Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Outer Beauty Is Important to God
Caught you with that title, huh?
Christian women are taught that a gentle and quiet spirit is the only thing making us beautiful in God's eyes. I agree it is the foundation of true beauty, bringing God great pleasure. But if a gentle and quiet spirit is the only quality defining beautiful, explain something to me.
Why do all women want to possess physical beauty?
PLEASE don't tell me it's only me. What's with little girls wanting to be princesses and big girls making memories in beautiful prom dresses? Why do grown women swoon when their little boys say they're pretty and their husbands call them beautiful? Is the entire female population vain? Did Eve start a revolution biting into that stinkin' apple?
As an overweight teenager, I searched the Bible for answers about beauty. I delighted in 1 Samuel 16:7, "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart," confirming my outside didn't matter as much to God as my big heart. But then I looked down a few verses to 1 Samuel 16:12 and saw God describe David as "ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features." If God is concerned about our hearts, why does it matter what David looks like?
Scouring my Bible for references of "beautiful" women, I hoped to find each possessed an inner quality to support their beauty. In over a dozen cases, I found an inner strength mentioned in only three. Why does God refer to their outer beauty at all if He only looks at their hearts? Why is it significant enough to mention?
Does God place value on our looks? (Don't worry, this made me squirm too.) Is this the reason we have this desire to be beautiful?
I say yes and here's why.
We are made in His image.
"From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth." (Psalm 50:2)
The Bible says He is beautiful. Should we not reflect His beauty?
God uses our outward appearance to attract others to Him through us.
God may be more concerned about our hearts, but we live in a world of people He expects us to reach.
Our beauty is a tool He uses to fulfill His plans.
Think of Esther. If she were not physically beautiful, she would not have been queen and the Jews would have been exterminated.
I don’t mean to completely confuse anyone here. Yes, we should be more concerned about cultivating a quiet heart than a knockout body, but too often Christians are lackadaisical in caring for their bodies, thinking it not important in God’s eyes. God expects us to do the best we can with the goods He's given us. We are to cultivate BOTH inner and outer beauty. Though it may not be popular, I’m taking a deep breath and saying it out loud.
Outer beauty IS important to God, not as important as our hearts, but part of the total BEAUTIFUL package He's created in us.
I've got more to say on this subject, but I'll save it for tomorrow. Be sure to check in again then.
What do you think? Is our outward beauty important to God?
Photo Credit: RejiK