Saturday, 13 November 2010

There's something in my eye


http://stevelummer.wordpress.com/

"Why do you notice the little piece of dust in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood in your own eye?
~Jesus~ {Matthew 7:3}

I received a comment on a post recently that I chose not to publish as it was not edifying. The comment was for my post "And that makes me Beautiful". We may have freedom of speech, but on my blog, I have the right to publish or not publish comments. If I feel that the comment didn't add in a positive way to my blog, then I don't publish it. The goal of my blog is to encourage others, and I would like any comments to do the same. I thought I'd share it with you.

Here is the comment I received:
The Bible says that our bodies are not our own and that the husband's body belongs to the wife and vice versa. This whole "I'm beautiful cause I had kids and I'm too busy caring for family to keep myself decent" is a easy excuse for being selfish. It doesn't take much time to apply a coat of mascara and slick on some gloss and run a brush through ones hair. Applying fragrance only takes enough time to press the spritzer on the bottle and there are many stores that carry non-frumpy attractive easy to clean/care for clothing that hold up to chasing after and caring for kids.


The reason I'm up in arms a bit about this is that I have a family friend who's gone the "I had a kid so I don't need to do much for myself anymore" route. She looks frumpy and has let herself go in the looks and weight department. She also holds the strings in other departments too. Her husband is greatly affected by this and though he loves his wife we can tell that it hurts him as he's expressed his frustration over her behavior.


So my point is that guys have eyes that roam and they DO notice other women. In order to keep him from temptation I think wives should make at least some kind of effort to look decent instead of , as I stated earlier, "I'm a mom. It doesn't matter how I look/dress cause I love me and God loves me.". You don't live for yourself anymore and your husband comes first before the kids. Mascara some gloss and a brush won't kill you and I'm sure your husbands will appreciate it. (Anonymous)
Now after reading this, it is obvious that her 'beef' is not with me - but her 'family friend'. But the things that I  don't like about this comment are:
a) that it was done in a very judgemental and critical spirit
b) Had little to do with my post that was essentially about questioning what society says is beautiful compared to true beauty
c) assumes that my commenters and I wear frumpy clothes, wear no make up, don't do our hair all the time
Now in her defence, I did mention in my post that both times I was mistaken for my husband's mother, I was not looking my best. But in my defence, the first time I was sleep deprived and had been recovering from a c-section, and the second time I was unwell. The majority of the time I do look after my appearance. She makes some good points in the comment. I agree, we should not let ourselves go after we have had children. But we shouldn't have the added pressure of trying to look like a super-model 24/7 either, if we are just not up to it!

It was more the tone of the comment that I didn't like. Her last line says 'husbands' - plural which implies she is talking to my commenters also. And you know what? I appreciate and have formed friendships with many of my commenters, so I felt defensive. How does she know if all my commenters do or do not groom themselves? She doesn't, she is making an assumption. The problem with assuming is that it is judgemental. It takes a little slice of your image and paints a whole picture of you that is often far from the truth.

I know I have done this many many times with people. I think I know how a person will react, think and do based on a glimpse of what I have seen from their lives. I have judged people. I have thought, "Oh look at her! She is doing  (or not doing) X,Y,Z. Tsk! Tsk!", not knowing the full story.

Truth be know, I was a frumpy clothes wearing, no make-up, throw my hair up in a pony tail everyday kind of girl when I was suffering from depression. And I'm pretty sure I had some people assuming that it was because I didn't care, now that I had kids, about how I looked for my husband. But what they didn't see was that it was a struggle during  those times to do even the simplest task. Getting out of the house for an outing made my head spin with anxiety and everything overwhelmed me. I didn't worry about my appearance because I didn't think I was worth the effort. And my husband? His eye did not wander. He was too busy keeping an eye on his mentally ill wife, concerned for my well-being because he loved me and took his marriage vows seriously. He wasn't worried whether or not I was wearing make-up. He was more concerned about getting his wife well.

It is only recently that I can say "I am beautiful", and that is only because I have discovered who I am in Him and how much He loves me. It is only because I am now free to be me -who He designed me to be - instead of hiding behind various masks of who I thought people wanted me to be, or how I thought a Christian woman should act. It is only in finding my identity in Him and discovering that He loves me just the way I am, that I came to take pride once again in my appearance. Just because He loves me just the way I am, doesn't mean I want to stay that way. I want to continue to grow. But His grace is amazing don't you think? So liberating!

If I was to make an assumption about 'Anonymous', it would be that she is loving her neighbour as she loves herself. I know the times that I have been judgemental, it has been because I was loving people the way I loved myself- and that was not very much. But if I make assumptions about 'Anonymous' I am doing exactly what she has done in commenting on my post in the manner that she did. Must go, I think I have something in my eye.

Still taking lessons from the King,




13 comments:

  1. definitely something to think about!

    thanks for sharing the whole situation with us, as it's often easy to present only one view.

    Well thought out and presented.

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  2. Yes, I think you handled it well too. I'm sure we could all find the odd tree in our eyes!! I know I have a mini forest growing which i am constantly pulling out!

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  3. Great response Jo! As a single woman, I get up every day and add the modern day touches to 'make' myself up; not for my future husband, but for myself and my beloved Father God and Jesus the Gentleman. I also have days where I just let nature take its course. Either way...I am beautiful. I would never, however, cast judgement on anyone else about their appearance. I hope that 'Anonymous' pops back over to your blog and reads this post and his/her life is enhanced by your candid response. xoxo

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  4. oh gosh, you've reminded me of a plank i still need to remove... Lord help me!

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  5. It is amazing the high value that can be put falsely on outward appearance when God constantly thru scripture talks about the value of a beautiful heart. Some of the women who I find most beautiful are those whose gorgeous hearts shine thru to the outside and inspire me :) I know my hubby finds me attractive for my mind and soul as well as my body and I know that when the busyness of life gets on top of my ability to look 'stunning' all the time that he still finds me attractive as my outside appearance is only part of who I am, the whole me. I think we so need to be gracious to each other , when we are looking stunning and when we are a rumpled mess due often to things we cannot control. I am glad you addresses the issue and comment on your blog Jo! We can be so good at assuming things about others that often aren't true!
    Luv Donna

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  6. Thanks for sharing! What comes to mind is the words Jesus said, "love one another as I have loved you". He loved us in the dirt and grim and saw the beauty too.. I have been blessed that my husband gave me that kind of love.. in my dirt and grim.. my struggles and woes he remained fully engaged and gave me the gift of God's sight over me. Now he reaps the benefits. Love breeds beauty. In time it blooms again and again.. We women often think of ourselves as a blooming rose when really we are more like a rose bush. We bloom over and over again and not every bloom looks the same even on the same bush.All are beautiful.
    Yes we need to respect and care for ourselves, but there will also be times that the beauty we have to offer may be the light in our eyes when our man walks through the door. That is life in a fallen world. But love remains.
    True love looks and sees the little things.
    A good date night is fun too... but we should not heap condemnation upon ourselves.. even our guys get gritty when they are working!
    Having raised 4 sons (born in 5 years), home educated them and been very sick for many years.. I am amazed at God's grace and my husbands love. And from this end of it ..(they are grown now) I realize I stressed out over way to much, and I did some things right..
    Beauty is important but it comes from the inside out.
    Just the other day God reminded me that He is the one who created me in His image.. and only He can restore it to what He intended it to be. I have to let Him open my eyes to see Him and then and only then can the twinkles of His beauty shine through me.

    My Prayer is that God will teach me how to show love to my husband in the way he alone needs.
    Over the years I have found asking my husband often clears up the preconceived ideas society places on us.

    His Daughter and Still Growing up

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  7. I love your courage in sharing this one, Jo! The world almost always raises an eyebrow and smirks at us when we no longer follow its norms. I have been a career woman in the past and now a SAHM, and in both instances I don't run to putting on mascara and lip gloss to make myself "beautiful". That's how the world brainwash women... you need 'something' ON your face to make you beautiful. Au Naturale or with a little paint on my face, either way, we are beautiful because of HIM.

    "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. " (Proverbs 31:30)

    So did Anonymous mean that if we don't put on mascara and gloss we look ugly to our husbands or something? Uhmmm... gotta stop here (the plank is now sticking out! hahaha)

    Y'all be blessed, sisters! Stay beautiful.

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  8. Gosh! Who would of thought beauty could get so ugly!! Just goes to show that this message of true beauty is so needed! Keep speaking out!! xx

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  9. Beautifully handled. I have way too many trees in my eye that I struggle to see people the way God sees them. This is my constant prayer. And you are right, real beauty comes from within.

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  10. Real beauty does come from within and accepting that God made you look a certain way for a reason. I've stopped trying to change how I look (make-up, hair colour, skin colour etc) and embraced the grey hairs, freckles and wrinkles. I'm becoming more like Christ everyday.
    "Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance." Ecc 8:1

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  11. Hi there Jo, Just opened up 'Enhance' mag, read your 'I am Beautiful' article and now I'm here! Love that you shared this whole experience and we can all gain and grow something from this. I am pleased to say that I am in Recovery now from years of depression and can relate only too well to the kind of mess I looked during the worst of it. Like yours, my hubby's eyes were lovingly on me, his heart-sick wife, and together we are wobbling through in 'sickness and in health, for better and for worse.' Victory is ours! I've only been on this blog for 5 minutes and I'm already encouraged and inspired - so thanks!! and let me just finish off by saying, what a Beautiful God we serve, He really does love us, His girls. Blessed to be called daughter. Thanks sis x

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Love,
Jo Princess Warrior xo