This morning my daughter-in-law, Traci Hines, posted some makeup videos she made. A skilled makeup artist, she has transformed many girls into stunning brides for their special day. Being a follower of Jesus, I know she would agree that the most important beauty of all is inner beauty.

So today, I’m inspired by her videos to write a blog about preparing to be the bride of Christ.

As all makeup artists know, before you apply foundation, eyeliner, eye shadow, or blush, you must first begin with a clean face. During the course of each day, our makeup fades and smears. And if we wash it all off the night before, we awaken with dark blotches under our eyes.

How do we cleanse away our old makeup for inner beauty? We begin by confession. By admitting that the day or night before, we preferred ourselves over others, we put our own agendas ahead of our loved ones, we made time for what we wanted over what God had planned for our day. This speaks to me on so many levels. Selfishness leaves black smears on a face God designed to radiate His love, joy, and peace.

But here’s the blessing. He is ready to wash it all away, to cleanse us of all the muck our fleshy hearts have accumulated over the past 24 hours, to wipe away the black smears and to give us a fresh start. As we acknowledge each blunder, each selfish thought, action or word spoken, Jesus gently washes them away.

Then it’s time for our foundation. Foundation is designed to cover and protect. Cover our flaws from a lifetime of wrong choices and protect us from the evil one. Each day we choose our foundation. Will it be our own fleshy attempt to be beautiful, to cover our hidden sins, or will it be His foundation – the love of Christ? Only His foundation will guarantee the inner beauty that does not fade.

After foundation, we want to highlight our eyes. We might choose eyeliner or some soft colors to enhance the windows to our souls. What is God hoping to see when He looks into our eyes? A wide-eyed sparkle of spiritual joy, and in the very pupil – a reflection of His Son upon whom our gaze rests.

How about a little blush on our cheeks? A natural blush is often the result of sudden attention being directed our way. The most beautiful blush is applied by the brush of modesty. So when we apply modesty to our face, He sees a beautiful color of innocent humility.

Finally, we focus on our lips.  A good make-up artist begins by outlining the lips. What type of boundary do we place on our spiritual lips? Do we carefully guard the words that leave them? Do we speak words of encouragement and blessing? Is the first goal of our day to speak words of love to our God?

Recently I’ve had many opportunities to snuggle with my 18 month old granddaughter and her tiny new sister, born just a few days ago. As I gaze into the precious faces of these two little girls, I know that all too quickly the day will come when makeup will be a part of their lives. They will want to be beautiful – princesses in their own rite.

But I hope that the makeup of Godliness will be the most important adornment they wear. May their hearts love Jesus completely and passionately. May their priorities and goals reveal an intimacy with Him that leads them to a wholesome life focused on sharing His blessings with others. May the words of their mouths encourage and uplift, ever pointing to Him, the foundation that makes it possible to be called the beautiful Bride of Christ.