Cover story titled “Nip. Tuck. Or Else.” covered the face of Time Magazine on June 29 of 2015. The author brought to light the cultural shift in different parts of the world specifically towards the acceptance and eventual desire of every woman to have some form of cosmetic procedure simply by cultural influence and peer pressure. As I read the article, it was devastating to see women’s, men’s, and cultures pressure for perfection. This issue is summarized with the statement, “Why you'll be getting cosmetic procedures even if you don't really want to.” So I asked myself, how did we get here?
STRUGGLE WITH VANITY
Look, I realize as a man writing this, I am treading on some very dangerous ground. But know for me this is personal. For years I watched my wife purchase makeup every 3 months that costs $70, get a haircut and dye every 8 weeks for $100, purchase an average of $250-$500 worth of clothes per year for the latest trends, work out 2 hours a day, have 3 microdermabrasion treatments for $150 each, get manicures each month for 4 years at $30 a pop and always, always, always, left wishing she looked better. It was horrible to watch my partner and best friend go through this week after week, day after day never satisfied. Vanity and coveting was a huge battle for my wife. Obviously, she is not alone. I have heard it said that the struggle with vanity is to a woman like the struggle of lust is to a man. If that’s the truth for you, then I must share this hope with you.
My wife, once caught in the snares of cultures views of beauty, now stands on something greater. If you are reading this as a Christian, you may feel absolutely trapped in the cultural pressure to look a certain way. You must know there is hope.
1st Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (NIV 84)
COULD IT BE YOUR IDOL?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a sin to wear makeup or any of that. But I am saying, it could be. Just ask yourself, “Who am I trying to please?” The answer to this question, could be your idol. I know because it was an idol for my wife. However, something happened to my wife after she truly committed her life to Jesus. I have seen a drastic change in her and how she has been winning the war against vanity that once controlled her joy. In fact, she wanted me to tell you that you too can overcome the cultural gravity to “look perfect.”
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
So men and women, we all have to ask ourselves as servants of Christ, where does our source of approval, our source of joy, and our source of love come from? My challenge to you is this, let it be of the one who made you in His own image and likeness. The one who thought you were worth dying for just the way you look.