It’s prom season and my daughter and I have been busy preparing her for the big night. You can’t imagine the thrill of helping her find her dream dress, the perfect shoes, accessories, and bling to make her even more beautiful than she already is. All of it has got me pondering beauty and the point of it.
There was a time in my life when I was considered beautiful…hush now, all who might say I still am, not the point…beauty became a paradox in my life. Beauty became a blessing and a curse. Beauty in the world’s definition is powerful, vain, sexual, and dangerous. But true beauty, God’s beauty, is gentle, humble, spiritual, and nurturing. I do believe that I have known both. I’ve been beautiful and I am beautiful. I’ve used my beauty and been used for my beauty. There came a point in my life when I wanted nothing to do with it, wanted to hide it and push it aside so no one would know, that somewhere deep inside, I was created an image of beauty. Because beauty was ugly.
Vanity and Conceit.
You may, or may not, be able to read into these words that I’ve struggled with vanity, to the point that I’d be ashamed to share how conceited I had become at points in my life. Stupid sinful pride, wrapped up in self-centeredness and judgementalism. I was conceited to the core and fell for the line that I was something special…something more beautiful than “her”…I still fall for it, but I fight it. I rebuke it and repent. “I’m sorry, forgive me.” I lay down my beauty crown and beg God to make me His…holy His…and wholey His. And He says, “My beautiful one, I love you, rest in who I created you to be.”
And before my rebuke, or resistance, or rebellion is on my lips to correct Him, He hushes me and says, “You are beautiful and I delight in you.” I want to show Him my dark circles, stretch marks, and scars, I want to show Him the dark recesses of my heart that still reflect my sin of vanity…who am I to correct God…yes, I know, more vanity and pride…but He wants to show me beauty all around me.
As I rest and relax as His love and mercy washes over me, images of beauty flash before me…flowers, blooming through the spring time snow; newborns, resting at their mother’s breast; eaglets, high above the hustle and bustle of this life we live. There is beauty all around us. May we take the time to catch glimpses of His glory in the beauty of His creation.
I’m taken to His Word, drawn to the word beautiful. Beauty is important to God. Important enough to mention a woman’s physical beauty with her name throughout the Old Testament. Consider these examples:
When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. Genesis 12:14
Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The woman was very beautiful Genesis 24:15-16
Leah had weak eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Genesis 29:17
His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman 1 Samuel 25:3
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba 2 Samuel 11: 2-3
In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom 2 Samuel 13:1
Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman. 2 Samuel 14:27
Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1 Kings 1:3
This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died. Esther 2:7
Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. Job 42:15
Ponder their stories. But know this, Jesus never mentioned a woman for her physical beauty.
He criticized men who were beautiful on the outside, yet unclean in their hearts “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27
and praised the actions of a woman as a beautiful thing, but did not call her beautiful.
When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9“This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. Matthew 26:8-10
Scripture teaches us much more about beauty:
And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
and much more. But consider this:
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. Psalm 45:11
What is my point? What do I wish for you to learn from this blog? What do I desire to teach my daughters about beauty? Ah…that, my dear, is for another day’s blog because this one has gotten too long. For now, ponder beauty. Watch for it. Rest in it. Don’t relinquish it. Let the King be enthralled in your beauty! For He is the very one who created you beautiful.