Beauty is not easily defined. I, like you, read various blogs and magazines each month. This past month I was intrigued by how many times I came across an article or a blog where the main topic was focused on beauty. Some of the articles were about inner beauty but the overwhelming majority were about enhancing our outer beauty. Why are we so obsessed with our outer beauty? Great question, and just so you know up front, I don’t have the answer.
Have you ever heard the saying ” Beauty is skin deep but ugly is to the bone”. I’m sure we can all think of people we have come across who were nice to look at but not so nice to be around.
I wish I could say that my inner confidence is not at all tied to my outer appearance and that my total focus is on my inner beauty intended to glorify God, but I would be lying.
I find myself focused on the exterior a lot. I have a shallow side that reverts quickly to looking at clothes, skincare, jewlery, well let’s just say all things to accesorize. The topic of beauty and all things beautiful is a complex and fascinating subject that most women spend time thinking about whether conscious or unconscious, it is part of the fascinating subject of womanhood.
What makes someone beautiful? I turned into a roving reporter and asked my friends both male and female to describe to me what they find beautiful in other people and here are some of the words they used to describe beauty. Kind, caring, great hair, beautiful skin, white teeth, great smile, lots of muscles, confident, wrinkles to show character, scars to prove you have lived, birth marks to make you unique, symmetry, intelligence, grace, charisma, and one said bald guys. ( I promise not to name names) Obviously a broad spectrum. Isn’t that the beauty of beauty or as the saying goes… “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The truth is what I find to be beautiful you may not. All the answers I received had outer and inner beauty combined. That allusive balance that a lot of us strive for.
One of the Christian blog sites I was reading had a huge debate raging about the verses in I Peter Chapter 3 where women are told to care more about having an imperishable beauty of a quiet and kind spirit than to being overly concerned about adorning their external selves. One comment said you can only be a “strong Christian” if you are a “plain Jane”. Then following that comment were about 50 others debating whether women should wear make up and jewlery. My personal view is that most of them missed the point. God really does care more about our inner beauty, it is the soul care that will make an eternal difference in my life. I’m not sure God really cares whether I wear make up or not.
I am now a woman in my mid forties and I can attest that with age our beauty fades in some ways but I find that it grows in others. I am inspired by a friend of mine who is turning 60 this week. She is physically beautiful and sports an amazing wardrobe filled with great accesories. My favorite thing about her; however, is her genuine love for the Lord and her caring spirit. She shines from the inside out. I also celebrate my best friends birthday today ( promise not to share numbers) – she is gorgeous, super model pretty. She too loves Jesus and that is what most people find to be the most beautiful thing about her. Just like taking care of our outer appearance takes time, so does caring for our inner being. Taking that time to spend reading God’s word, praying, caring for others, and most importantly having a personal realtionship with the Lord, these are the things of lasting beauty. I marvel at the women who walk in beauty balancing the importance of caring for their souls while sporting great shoes on their soles. Encourage each other to be beautiful from within.