Michelle Duggar & An Inner Struggle

Just the other day...I started watching the show "18 Kids and Counting" (now "19 Kids...") out of sheer curiosity. I had heard a little about the Duggar family from my sister, but I really had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I think I expected to see a train wreck. I mean, come on...THAT many kids?! How can sanity be an option?! I was a skeptic, to say the least.

It didn't take long for my opinion to take a u-turn. I'm now a fan! I even set my DVR to record the show because I don't want to miss it. My family and I now watch every episode. And, while I adore each and every Duggar (especially little Jackson...that kid cracks me up!), I really have developed a huge amount of respect for Michelle (the mom). 

Michelle is no doubt a loving, attentive mother. She seems to be a really strong Christian. I love that she is so very organized with such a large family. I am drawn to the quiet way she guides and disciplines her kids. However, what I find the most refreshing about Michelle is the fact that she is so unconcerned with herself...and most specifically, with her appearance.

In a country full of women who constantly compare themselves to society's standards of beauty (myself included), she stands out in the crowd. She seems so unaffected. I could never imagine her saying something like, "Do I look ugly in this?" or "Does this make me look fat?" She just seems to have conquered all of that self-doubt and I find myself wondering..."How???" As a woman, I find myself at war with the TV and magazines and the internet and you-name-it...all of them telling me how I should look! When we are fed so many images of perfection, how can we not feel less than perfect? How, as a Christian woman, do we read the following passages and then reconcile that inner beauty is enough?

 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Prov 31:30

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is so precious to God." 
1 Peter 3: 3 - 4

Obviously, I don't have the answers, but I'm searching for them. I know those verses in my head. Somehow, in my heart, I just haven't reached the stage where I'm content to walk out the door if my hair and makeup are not "just so". I know my true worth does not come from what I look like on the outside. I get it. And yet...I struggle. I long to get to that place where a "gentle and quiet spirit" and "fearing the Lord" helps me to walk in full confidence, no matter what I look like as the years pass quickly by and bring on more gray hairs and wrinkles. I don't quite know how to get to that place.

At any rate, I'm thankful that TLC decided to produce the show "19 Kids and Counting" so that I can get a weekly peek at a Christian family who seems to be doing things right. But most of all I'm thrilled to watch a living example in Michelle Duggar (and secretly I'm hoping she will share on this subject one day). With three girls of my own, I long to stress the importance of inner beauty so much more than their physical appearance...and I try, believe me! However, it remains an issue I must tackle for my own sake and for theirs. They are still young and, for the most part, unaffected by the world's standards, but I know the days of make-up and boys and comparison are looming just around the corner! I'm praying that with the Lord's help, my girls can stand out and rise above it all. The world's systems and standards of beauty are obviously failing and leading many down a path of destruction (pornography, trafficking, etc). A different idea of true beauty is much needed!!!

You can visit the Duggar's website here: The Duggar Family  (Look for Michelle's Blog) 

What about you? Is this a struggle for you as well? How have you learned to be "in the world and not of the world"?