“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” —Proverbs 31:30 NASB

I feel like I’m in a battle every day—a battle between focusing solely on being the woman God wants me to be and trying to be a “Christian” version of what the world tells me I should be. Whether it’s a desire to have the latest and greatest fashions, shoes, or hairstyles, or to be the “perfect weight,” I have to battle every single day.

A typical day goes something like this (maybe you can relate): I’ll be doing great—confident in who God made me, feeling beautiful in Jesus’ eyes, and then I go to the grocery store and see the magazine ads staring me in the face at the checkout line. By the time I get in line to the time I check out, I’ve already decided that I really need to change my hair, overhaul my wardrobe, and lose a few pounds. Wow! Did that really just happen from the time I set my frozen chicken on the conveyor belt to the time I walked out? Yes, yes it did. And why? Because the world, my flesh, and the devil are never going to stop fighting me in my desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

I believe this is a battle that all of us women and young girls are facing right now. Our world tells us that in order for our husbands, friends, family members, coworkers, or anyone to love us, we need to be in fashion, in shape, and flawlessly perfect. But what does God say? One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 31:30. It literally says that beauty is “vain.” What does that mean?

The definition of vain is: producing no result; useless

The world’s definition of beauty produces no result; it’s useless. That really puts things into perspective.

All that the world tells me is beautiful is not going to produce any good result in my life; it’s all useless. I’m realizing, slowly but surely, that the world is never going to tell me I’m beautiful just the way I am. They’re going to tell me constantly that I need to change something, and it will end up leading to a life of discontent, misery, and being self-centered. That’s not what I want! Do you? If I die tomorrow, I don’t want people to remember me for my outward appearance. I want them to remember my example—my example for Christ, my example as a godly wife and mother.

I believe that as Proverbs 31 women, we can be beautiful on the outside and, most importantly, on the inside. I know many beautiful Proverbs 31 women that have beautiful hair and faces and dress in lovely clothes. It doesn’t mean dressing in potato sacks, wearing no makeup, and eating unhealthy food. Verse 22 of Proverbs 31 says that “her clothing is fine linen and purple.” She was dressed beautifully and she truly was a beautiful woman as our Lord would define it.

My husband always tells me that I’m the most “beautiful” to him when I’m acting like, talking like, and mirroring my precious Jesus in all my actions. The second I start focusing more on how I look, how much I weigh, and whether or not I fit the world’s mold, my attitude begins to change. I get snippy. I get discontent. I get miserable. And most importantly, I take my eyes off of Jesus.

I’m sharing all this because I’m battling this alongside so many of you. I hope one day, in God’s strength and grace, that we can truly be free from this battle as women!

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 NKJV).