Hello dear reader. I have been silent for a while but I am now back. I may have been weighed down a bit by the demands of campus life but I am still pressing on.
I hope that you have been well. Today, I would like to share my thoughts concerning beauty from a biblical point of view and what it means to us as God’s children.
Let me start by saying that beauty does not only concern the ladies but we men can also learn what God’s Word says concerning this topic. It could be that you have a worldly view of beauty. This post is for you. Join me as I share my own experience and as we delve into God’s Word.
At one time or other in our lives, we may have passed through a phase where we were so concerned about how we look or what we wear or both. Sometimes it is something we go through on a daily basis and it can be a real struggle if we don’t find our identity in Christ. Even after finding our identity in Christ, concern over our looks for men and beauty for women may still be an issue we struggle with.
Personally, I passed through such a time when in High school. I was in the identity crisis stage as a young adolescent and so I was trying to fit in and feel a sense of belonging. To make matters worse, I developed acne and this dealt a major blow to my self-esteem. The acne made me feel not good looking enough (I am avoiding the word ugly) and unworthy.
It affected me so much that I would withdraw from people so as to avoid negative comments that left me hurting and lowered my self-esteem the more. However, I thank God for His saving grace that healed me both physically and emotionally and taught me that I am not defined by how I look or wear. However, the path to healing has been a journey that is not yet fully over.
You could have passed through a similar or different experience but the fact remains that at one time or the other you may have asked yourself: Am I beautiful? Am I good looking? Am I desirable? For the young men the concern may not be as much when compared to the young women but it is something that affects all of us.
It is for this reason that I would like to share my thoughts on what God has put in my heart concerning this topic. I have been reflecting on what true beauty really is as God designed it. God has been teaching me through His Word that true beauty is that which never fades- Christlikeness. Beauty without faith and character fades away and is only skin deep.
SKIN DEEP BEAUTY
Today’s culture celebrates beauty that is just but skin deep. We live in a time when the world around us is preaching that physical beauty is everything. We are often deceived into thinking that beauty is about how we look or what we wear. Therefore, a lot of emphasis is put on outward adornment. For the women, this is expressed mainly through hairstyles, jewelry and makeup while for men it is expressed through our body physique, beards and even haircuts.
In our times, beauty has come to be defined by the standards set by celebrities. That is why the definition of beauty offered by the world is shallow and skin deep. By skin deep I mean that all a person has to offer is their physical appearance- what others can see, like the front yard of a house.
Beauty that is skin deep puts emphasis on having a perfect outward appearance. Celebrities are presented as flawless in their physical appearance and this flawlessness is blown out of proportion and glamorized through media. Unknowing to the person watching, this is just a facade. Most times, the flawless complexion is just used to mask the lack of character.
To a great extent, we have allowed the celebrities to set the standards of beauty for our generation. We look up to them instead of God for the definition of beauty. I like calling it the “no wrinkle no pimple” culture. We have been deceived into thinking that we have to have flawless complexions and no blemishes or spots. Those who do not measure up to these standards are left grappling with issues of insecurity and low self-esteem.
Having been there, I know that so many young people are struggling with low self-esteem and insecurities because we look at beauty through the stained glass that is Hollywood. We have believed in the shallow definition of beauty offered by the world. We have put our identity in our looks instead of the One who created us.
Physical beauty is from God but if godliness is absent, it becomes vanity and fades away. By itself, physical beauty is superficial. Physical beauty without godliness is only skin deep. You may be the most beautiful woman but without godliness your beauty ends where your skin ends, and it’s not far, trust me.
Having seen the definition of beauty from the view point of the world, let us now look at beauty through the lens of the Word and through God’s eyes. Below, we are going to see that God’s definition of beauty is very different from that of the world- a gentle and quiet spirit. This kind of beauty is distinct, supernatural and imperishable. I like calling it the “deeper than skin” kind of beauty.
DEEPER THAN SKIN
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair or gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 PETER 3:3-4)
In the scripture passage above, Peter discourages women from focusing on external beauty giving three examples: hair, jewelry and clothing. Peter emphasizes on spiritual adornment rather than outward appearance. The point is to not let your focus be on your hair or jewelry or clothing, but on spiritual adornment.
Some people have misinterpreted this scripture by saying that women should not have braids or any of the items mentioned above but the point is that our focus should not be on the outward appearance but the inner being- spiritual adornment. This kind of beauty is distinct, supernatural and imperishable. This is the kind of beauty that is precious to God, who can see the heart inside of you.
True beauty goes deeper than just the skin. True beauty is buried in a woman’s heart. Any man can notice a beautiful lady just by looking at her, but it takes a godly man to notice and appreciate true beauty, which is not flaunted but buried in a woman’s heart and expressed in things like: humility, kindness, love, a gentle spirit and most importantly, godliness.
Physical beauty and charm are naturally appealing but without godliness, they are fading, and fast. You can look at a person and tell whether their physical appearance is appealing to you, but it takes discipline and godliness to notice and appreciate real beauty.
Marshall, a blogger at desiring God, has written that godliness should be the most attractive thing about the most attractive people. Real beauty is deeper than skin. It is expressed in a person’s faith, their strength, maturity and Christlikeness. Only such kind of beauty is real and durable. Beauty without Christlikeness is superficial and fades away.
This not only applies to women but also to men. As godly men and women, we should desire a deeper understanding of true beauty by placing our identity in Christ. This is only possible by surrendering our lives to Him. Therefore, only by having a thriving relationship with God can one enjoy true beauty and have a deeper understanding of beauty.
As godly men and women, we should find godliness incredibly attractive. In fact, in our eyes or hearts, it should be the most attractive quality in us and in others. Deep in our hearts, as believers, we should cherish modesty and not immodesty.
I therefore urge you dear brothers and sisters alike to pursue this kind of beauty. For the men, let us pursue godliness more than physical exercise. “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come (1 TIMOTHY 4:8).”
As I come to a close concerning this topic, I want to thank you for reading through. Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic on the comment section below. I would love to hear your opinion and views on the same.
Also, if you have any question or something you feel I have left out, you can send me an email- firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to share the link with a friend so that we all get blessed. Gracias.