What does beauty mean to you?
Is beauty seen in the outward appearance or is beauty found deep within the heart?
The focus of this article is mainly what beauty means to you as a young woman of the church,
but I also strongly encourage the young men to read this as well, and gain insight into what kind of
woman you should seek to date and marry.
What is beauty? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the definition of beauty is: 1. the qualities of being physically attractive. 2. The qualities in a person or thing that give pleasure to the senses of the mind. 3. A beautiful woman. But is that really the true meaning of beauty?
The world’s standard of beauty is based on outward appearances. The latest clothing styles, makeup, jewelry, and hairdos are what enhance one’s beauty. That kind of beauty is based on body size, body shape, skin color, and dress size. The world portrays its view of beauty in magazines, advertisements, pageants, television, and in movies. A young woman will often find herself paging through magazines seeing the latest styles, reading articles on how to lose weight, how to get the body of this celebrity, how to dress for certain events, and so on. It’s all about building self-esteem by striving to have the perfect body.
A woman will find herself looking in the mirror and comparing herself to that standard. She may find that she as a little extra fat here, a skin blemish there, a piece of hair that is just out of place, clothing that’s out of style, jeans that make her butt look too big, and the list goes on. She realizes that what she is isn’t good enough. She starts to think she is ugly. She forgets what true beauty really is.
A woman of God will often find herself in a similar situation—comparing herself to the world’s beauty and finding herself influenced by the vanity of it all. Have you ever looked through a magazine or seen a picture on the internet of a celebrity woman in her bikini, and the picture focuses on her cellulite or her belly fat, pointing out every flaw of her physical appearance? I know I have come across that, and it’s sad that when a person has such physical flaws on her body, she is criticized and mocked for the entire world to see. The media is portraying her to be ugly by judging what they see on the outside. The world’s view of beauty is always changing and developing into something new. What once was a fashion statement is now out of date and out of style. One must constantly be changing her wardrobe to keep up with the latest fashion. The world spends lots of time and money to achieve such beauty. A woman who desires that kind of beauty is praised by the world, and her body is flaunted for all to see. Worldly beauty is flawed and marred with sin and vanity. Even the most beautiful person in the world is ugly because of sin. Satan uses the beauty of the world to tempt us and to deceive us into thinking we aren’t beautiful. Proverbs 31:30 tells that favor is deceitful and beauty is vain.
So what is true beauty? True beauty is not what is on the outside of a person, but what is found deep in the heart. One must seek to be beautiful on the inside. It doesn’t matter what style of clothing you wear, how much makeup you put on, or what your dress size is. What matters is what comes from the heart. Only a believer, a true child of God, can have such a beautiful heart. We do not and cannot obtain this beauty ourselves, although many try by following all the latest trends that we find in the world. That doesn’t mean we have to dress in rags and let our hair go wild, but we must be careful about how we dress and the appearance we give to others. That doesn’t mean we can’t shop and buy new clothes, get our hair done, or wear lipstick, but when we walk into the department store, our focus should not be on what we can buy that will enhance our physical appearance, but our choices must reflect who we are.
We are women of God. God determines what is modest and what is beautiful, because he himself is beauty. We must remember that our clothes are given to us by God, and we must wear what is pleasing to him, not to the world. God doesn’t want us to dress like the world with low-cut shirts and short skirts. It’s a shame when I see young woman even in our own churches starting to dress like that. What are you accomplishing when you do that? Do you want to attract the attention of the young man who is enticed by such clothing? Do you reflect the image of Christ when you dress like that?
God calls us in 1Timothy 2:9 to adorn ourselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. So keep that in mind on your next shopping spree. The clothes you grab off the rack should reflect your inner beauty, not enhance your outward appearance.
Beauty is something we desire. But do we desire it for the right reason? We are to seek to be beautiful on the inside. When one is beautiful on the inside, all outward appearances and actions will reflect that. God created woman to be a beautiful creature and to reflect the beauty of his church. One cannot always see that inward beauty, but it is carried out by the virtuous life of a woman. It is seen in what she does, how she serves God, how she gives herself for the service of others. Many women can do good and notable deeds, but a woman of God excels them all. God blesses her with such wonderful virtues, and only because of that she is most beautiful. “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10
Men, do you seek such a beautiful woman to date and to marry? Or are you concerned only with what she looks like and how physically attractive she is? Her body size and weight should not matter to you. A man of God is called to seek a woman for a wife who is beautiful on the inside. That is what should be attractive to you—not her long legs, not her flawless face—but a beautiful heart. A heart dedicated to serving God and others, a heart motivated by a love for Christ and his church. So men, next time you look at a woman, remind yourself to look past her physical appearance and see what’s inside. Ask yourself if she is a woman of God. If she is, you will be attracted to her no matter what she looks like. Her inner beauty will shine out, and you will have the most beautiful wife you could ever dream of.
Women, do you desire such a godly man to be your husband? Or are you seeking the most drop-dead gorgeous, good-looking guy to date? You should find yourself being attracted to a man of God, a man who looks at you for who you really are: a godly woman. Women, we all desire to be called beautiful, but to be called that by the world means nothing. When a man of God calls us beautiful, it means everything, because our inner beauty is what he sees. Ask God to bring such a man into your life. Only then will you both be attracted to each other and desire a marriage that reflects Christ and the church. You will have the most beautiful marriage a person can ask for.
True beauty is a reflection of God in us, a beauty that those of the world can never obtain no matter how hard they try. Don’t praise a woman for her looks, but praise the woman because she fears the Lord. Seek that beauty described in 1 Peter 3 that is found in that the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.