“Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3
What is beauty? Well, it depends on who you ask. Cultures and individuals have very different definitions, but one thing remains the same: beauty is highly valued. Just glance at any magazine, advertisement or the latest Hollywood hit– beauty is always a multibillion dollar industry.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful. After all, beauty is a gift from God. And no creation is more beautiful than a beautiful woman. However, there is a danger in excessively striving for beauty to the point of neglecting one’s relationship with God. The Bible says that beauty should be more than just an external focus.
Why? Because external beauty fades. It’s temporary. Just as a great athlete’s athletic ability will fade, so it is with beauty in a woman. The Bible is not saying that a woman shouldn’t care about her appearance or do anything to enhance her beauty. The Bible is saying to check your priorities by focusing on what lasts. Otherwise, there’s the temptation to become self-absorbed and narcissistic, excessively materialistic, or even seductive in one’s approach to beauty - all of which can lead to very unhealthy perceptions of self and others.
Instead, God says to focus on the heart – on one’s inner beauty that comes as a byproduct of true devotion to Jesus Christ. And as that devotion to Christ grows, as a person walks with Christ through the ups and downs of life, that inner beauty will grow – no matter how society fixates on external beauty alone. That’s why we see older women who literally grow more beautiful with age. Their spirit, their countenance, their virtue – is a wonder to behold.
So ladies, what will you choose? Will you focus more on a beauty that fades and changes with culture, or a beauty that lasts forever and grows greater over time?
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