"The LORD does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
The other day, my husband and I enjoyed a lovely tour through someones greenhouse (while eating lots of tasty food too). The flowers were absolutely gorgeous. I don't know how many times I heard the word "beautiful" as we strolled through the isles soaking in the beauty of the flowers. The topic of beauty is something that I have wrestled with for many years. The Collins Gage dictionary describes beauty as, "a quality that gives great pleasure to the senses and to the mind." Scripture's view on beauty differs; it says in Proverbs 31:30, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised." This is true beauty! Yet, this can be so difficult to attain.
I struggle with so many questions in my mind such as:
Why am I overly concerned about how I look? Or not care at all on some days.
How do I compete with how the women in the magazines look like? (even though there's a lot of photo shop editing happening there!)
Why is it difficult to graciously receive a compliment?
How do I respond to my skinny minny 9 year old son who doesn't want seconds at supper because he doesn't want to get fat?
How do I explain to my daughter that she's beautiful just the way she is as I'm putting my make-up on (almost) every morning?
I was given a clearer view to this whole topic of "beauty" as I was reading a chapter from Martha Peace's book, "Damsels in Distress." She writes, "The New Testament describes the adornment of a truly beautiful woman as one who is adorned with modest and discrete clothing, good works, and a 'gentle and quiet spirit'". She then quotes from 1 Tim. 2:9-10 where it says, "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garment, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness." Also 1 Peter 3:3,4 says, Your adornment must not be merely external- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelery, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
It is my prayer that I will be content and grateful to God for making me who I am and that my adornment will not be "merely external", but that I will ask God to help me adorn myself with the fruit of the Spirit. I pray that my priority will not be how I look but on glorifying my Heavenly Father, and teaching this to my children as well, for they (we) are "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14).