True Beauty

Andy Naselli —  March 27, 2014 — 1 Comment

trueSix years ago my wife recommended three books by Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters.

At the end of this month another one releases:

Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre. True Beauty. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014. 125 pp. 22-page PDF sample.

This book is for ladies, but I read it because I love and lead my wife and three little daughters. This is going to become an increasingly big deal as my daughters get older, and I want to shepherd them well.

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7 Excerpts

  1. Every day we are bombarded with images of beauty: on television, movies, billboards, storefronts, and magazine ads, on our phones, tablets, and computer screens. These images tell us what we are supposed to look like, and they present a standard of beauty so narrow in its range that most of us feel unattractive by comparison. What is this ideal standard of beauty? We must have a perfectly proportioned figure, exquisite facial features, flawless skin, and be free from defects or disabilities—not to mention that we must be young, or at least retain a youthful, healthy appearance. (p. 15)
  2. Women believe that beauty is essential to a happy life. (p. 17)
  3. [O]ur likes and dislikes are often shaped by popular culture more than we care to admit. (p. 33)
  4. I doubt there is a woman alive who doesn’t wish she could change something about her body. . . . For many women, body image is a life-dominating issue, the source of much unhappiness and self-loathing.” (p. 49)
  5. God does not make a worldly ideal of thinness a biblical goal. . . . [E]ating and exercising to achieve the cultural standard of a perfectly thin and toned body is not a godly pursuit. (p. 54)
  6. This is a recurring concern I hear as I interact with women about beauty. They wonder if they are still as beautiful to their husbands as their bodies change after childbirth and as they grow older. Even if their husbands attempt to reassure them, some women continue to worry. “I have a problem with accepting that my husband finds me as beautiful as he says he does,” admits Stephanie. This fear, along with our refusal to believe our husbands when they tell us we are beautiful, can cause tension in a marriage. “I struggle with the fear I’m getting fat all the time. It drives my husband crazy,” writes Briana. Jen says the same: “I don’t understand why I cannot trust my husband when he tells me how beautiful I am! It’s so annoying to him when I say, ‘You have to say that.’” Friends, if there is one thing that frustrates a man, it is a wife who won’t believe him on this point. Men don’t like to feel as if they can never say or do enough to convince us that they appreciate our beauty. We do our marriages a disservice when we judge our husbands by failing to take them at their word. (p. 86)
  7. What am I teaching my children about beauty through my actions, words, priorities, and life? (p. 108)

Related

  1. C. J. and Carolyn Mahaney on Parenting
  2. 3 Ways to Nourish and Cherish Your Wife: Practical Advice C. J. Mahaney Would Give You If He Met with You at Starbucks
  3. What Makes a Person Beautiful

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  1. Midweek Roundup – 4/2/14 | Crossway - April 2, 2014

    […] 5. Andy Naselli shares some excerpts from True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney and Nichole Whitacre […]

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