to a new state, and had a baby – all in the span of one week. My life was upended for good, and in that transition I learned that worship is not a sequence of activities or a certain kind of music. It’s an attitude.