Is Outward Beauty Pointless?
I love all things beauty, fashion, and home décor. Although, while these topics are so fun to talk about they can leave you so empty if you do not understand why God gave us beauty. I have read this verse so many times and really sought God to help me understand it. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30) I have heard this verse taught to mean that God says if a woman is to be self-conscious of her beauty it’s a bad thing.
After years of studying this verse and other passages of Scripture, I do not believe this is what God is teaching. The verse says that beauty is vain (empty) just like favour is deceitful.
When I study the word, “favour” in the Bible it actually is a good thing. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”The Bible says here that having a good name and favour is better than having great riches. The Bible also says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”(Luke 2:52) So, favour can be a good thing, but it can be deceitful. Just because someone is favoured does not necessarily mean that they are a good person.
If you really study Proverbs 31, you find that the virtuous woman honored her husband in the way that she took care of her outward appearance and her family’s. Verses 17 and 27 talks about how she was physically fit and watched what she ate. Verses 21, 22, and 25 talks about how beautifully dressed her family and she was.
I do not believe that her outward appearance was her main focus. Everything the virtuous woman did was to meet the needs of her household, and she was good to others, which in return honors the Lord.
I have been writing from Psalms 45 the last few weeks, and again this chapter talks about the beauty of the king’s daughter. We are the daughters of the King of kings! We represent the Most High in everything we do and say. Psalms 45:8-14 says,
“8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
9 Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house;
11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.
13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.
14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.”
As a lady, my outward appearance should tell people who my King is. How one takes care of her outward appearance is also a great way to show respect to her husband. The way a woman walks and carries a smile doesn’t say to others that she has it all together necessarily, but that she is trusting in One greater than herself for her strength.
Proverbs 31:25 is one of my favorite verses, which says, “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.” The virtuous woman continued doing the necessities of life day after day knowing that one day she would rejoice from her labor.
The following are a few ways practically that we can honor the Lord and bless others through our outward appearance:
- Wear a smile
My smile should not be based upon my circumstances, but it shows that I have faith in a God who can do anything. He can do the impossible even when I do not feel it.
- Learn what looks nice on you
What looks good on someone else may not be what is attractive on you. When I was younger it took me a long time to figure this out. I would be so self-conscious about what I would wear because I didn’t quite understand my body yet, or what worked for my body type and skin color. Because I am curvy, I do not wear jean material very often because it’s just not as flattering on me. I also know that jewel-toned colors look better with my skin type, hair, and eye color. I can always try to write a more extensive post on this topic if you would like. Comment below.:)
- Make your clothes smell pretty
I have gone through periods where I had to cut my grocery bill, so I would buy cheap laundry detergent. BUT if I do not have to do this I try not to. I want a detergent that makes my clothes smell good and fresh.
Also, I love when I hug my Grandma Kizer I know that she has a certain scent. She always smells good! Me, I never stick with the same perfumes, because I like so many! Although, there is one specific scent I wore when Dan and I were dating so I try to keep that one on the shelf. (Time to purchase some!) I also like to spray my sheets with a linen spray or just a body spray that I have.
- Don’t skimp on adorning your inward appearance.
Psalm 45:13 says, “The king’s daughter is all glorious within…”Our inward spirit must be renewed daily. I think this is one of the hardest things to keep looking pretty. We become tired, aggravated, sad, hurt, depressed, and anxious and all these things plague our inward and outward appearance. Some things I do to keep my spirit right is have my Bible time in the morning, I pray while I walk and run. I also write verses in my journal that I want to study and meditate on. I listen to hymns and other worship songs while I am getting ready or doing my household chores. I listen to sermons to keep my heart and direction right. I try to constantly think in every situation how I can be thankful (because I can complain in two seconds regardless of how much time I have spent with the Lord).
- Try to make time for exercise even if you have to break it up in intervals throughout the day.
There have been busy seasons in my life where I did not have thirty minutes a day to exercise, such as when I had little babies or when I was teaching part time. So, I would do 100 jumping jacks or do 2 minutes of squats while I was flossing my teeth. I would try to accumulate the same amount of time little by little throughout the day. Of course this is definitely not my preference, but I try not to give myself any excuses.
- When you are depressed ask God to help you even when you do not feel like taking care of yourself.
Psalms 43:5 says, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Also the Lord is “…the light of my countenance.” (Psalms 44:3)
The Lord told Job after his darkest hours of life to, “Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.” (Job 40:10)
I know it is very hard to balance self-care when you are raising babies. Some times you feel like you have to pick and choose. Some times it feels selfish to spend any time on yourself when your babies need so much attention. I feel the struggle daily. I have always tried to live by schedule and put my children on a schedule, which definitely helps getting in that time easier. Taking care of yourself helps you, but also helps your family to feel secure that their mom is taken care of.
I love you all, and hope these things help to encourage you!