Everyone at one time or another has heard the cliché phrase, “It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside; it only matters what is on the inside.” Whether it was heard from a parent, friend, or minister, truth is, deep down, everyone dreams of having the flawless body and a face with no imperfections. You know who I am talking about; we have all seen her. The world we live in today injects our minds with the idea that beauty is the flawless, size zero super model on the cover of the latest magazine. The Bible teaches, however, that beauty is only skin deep.
As I scan through the pages of a beauty magazine at the checkout, I find myself growing more discontent with the way I was made. If only my eyes sparkled like hers or my face was as naturally beautiful, I think to myself. Maybe if I just buy this product, everything will be fixed. And just like that, the world grabs hold of you.
Many young women neglect to see that the woman staring back at them in the picture has been altered beyond recognition. The photographer has digitally brightened her eyes, airbrushed her face, lengthened her legs, shrunk her waist, and enlarged her chest. This woman is plastered all over the television screen, magazine covers, and billboard advertisements. The company then uses this photo-shopped picture to sell their products to the millions of desperate women striving to be her.
The world has definitely corrupted the purpose of beauty. Therefore as covenant young women, we must be careful not to get sucked into the lies of what a perfect body should look like. This means guarding against what magazines we read and television shows we watch. We already find ourselves following their fashion trends and dieting plans on Pinterest, an ever-growing source of a woman’s discontentment.
In the midst of all the lies and deceit, we must remember beauty is only skin deep. This is where the cliché phrase actually holds meaning. We must take seriously the idea that “How pretty your face is matters so little in comparison to how pretty your heart is” (Pretty Heart > Pretty Face). God needs those pretty hearts in his church, not the pretty façade. This is proved in 1 Samuel 16: 7, where we read, “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
Sometimes we can even find ourselves wondering why God created beauty in the first place. After all, beauty just creates jealousy among the members of Christ. We are so busy worried about what we look like in comparison to this girl that we neglect our true purpose on this earth: to please and glorify God. Beauty distracts every individual from a content life devoted to our creator, who created every person special in his or her own way and in his image. Proverbs 31: 30 says, “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”
This does not mean God hates and has no need for those whom he created beautiful both externally and internally. They too have their purpose. When we see a beautiful person, we are given a small understanding of how Christ views his church (VanOverloop). He loved her so much so that he paid the ultimate price: his life. We all wish to be skinnier, have no imperfections, have this skin tone and that eye color. Truth is, if Christ finds us beautiful, and God has created us in his image, why would we want to change a thing about ourselves?
As young women, it can be a struggle to stop comparing ourselves to the girl next to us. We need to understand the flawless model on the magazine cover is not real, and she never will be. Christ’s love for his church, however, is. We must strive more and more every day to glorify him and seek his kingdom, and by doing so, we will gain a beautiful heart.
“Pretty Heart > Pretty Face.” n.d. Modern Day Prodigal Daughter. Web. 30 October 2013.
VanOverloop, Jon. “Faith, Figure, and Food.” Psychology. Covenant Christian High School. 22 October 2013. Lecture.