As a mother of five daughters, the topic of beauty comes up often. Whether we are discussing pimples, hair products, or clothing choices; we discuss what they consider beautiful. I have one daughter in high school, one in middle school, and two in elementary school. My youngest one is at home with me still.
I remember the pressure to be in style and try to be one of the ‘cool’ kids in school by having big hair (hello Aqua Net), rainbow colored leg warmers, and the hideous blue eye shadow that girls wore. Back in the 80’s that was the definition of beautiful, and even though the definition of beauty has evolved; the concept has not.
And as a parent who is trying to raise Godly girls, peer pressure is a mighty force to be reckoned with. Peer pressure sends the message that, “to be beautiful is desirable and that is what makes us lovable.” However, that message is focused entirely on outward, shallow beauty.
This becomes problem for parents who want to raise Godly girls and boys. And as well as for women who are answering the call of Biblical womanhood in their own lives. What do we do?
First we must identify what beauty is and then differentiate between the types of beauty.
WHAT IS BEAUTY?
There are two types of beauty, inner and outer beauty. Outer beauty is the adornment of makeup, jewelry, and clothing to make oneself become more attractive.
By definition, inner beauty may be described as something that’s experienced through a person’s character rather than by appearances. Often a person will be described as having a beautiful heart.
THE COST OF BEAUTY
The average woman spends $43 per shopping trip on beauty supplies and an average of $15,000 per lifetime on beauty supplies.
Think about your budget. How much do you spend per month on products that are meant to beautify you?
Do your eyes glance over at the Cosmopolitan magazine in the checkout lane? If so, you probably notice topics such as “The Best Beauty Advice for the Single Girl”, “17 Must-Have Fashion Trends for Spring ’19”, or “Top Hairstyles for the In Style Woman.”
A large majority of women are obsessed with fashion, style, and beauty. There is no doubt that fashion, beauty, and clothing industry are multi-billion dollar businesses. Men and women all over the world each have their own ideal of what true beauty is and how to obtain it.
SOME TRUTHS ABOUT BEAUTY
As women, it is important that we take care of ourselves. We must make sure to take care of the body that the Lord has given us. We must remember to stay strong and healthy by exercising, getting enough sleep, drinking water, and eating nutritious meals.
It is important to dress warm when its cold and in less clothing when it is hot.
We must remember that there is nothing wrong with dressing our bodies, keeping ourselves clean, and going to the hair salon. But for many that line is crossed with an obsession with outward appearances becomes more important than our inner beauty.
BEAUTY OBSESSION AND BIBLICAL TRUTHS
A quick glance at a magazine cover, facebook profile page, or just walking down the street quickly can tell you that many woman are not very modest dressers. Scantily clad women are everywhere in their tight leggings and revealing low-cut shirts.
Immodest dress is everywhere. Women wearing scads of heavy makeup. Body piercings that draw attention away from a woman’s beauty.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30.
As we age our beauty fades. Our hair greys. We gain wrinkles where there was once smooth skin. Our muscles become weakened. There is no amount of make up, surgeries, or clothing that will permanently reverse the effects of aging.
What we once put so much emphasis on and spent money on, now becomes aged. It an almost futile attempt, women strive to become younger looking so that they can hang onto their youth and beauty. For many relinquishing our outward appearance is a tough pill to swallow.
In 1 Peter 3:3, Scripture states that “your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.” Simply stated this means that our idea of beauty, what is truly beautiful about us should not be based on outward appearances or what we wear.
In Biblical times, Egyptian women were known to spend hours on their hair and makeup, or finding the perfect outfit. This verse was written to warn women to not become like the Egyptian women who were obsessed with their beauty. This type of thinking is selfish and shallow because the focus is on the outside and does not focus what is inside.
The inner beauty of a person is what makes them truly beautiful. Some people have described it as a ‘glow’ or a ‘peaceful feeling’ when it comes to describing inner beauty. When somebody has inner beauty, all in her presence feel loved, welcome, and at ease.
Proverbs 139:14, states we are, “fearfully and wonderfully made…..” Our heavenly father lovingly created us. He made us in His image. His own perfect image. Make no mistake about it, that we are wonderfully made and we should praise His good works.
What makes a woman truly beautiful is her heart, her inner beauty. Yet as women, we often don’t think of ourselves as beautiful. We are constantly bombarded with images of celebrities and models who, according to other’s standards, seem to have the “perfect body.”
We follow fashion and beauty tips to enhance our physical appearance all the while ignoring what truly makes us beautiful. For many relinquishing our outward appearance is a tough pill to swallow. We need to remember that true inner beauty begins with the solid foundations of faith, love, and trust in God.
Ladies, it is wonderful thing to be attractive, but not at the cost of having an ugly heart. In fact, as Christian women we should take care of our bodies, what we wear, what we eat, and how we dress. It is simply wonderful to be feminine and know that our husband’s find delight in us. However, be warned to not overdo the energy, time, resources, and effort into your external appearance.
Be sure to focus and cultivate an inner beauty. How do we do this?
- Read your Bible.
- Focus on gratitude. Be thankful daily. Give thanks for all.
- Meditate on His word.
- Fill yourself with wisdom, instead of listening to worldly truths.
- Wear a smile on your heart.
Make your beauty come from your smile, actions, love, and what is on the inside.
We need to remember that true inner beauty begins with the solid foundations of faith, love, and trust in God
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home