“I’m over pretty Christians.”

I said this to my friend Emma. And then I wrote in my journal about this… realizing I too have been a “pretty Christian”.

It is 2019. Let’s face it. Social media has become a highlight reel of our best moments. And Christians, we are the biggest producers of this culture.

We gotta hang with out pretty friends, take solo pics of just them, add coffee, and flip to the chapter in our Bible where the most highlights are used.

“This girl. This day. #blessed.”

Maybe, not exactly like that… but you get the point.

Side note: I’m confessing something embarrassing… in high school I felt like I needed to highlight more in my Bible. Why? Because I saw some girl with more highlights and I didn’t want to look like I didn’t use the Bible. How tragic would that be! (Now I realize this is CRAZZZYYY! But I can’t be the only one who has ever done this…)

So we take the pic of our pretty Bible, pretty nine dollar cup of coffee, and pretty friend. We then go back to our prettier Pinterest boards and dream of a prettier life because Katie from life group has a prettier life. And our favorite blogger is way cooler and we don’t want to learn from her, we want to BE her.

We make sure our social media stays the same. We want people to see the good parts of being a Christian. When we do the right things, when we serve our community, when we hang with our fellow pretty Christians, serve at our pretty camps, and maybe, if you’re the best of the best get married to a pretty spouse by the age of 22.

But does anyone know about how much you gossip? Does anyone know about your mistake from freshman year? Does anyone know anything about you that doesn’t make you sound pretty? Probably not. We hide those parts. We aren’t honest with others and we aren’t honest with ourselves.

Let me be real: there’s NOTHING wrong with reading your Bible and posting it. There’s nothing wrong with serving at camps. (I’m sure glad I served at mine for years.)

But Christianity lately seems too pretty. And let’s be real – life is not pretty, and Christianity was never EVER called to be pretty.

In my opinion, what speaks most to how Christianity should be is when Jesus sweated blood.

Yes, sweated blood.

Luke 22:44 “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Backstory: Jesus was chilling in this garden before the soldiers took Him to be crucified, before Judas His friend betrayed Him. Jesus was NERVOUS. So nervous many scholars believe Jesus actually sweated blood. A condition we now know as Hematidrosis, caused by extreme stress at times. (Usually knowing an execution will be taken place) This shows two remarkable things:

  1. Jesus knew what was coming and He would have to suffer for our sake.
  2. Jesus was scared. Very scared.

Carrying your cross is messy. Truthfully, it is represented in the crown of thorns and not coffee hangs with lovely Bibles, and pretending our life is perfect on social media. Truthfully, it is represented by blood being sweat, and not in selfies with airbrushed filters to hide our blemishes.

The cross was messy. We are broken. Being Christian is about seeing your weakness, and God’s strength.

I wonder how different this year would be for the Kingdom if we all stop pretending? What if we put down our filters in life and were honest? What if we admitted being a Christian is tough…it causes us to see our sins and our messes. It causes our lives to not be as “cool” at times. However, our beautiful Savior comes and makes us clean. He heals our brokenness and gives us new mercies every day.

Keep highlighting your Bible and hanging with your friend who is annoyingly pretty. Take pictures of her too. Nothing is wrong with these things. But don’t allow your life to be a highlight reel. Check your intentions before you post.

Truth is, life knocks us down. We get sacked over and over again. We mess up. Yet, God is still good. And doing life with Him causes us to see the One who turns our ashes into beauty.

So let’s admit we aren’t as cool as we are online. Let’s search for people different than us and get out of our Christian bubbles. (@me on this one, I struggle here) And let’s carry the cross. That ugly cross. The cross that once made people scared because it stood for death. The cross that caused Jesus to sweat blood. But a cross that now is beautiful and a sign of freedom because of our Savior.

The cross heals. The cross is truth. So let’s live in truth. That life is messy, so are we, but Jesus heals, loves us, and calls us to live with Him.

Photocreds for photo in article: lol photo of me smiling in a parking lot when I really put on makeup for the first time all week just for this photo, and hated that week of school b/c finals were miserable. so the photo used was me being a “pretty Christian”. I’m praying for myself to work on this, and praying for you

I wrote a real and relatable Christian lifestyle book I really think you may love. To find out more information click here.

Also, follow me on instagram @thegracevalentine or twitter @gracev96 for more encouragement.


xoxo- your honorary best friend, grace valentine

Written by Grace Valentine

I love Jesus, diet coke and sunflowers. I wish I lived in the mountains, but love the two states I call home--Louisiana and Texas. I can watch Criminal Minds all day and dream of one day owning an ice cream truck for fun. However, my main goal in life is that more girls will realize the worth they have through Christ Jesus--and with Him and Him only we are enough.


  1. Amen to that. I have never shied away from telling it how it is, but it’s not popular. I don’t have the following that would allow me to live off my writing, although God blessed me with people who have benefitted from reading something authentic. Sometimes I look at how easier life would be if I was selling a dream, too, and it’s really tempting…

  2. You are amazing and Godmhas used you to touch so many young girls, especially at Camp
    Crestridge! You made a huge difference in Caton’s walk with Jesus! Keep teaching the truth because the truth will set us free! Those who ever question your words of truth will answer! Thanks for being HIs servant

  3. Wow Grace! This is so relevant and more real than ever in our society today. I’ve never taken on this perspective and through this work I’ve definitely seen a new work God is trying to do in my life! Thank you for allowing God to use you to speak to hundreds of girls across the country, you are such a bright light for him! I will be praying for you in your “pretty Christian” journey as well!!!

    1. Thanks for you prayers Maddie–that is a beautiful gift. Also your encouragement. Keep seeking Jesus friend. May we share with the society we live in the truth

  4. WOW I love this so so so so so so much. I have noticed all of this lately in our Christian society. This really opens my eyes up and helps me in so many ways. Thanks so much for always being inspiring.

  5. Very interesting read. I’ve never really noticed this until it’s now been brought to my attention. In glamorizing the Christian faith, we as a community fail to save souls. I mean hey if we are all perfect then surely there is no point in having our individual walk. Think it’s important for believers to be more transparent about personal testimonies because we certainly do not have the picture perfect life. Many of us have had messy upbringings and/or major setbacks. It is important that we are first honest with God about ourselves, so that he can work on us. And through working on us, our stories can be shared to help those struggling.

  6. True and challenging. How much of our lives will burn up as wood, hay, and stubble because we’re focusing so much on the here and now. If we’re looking at ourselves we won’t see those in need. Thank you 💕

  7. This is an excellent article! I tried explaining something similar to someone last night. The people we admire most in the Bible did not have pretty lives. Their lives had mistakes, grittiness, Pain, service, and trouble. They went through the fire to be shaped into diamonds before God. The real work isn’t picture-worthy and our battle between emotions and truth isn’t something we want to share.
    Again—great article! Glad to have found your blog!

  8. This is a great post, Grace. While I’m a LONG way from being a young woman (I’m almost 53), it resonated with me. I agree with your first commenter up there, Alessia. She mentions that it is not popular to speak the truth. That has been my experience, too.

    This “pretty” movement has people like me (battling chronic illness and a history of emotional abuse) for the most part hiding and feeling totally alone in the pain. When we mention the ugly parts of life, we’re told we need more faith, we need to stop claiming this, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    While I know that we are never truly alone, Christ is here with us, sometimes we need a human friend that we can honestly share these ugly things with. And those Christian “friends” just don’t want to hear anything outside of their comfort zone, leaving us to deal with these things on our own as far as humans are concerned.

    Keep up the good work, Grace. You’re making a difference.

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