Book Review: Set-Apart Femininity
We've been looking at beauty with the wrong motivation, purpose, ways, and in the wrong places. Leslie Ludy points out in her book Set-Apart Femininity that, “Young women today are expected to be liberated, independent, confident, and fulfilled. But inside we actually are a desperate, lonely, insecure, hopeless lot—plagued by eating disorders, abusive relationship, emotional breakdowns, and sexual chaos.”
We want to be an alluring woman. Someone so beautiful and appealing that guys would be attracted to. Girls somehow want to achieve flawless skin, perfect hair, pouty lips, dazzling white teeth, and rosy cheeks that will encourage every men to be constantly interested in her.
But what is the true essence of being beautiful and appealing? How can we get it?
As women, the desire to be beautiful is innate. We dream of capturing the heart of our dream prince with our stunning beauty, like the princesses in fairytales. But the true essence of it didn't originate with Cinderella—it’s actually a biblical concept.
The entire Bible is a beautiful love story between Christ and you. Jesus is the only One who can truly satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. And yet, most of us turn to everything but Him in the desperate attempt to find the approval we crave. And all too often we fall for it.
We buy clothes, we read magazines, we watch commercials which we think will help us to know the latest trend. We take “selfies” and take ages to choose which photo has a good angle and which filter would make us look the prettiest. Every like or comment that follows somehow makes us feel better and accepted. Most of us won’t admit to this—even to ourselves—just how consumed we are in making ourselves appealing. The world proclaims that we aren't good enough and female beauty is gained through commercial products that every media outlet throws on our faces.
But the Christian voice insists that beauty comes from within us—in hearts which are fully surrendered to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The beauty that we wear is more than the physical attributes he has endowed us but the character He’s shaping into his likeness—of goodness, kindness, compassion, humility, and caring for others.
Maybe it will help us to ask ourselves, “Is Jesus really the Lord of my life or I am? Does His kindness make an appearance in my daily walk? Do I put more effort in making myself look great or in making Him look great in my life? Am I spending my time to have compassion and care for others or all I really care for is myself?
Leslie Ludy emphasizes in her book the dazzling loveliness of set-apart femininity—which exudes a beauty that is not of this world. This beauty is that of a spectacular radiance of a woman completely transformed by the Author of all things lovely and pure. You can never find this kind of beauty in the pages of fashion magazines.
The spectacular sparkle of the true feminine beauty is found by exchanging a life consumed with self for a life consumed with Jesus Christ; by trading the desire to be attractive to this world for longing to be attractive to Him alone. A real princess of God cares about nothing but loving, serving, honoring and glorifying Jesus Christ and that is truly, "The fairest of them all."