The desire to be beautiful is an ageless longing. Beauty has been extolled and worshiped and kept just out of reach for most of us. (Do you like having your picture taken? Do you like seeing those pictures later? How do you feel when people ask you your age? This issue of beauty runs deep!) For others, beauty has been shamed, used, and abused. Some of you have learned that possessing beauty can be dangerous. And yet—and this is just astounding—in spite of all the pain and distress that beauty has caused us as women, the desire remains.

And it's not just the desire for an outward beauty, but more—a desire to be captivating in the depths of who you are. Cinderella is beautiful, yes, but she is also good. Her outward beauty would be hollow were it not for the beauty of her heart. That's why we love her. In The Sound of Music, the Countess has Maria beat in the looks department, and they both know it. But Maria has a rare and beautiful depth of spirit. She has the capacity to love whiskers on kittens and mean-spirited children. She sees the handiwork of God in music and laughter and climbing trees. Her soul is Alive. And we are drawn to her.

Ruth may have been a lovely, strong woman, but it is to her unrelenting courage and vulnerability and faith in God that Boaz is drawn. Esther is the most beautiful woman in the land, but it is her bravery and her cunning, good heart that moves the king to spare her people. This isn't about dresses and makeup...Don't you recognize that a woman yearns to be seen and to be thought of as captivating? We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.

(Captivating , 16-17)
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