I don’t know much about Jennifer Garner. I have no idea what she believes about Jesus. I don’t know what teams she cheers for. I don’t know how or if she votes. What I do know about her is that she’s an actress who was married to Ben Affleck.
Oh, and one other thing. She has a baby bump.
And she always will.
Why people allow themselves to get so worked up over the private lives of celebrities is beyond me. A few years ago, everyone was excited over rumors that Jennifer Garner was pregnant so Garner went on The Ellen Show to discuss the rumors.
“So I asked around and apparently I have a baby bump and I am here to tell you that I do.”
That’s the part where the studio audience erupted like they just found out that Oprah had put keys to a new BMW under each one of their seats. But Garner quieted them down.
“I am not pregnant. But I have had three kids and there is a bump. From now on ladies, I will have a bump and it will be my baby bump.”
This is refreshing in a world where the emphasis on appearance can cause many people, especially women, to struggle to live under the unrealistic expectations set before them by starving, airbrushed models on the cover of some magazine.
Garner’s honesty gives a much needed gospel reminder.
Do not let your adoring be the external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adoring be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4 (ESV)
This passage is not a call for women to burn their jewelry and start wearing plain clothes and bland hairstyles. Rather, it is a reminder that there is something that matters more than a person’s outward appearance – the hidden person of the heart.
Teenage boys and older boys who are in their 40s like to get themselves all worked up over a woman’s physical beauty as if that is all that matters. But God is more concerned with that heart of the woman he has created. When that heart beats in time with his, he finds it precious. Ladies, don’t trade in the temporary pleasures of the approval of boys for the eternal satisfaction of being found precious in God’s eyes. No amount of make-up or even Bible reading can give this to you. Through repentance of sins and faith in Christ, when God looks at you, he sees the righteousness of his perfect Son. And to him, that is precious.
Your identity isn’t found in the weight you can’t lose, the teeth you can’t fix or the clothes you can’t fit into. If you are a Christian, your identity is found in Christ.
Ladies, are you okay with just being found precious in God’s eyes, even if it means that the world sees you as just another face in the crowd?
Husbands, are you helping your wife and encouraging her in both her physical and spiritual beauty or, are you more like the teenage boys gawking at magazines because you can’t move beyond the wrapping paper around the heart that God finds so precious?
We all have our imperfections. Some of those imperfections are easier to cover up than others. Physical imperfections, for example, can be concealed by make up, creative fashion or photoshop. Imperfections of the heart are much harder to conceal from others and they are impossible to keep hidden from God.
Whether you’re Jennifer Garner with a baby bump or just some guy trying to bulk up for the summer, one thing is true for you. God is looking at you. And as he does, he sees beyond the six pack abs and the baby bump. He sees your heart.
And that leads to a very important question.
When God looks at your heart, does he see something precious?
If you belong to Jesus, the answer is always yes.