A Guy's Thoughts on Beauty

1:36 PM Edit This 10 Comments »
Believe it or not, girls aren't the only ones talking about what it means to be gloriously beautiful. Check out this open letter to Christian girls from my friend Josh. "True Beauty and God's Love"

The Ex List

3:11 PM Edit This 10 Comments »

I’ll admit, I never saw it, but there was a show on TV that ran in 2008 called “The Ex List.” It’s about a woman who discovers that she has already met, dated, and broken up with the man she was meant to be with. Trouble is, she has met, dated, and broken up with a lot of men, and she has no idea which one was The One. So she has to go through her “ex list” and re-date all of her old boyfriends to find the gem she passed over the first time.

It makes me think about what I’d want my ex list to look like someday. How many names would I want written on that page? Maybe I could rack up social points by going through a few dozen boyfriends. Maybe I could practice for marriage by getting into a serious relationship long before I plan to actually commit. That’s certainly how some people think. Not me, though, and I hope you agree. I’d want as short of a list as possible. Is ten a good number? How about five? Maybe I’ll do really well and only break up two or three times before I make a lifelong commitment.

Maybe my husband will only be the second or third man I give my whole heart to. I’m sure he’ll appreciate that.

But then I have to ask myself: What’s the ideal? If I could write the perfect love story, what would it look like?

If I want to keep the ex list as short as possible, then the ideal would be to keep it at zero. No breakups whatsoever. I’d spend years waiting for my prince to come, and then when I finally met him, I’d let him win my love slowly. Then at long last, I’d marry him and stay married forever. He’d be my First and Only One.

Seriously, how romantic is that? Can you imagine what it would be like to be in a relationship without the clutter of past boyfriends? To be able to give your whole heart away, without any pieces broken off?

Hopefully you’re already committed to the idea of saving your virginity for your wedding day. That’s amazing, I commend you highly. But how often do we think that way about our emotional purity? Do we guard our hearts the same way we guard our bodies?

When I get married, I want to be able to give my husband everything: all of my body and all of my heart. I don’t want him to be the second or third or fifth or fifteenth man I say “I love you” to. I don’t want to give my heart away until I know he’s the one to keep it forever.

This is why I’m not dating. Not because I’m afraid I may “go too far,” and not because it doesn’t sound fun, but because I want to keep every last corner of my heart for the man I will marry.

Don’t you think he deserves that? Don’t you think you deserve that?

For the record, a number of my dear friends whom I deeply respect have gone through breakups before. That’s ok. Sometimes the guy you thought was right turns out to be not so perfect after all. But I know they would agree with me that breakups are not part of the ideal picture. And it is possible to achieve that zero-count ex list. I have some other dear friends who have done it, and I am in awe of their love story.

As Amy March said in Little Women, "You don't need scores of suitors. You only need one, if he's the right one."

Ok, so I know you all have strong reactions to what I've just said. Please comment and be heard! I don't want to be the only one talking here. Let's figure this thing out together! :)

COMING UP: What if we took this idea to the next level? Part 2 coming Wednesday, December 2!

The Princess Bride

7:09 PM Edit This 9 Comments »
I like to imagine sometimes what my wedding will be like. I want something breezy and free and beautiful. I imagine what I will look like as I walk down the aisle. I picture a white flowing dress that looks like something out of The Lord of the Rings, and maybe even bare feet. My hair will have soft waves and curls, gently pulled back and pouring down my back in a luscious waterfall. My gauzy veil, attached to my hair by a little silver tiara, will flow down over my hair, brushing against my cheek. I will walk slowly down the aisle, with all my dearest friends and family watching me, but my eyes will be locked on the eyes of the man at the front. My bridegroom. The man who has chosen me whom I have chosen in return. Maybe you like to imagine the same thing.

What would you say if I told you there is a wedding more beautiful than that waiting for you?

There are a lot of phrases that get batted around in the church a lot, and “Bride of Christ” is one of them. If you grew up in the church, you’ve probably heard it all your life. We talk about the Church being the Bride of Christ, and in heaven we will celebrate at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

This can sound like a rather strange concept (especially for guys), but it’s definitely in the Bible.

"Let us rejoice and be glad; let us praise his greatness! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his bride has prepared herself for it. She has been given clean shining linen to wear.” (The linen is the good deeds of God's people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Happy are those who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And the angel added, “These are the true words of God.”
Revelation 19:7-9

And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband.
Revelation 21:2

That bride, the new Jerusalem, is the Church, all believers who have ever lived. She is being married to Jesus, the lamb of God, the lamb who was slain. (John 1:29, Revelation 5:12)

Maybe this is something that boggles your mind a bit. I hope so. It is a gloriously massive concept, and it should stagger you a bit. If it doesn’t, you probably haven’t let it sink in yet. We are Jesus’ bride! The King of heaven and earth has chosen us, courted us, and proposed. For those of us who have accepted, a beautiful wedding beyond imagination and blissful unity for all eternity await us.

If you have a hard time thinking of yourself and God in romantic terms, you’re not alone. It was a crazy concept to the Hebrews too. They were used to thinking of themselves primarily as God’s servants, chosen and protected so they could serve him. But this is what God said through one of his prophets in the Old Testament:

“On that day she will call me her husband,” declares the LORD. “She will no longer call me her master.”
Hosea 2:16

God longs to take us beyond a master-servant relationship into a real love affair, a passionate and committed marriage! He wants us to call him “husband”! Can you imagine?

Of course, it’s not entirely literal. God has no gender, and there are millions of Christians, men and women. Obviously, God is not going to put on a tux and we are not going to all try to fit into one wedding dress. But in the most important sense it is absolutely true. Think about it. In human life, marriage is the most intimate relationship two people can have. What better picture is there for God to use in describing how close he wants to be to us?

In the past few years when I first began realizing that this is how God sees me, as his beautiful and beloved bride, I absolutely melted. I have been so captivated by this love that has swept me off my feet. This is my prayer for you.

I am the devoted servant of the Most High God. I am the precious daughter of the King of Kings. But even beyond that…I am the beloved bride of the Man who gave up everything to pursue me. I am the princess bride of King Jesus Christ.

Like a young man taking a virgin as his bride, He who formed you will marry you. As a groom is delighted with his bride, so your God will delight in you.
Isaiah 62:5

A Beauty Glorious is on Facebook!

2:08 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
No use denying it...you spend about half your life on Facebook. I know it's true, I do it too. So in honor of those of us who stay connected to the world via our news feed and that little red notification box, I have created a Facebook group especially for A Beauty Glorious! Become a member, comment on the page, and stay updated on what's new on this blog. I'd love to see you over there!

And keep your eyes peeled for a new blog post I'll be putting up in a few days!