As Beauty Does

Did you know that January is “Beautiful Woman” month? Between Father’s day, Environment week and Children’s month, I’m surprised there’s any days left in the calendar for someone else to honor!
Did you know that if Barbie was a real woman, she would have to walk on all fours due to her, er, proportions? Did you know that twenty years ago models weighed 5% less than the average woman, and that today they weigh 23% less? Studies show that when women read a fashion magazine, 70% feel depressed, guilty, or ashamed.
Seems to me that we’re putting shame on all the wrong people for all the wrong reasons!
Now the Bible is not against beauty. Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was so beautiful that he asked her to lie about their relationship while in Egypt. “Say you are my sister,” he urged her (Genesis 12:13).
Apparently the Egyptians concurred, for Pharaoh began to court Abraham’s “sister”!
Jacob fell in love with the beautiful Rachel, who, the Bible notes was “lovely in form and beautiful,” and who, unlike Leah, had beautiful eyes (Genesis 29:16). Ester won what might be termed history’s earliest beauty pageant, earning the right to be queen, and while recounting David’s sin, the Bible recalls that Bathsheba was “very beautiful” (2 Samuel 11:2).
Beauty, whether it is a snow-capped mountain, a majestic oak tree or a woman, is all part of God’s handiwork, but it is all too easy to get our priorities warped. The wise man reminds us that “charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
One wonders, did “charm” and “beauty” deceive some awe-struck male, or was it the woman herself who was fooled? Was she deceived by her physical beauty to such an extent that she failed to develop more enduring characteristics of beauty, such as compassion, selflessness, and grace? Or was it some man who failed to look into her eyes and learn about her heart?
There is nothing more beautiful in a woman than a spirit that is godly, actions that are compassionate, and eyes that look to the Lord for her light!
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4,5).

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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