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Take the 30-Day Vanity-Free Challenge!

 

Woman PondersClarksville, TN – The chitter chatter about our gray hair, our short hair, our too thin of hair…it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Women can talk about matters of vanity “till the cows come home.” For Pete’s sake, where are those cows already?

Lulls in conversation drift from stuff that matters (God, family, career, community) to things that clearly don’t matter as much (hair, weight, aging, clothes). I am not saying that those conversations are inherently bad; I am saying that it is “small talk” with big consequences. I believe that our conversations drive our vanity and ultimately our insecurities as women.

Think about it. How many times today, yesterday and this week have you discussed your weight or shape with a friend? How many posts do you see on Facebook and Pinterest about working out and eating a certain diet? How often do you see a photo of an amazing woman and immediately tell her that she’s pretty? Pretty? That’s what we automatically go for?

Pretty is great, and I love receiving compliments too, but I would rather hear something about my character than about my lip-gloss. Maybe character is hard to photograph.

Although our reasons for talking about our love-handles and our dry skin varies from boredom, misplaced priorities, fishing for compliments, or even seeking accountability; talking about matters of vanity slowly eats away at our self worth because each negative word is a reminder that we are not good enough. And the only thing we are accomplishing is setting an imaginary airbrushed version of ourselves on a pedestal and locking our “imperfect” selves in a dark dungeon until we are “good enough” to emerge.

I recently realized I (often) ask my husband dumb questions about my waistline and my hair style, that not only are a waste of our conversational breath, but are never going to be answered honestly because my husband is no fool, and he’s not a jerk. But besides that, he likes me. And then I go bringing out a laser pointer and a cynical expression, pointing out everything that is wrong with me to him day in and day out. That’s about as romantic as your husband using the facilities with the door open. It’s not.

So by now you might realize how vain talk hurts how you view yourself. You might even be reflecting about how it can hurt your marriage. But I have one more thing for you to chew on (don’t worry, it’s calorie free): How does it affect your relationship with God? I am not saying that shaving your legs or combing your hair is a sin.

I am however saying that obsessing over matters of looks and body image can be. It can take away from our time with God. It can steer our conversations into mindless chatter. It can steal our focus (Psalm 119.37).

It can make us compare our God-given bodies to other women, or ridiculous standards that tell God that we are unpleased with our gift. And while exercising our bodies into good health is of value, seeking godliness in all things is more so (1 Timothy 4.8).

I have a challenge for you. You might remember my 30-Day No Complaining Challenge. I would like to invite you to take part in my 30-day Vanity Free Challenge.

Here are the guidelines:

  • No body talk or complaining about your lady lumps with your girlfriends
  • No fishing for reassurance from your husbands, “Do these jeans make me look tubby?”
  • No Facebook posts about your gluten-free, organic, BPA-free, sugar-free chick peas, to show everyone that you are “on your way” to self-denying perfection
  • No telling your rock star, kick-butt female friends that they are (merely) “pretty” when they just saved a wolf cub, a choking child, or a small country

Instead of the above infractions, encourage your female friends by asking them to join you on this challenge. Share your progress and words of encouragement with them if you feel so inclined.

I have been using a countdown timer on my smartphone and I have been keeping track of my conversational progress. It is improving, but it has a long way to go. Some of my conversations have been on the border, others just complete relapses.

But I am trying and I am feeling better already. It’s just one week into the challenge for me and I am already more confident and more comfortable with myself.

See, what we talk about becomes what we are about, and I want to be so much more than a pretty face (Proverbs 31.30). Don’t you?

Join me in the challenge! Use #vanityfree to share your progress.


About Kris Wolfe

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