What is Beauty?
We live in a culture that idolizes physical beauty. Health is discarded as we try to achieve a figure that our society considers attractive. Eating disorders are common as women struggle to maintain unrealistic body proportions. We are confronted everyday with advertisements trying to sell us products to slow our aging or club memberships to sculpt the perfect body.
We know as well as the writer of Proverbs that outward beauty is fleeting. There is no magic pill to turn back the clock. The challenge is to shift our focus. God sees a heart that reverences him as the most important thing. So we need to stand apart from our culture and show a different perspective. We need to be careful that God is the focus of our lives and that we are not making youth and beauty idols in our lives.
Of course it is important to maintain the health of our bodies; we want to care for the bodies that God has given us. Our outward appearance should never take priority over maintaining our spiritual health.
So where is your focus? Are you focused on what our culture tells us to worry about? Are you taking your cues from what God says in the Bible? God tells us that society may look at outward beauty, but he looks at the heart.
Do we have unrealistic expectations for our spouse? Do we expect our spouse to maintain a perfect body? Our body image can sometimes take a beating as our bodies change over the years. We can be hard on ourselves for carrying extra pounds. Will we remember our vows to love our spouse through whatever life brings? Our spouse needs our love and acceptance to know that the outward stuff is not as important as what is on the inside.
Are you focusing on God's priorities or on what the world considers valuable? Are you working on building your spiritual muscles?
Help us to avoid the distraction of our cultures view of beauty and to focus on having a heart that loves you above all. Help us to love our spouse unconditionally.
Step families come with a variety of challenges to weather from the moment they say “I do.” Ron Deal addresses specific challenges and offers biblical insight as well as clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist to help equip couples for the journey ahead. He offers hope and encouragement for helping families navigate establishing working relationships within the new family as well as with the extended family.
http://glendora.patch.com/articles/your-marriage-is-a-gift Advice for weathering the storms of marriage from the Glendora Patch
"More importantly, if it is so difficult, why bother trying to make marriage work? For starters, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. Research consistently shows that children tend to fare better in married, two-parent households. The investment you make in your marriage not only rewards you and your spouse, the dividends spill over to your children as well"