Deception of Perfection

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fear the Lord is to be praised.”
               Proverbs 31:30

I have naturally curly, dark brown hair.  And each morning, when getting ready for the day, I like to make sure that each individual strand of hair is curled just so.  My main reason?  What if someone thought my hair wasn’t naturally curly because of one hair not curling properly!  So because of this thought running through my head, I take extra care to check my hair at every angle.  Sounds a little ridiculous, right?  It’s really not that anyone would think less of me if one hair was out of place, but I want to make sure that I don’t look that way.

It’s laughable, yes, but realistically, how often do we that with our homes, our kids, our vehicles and just our life in general.  There have been many times I’ve asked my husband to change shirts so people don’t think I neglect my husband (and if you know my husband, he doesn’t give one thought to the wrinkles, but will change for me).  We seek to deceive others, and sometimes ourselves, into thinking we’re perfect.  We strive to make sure that the house “looks” neat and tidy to the naked eye, but hoping that no one looks too closely.  We make sure our child has a healthy snack at school, hoping they don’t tell the teacher about the popcorn you gave them for supper last night.  We buy these things called “Spanx” to make sure those extra few cookies we indulged in don’t show themselves through the pretty new sundress we got off the clearance rack at Wal-Mart.

We also spend a lot of time “researching” perfection.  How many of us buy those home decorating or organizing magazines that stare at us from the checkout line at the grocery store?  We see these while our kids are grabbing for the strategically placed candy bars or gum, and succumb to the temptation that this magazine, for only $4.99, will help us rearrange our lives to perfection.  And how many of us have seen or subscribe to blogs that will give us all sorts of tips on meal-planning, pantry organization and the perfect color of blue for your guest room.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, but what feelings do you come away with?  Do you feel inspired or depressed?  Hopeful or overwhelmed?

One of the biggest images of perfection that I’ve struggled with is the Proverbs 31 woman.  But, because I truly believe what Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” I cannot avoid Proverbs chapter 31.  This week I was reminded by Karen Ehman in her book, “Let. It. Go.” that it does not say that this woman accomplished all of these things in one day or even by a certain age.

What a relief, because I’ve struggled so many times with why my house will never stay toy-clutter free (thanks to my beautiful, giggling 2 and 4 year-old princesses) like the ones in the magazines. Or why I can’t get my act together and plan my meals days in advance.  Or why I’m not more organized with my time and make it to the gym to rid my waist of those extra cookies.  What I’ve have to remind myself it that I need my my priorities, to be God’s priorities.  He wants me to be real.  No more deception of perfection. And to remind myself that for everything, there is a season.  He calls me to do my best each day.  And as we all know, His best is not the same as what the world deems as “best”, so I need not bog myself down with images of the perfect home or the perfectly dressed children.

Someday I may have a well-organized home, pre-planned meals and dresses that don’t need spanx hidden underneath.  And maybe, one of these days, I’ll be able to let go of having the perfect head of curls.

5 thoughts on “Deception of Perfection

  1. Erin,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us this week! You have some really great insight. We have to learn to let go of trying to keep everything perfect all the time. It is exhausting for sure!

    Kristen (OBS group leader)


  2. Great post Erin and I love your curls in place or otherwise! Thanks for sharing your input on this difficult topic for so many women. You have a gift that God is using to help so many others! Always remember that God will give you what you need to honor and serve Him right when you need it. That is all there is!
    Erin Cuomo, OBS Group Leader


  3. Erin,
    I LOVE your posts! The comparison of the candy (targeted at the kids) and the self-help magazines (targeted at us) really hit home for me. We want the same instant gratification that our children seek in a box of Nerds. WOW! I will be asking myself if I feel “inspired or depressed” the next time I see one of them!


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