By Faith Hanan
“Oh my gosh, WHY would she post that picture?”
“Good night, lady, that is WAY too much information. We did NOT need to know that about you…”
These thoughts have, sadly, gone through my mind or escaped out of my mouth on more than one occasion. And while they were definitely NOT spoken with love nor was my attitude a reflection of my Father’s heart, I think the root question here bears examination.
Why DO we, specifically we women, do things to get ourselves seen? Why do we care whether “this dress makes us look fat” or “this photo makes us look good?” Men do not care if their photo is flattering. Men have a different question, a different way that they look for value.
The number one question that women ask from the time they are children is this:
Do you see me, am I captivating?
It is woven into the very fabric of our DNA. It is a question that we ask repeatedly all throughout our lives that we must continually have answered correctly.
Ever notice how a little girl just LOVES for you to delight in her beauty? She LOVES to hear you say that you think she is beautiful, to know that something about her captivates you. She loves to twirl her dress and dance just so that you will watch and be mesmerized by her, only her.
This is a desire that is put in us BY God for the purpose of drawing us to Himself.
We first take our question to our parents, especially our fathers. Depending on how they answer our questions, determines who else we take our questions to.
If our earthy father answers our question well, he will point us to a God who also sees us and is captivated by us.
If our earthly father and the other father figure men in our lives fail to answer our question correctly, we will take our question elsewhere, for it is a question that MUST be answered. Whoever and wherever we get a desirable answer to our question is where we will inevitably return to for our “fix” again and again. If you get noticed for your Brainiac prowess but not for your intrinsic value as a daughter, you’ll throw yourself into scholastics. Only receive your father’s notice for the points that you score in sports, and you will become a dedicated athlete looking to have your question answered by your accomplishments on the court. What if you never get told that you are beautiful because of your soul and the fact that you’re made in the image of God? But then puberty hits and you receive notice from boys for your nice figure? Chances are good that you’ll continue to take your question there.
Is it wrong to be noticed or appreciated for your brain, athleticism, or beautiful face or figure? No. Absolutely not. But these places cannot be the sole source of the answer to your question. God gave you all of these gifts to be celebrated, but the gift alone is not the source of what makes you captivating. The gift of beauty, brains, athleticism or whatever it may be is meant to draw you closer to God and see the beauty of the Creator exemplified in you.
You are seen. You are captivating. You are never too much and always enough. Because you were created by God Almighty, you are enough. You were fashioned by the hands of Love because creation was not complete without you. You reflect a piece of God’s character and nature that nothing else in all of time and space can duplicate.
In Christ, “"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7
But you see, when we do not allow our hearts to be fully redeemed by the Cross, when we continue to seek answers to our question from fallen mankind, we end up falling far short of the beauty and strength that God designed us to have. And seeking fulfillment from our social media posts is just one way. It’s an easy, yet grossly ineffective, band-aid that we can apply to the gaping hole in a wounded heart.
There is only One who will always answer your question correctly every single time. Though people may try to answer correctly all the time, they were not designed to be your primary source of identity and cannot fill that role.
Learn to take your heart to Jesus. Learn to listen as His Spirit sings words of wonder over the beauty that He placed in you. You are always seen. You are always noticed. You are always captivating.
Take these scriptures, write them out, post them all over your house. Personalize them by putting YOUR name as the recipient of the extravagant love of God. Let them become your declaration over your life because they come from eternal truth rather than fleeting and flawed feelings.
“Be here - the king is wild for you. Since he's your lord, adore him. Psalm 45:11 MSG
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3
"…Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15 NLT
"For just as a young man marries a maiden, so your sons will marry you; and just as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.”Isaiah 62:5 ISV
17” Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[a] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!
Ephesians 3:17-19 The Passion Translation
Pray with me,
Father, forgive me for searching for my value in something other than you. Forgive me for taking my question to those who are not designed to answer it. Lord, I want to find my value in You and You alone. I want to KNOW that I am seen and loved and noticed by You every moment. Lord, heal my heart. Heal the areas of my heart that have caused me to turn to other sources for fleeting glimpses of life. Come, Jesus. Come. Do the deep, healing work that only you can do. I trust you and I love you. Help me to trust you and love you more. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
**Much of this revelation came from reading and embracing the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Please, please, PLEASE get a copy of this book and read it. Let the Holy Spirit continue to bring healing to your soul through it.