Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finding True Beauty

A sweet friend posted this last week and I asked her if I could share it with you all. Thanks, Stacy!

Finding True Beauty

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

Being beautiful is so much more than make up, clothing, and a brand new hair-do. We’ve all known people we believed to be beautiful until they opened their mouth and revealed the ugliness that dwelled within them. In teaching our children about beauty we have to, as with every area of parenting, focus on the heart issue first. Where does beauty come from? In what ways can I show true beauty? Who am I beautifying myself for? When Mother Teresa and Princess Diana of Wales died the same week, it was a study in the contrast of true beauty. Looking to God’s word as our standard, we see true beauty revealed not in clothing and hair styles but in gentleness and strength, submission and dignity, purity and reverence. Proverbs 31:30 proclaims, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

Where does beauty come from?

1 Peter 3:1-6 1Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, 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. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Before today, I had never noticed submission tied to womanly beauty, along with the exhortation to “not give way to fear.” How often we are tempted to not submit because of fear. Unless we’re asked to do what is unbiblical or immoral, this passage and many others are clear on the wife’s role in submitting to her husband. Fearing the outcome if we submit ourselves to our own husbands, we often give in to fear and instead demand our own way. God’s word acknowledges this and tells us not to give in to that fear, but rather to do what is right, then we can trust the Lord with the outcome knowing that if we obey His word He will protect us and bring about the good He desires in our life, and we’ll be beautiful in the process.

Romans 12:1-2
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Proverbs 11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. (Great word picture!)

Clothing – Who am I Dressing For?

Is it wrong to wear jeans? How short is too short for my skirt? What about necklines? When we’re asking these questions our focus is on the background instead of on the heart, which should be the forefront of our thinking. Asking how close I can get to the line without crossing it, misses the point of holiness entirely. We are to be conformed to God’s image and not to the world’s. In God’s way of thinking, we are commanded to consider others more highly than ourselves. If the way I am dressing causes a weaker brother to stumble that is not being loving and gracious toward him, considering his needs above my own. Now, am I responsible for his sin? No. But am I tempting him? It’s a valid question to be considered especially in light of the scripture in Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24 & 31-32
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. 24Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God . 32Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God—

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Stay away from every form of evil. (Avoid the very appearance of evil - KJV)

Matthew 5: 27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery. 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Men and women view clothing very differently. Read that again… Men and women view clothing very differently. It’s true, it really is, ask your husband. Men are very visually oriented and what they see is processed entirely differently than it is in a woman. When a man sees a woman dressed in tight or revealing clothing, carrying herself “that way”, or even looking flirtatiously at him it is a temptation. You don’t have to believe me, just read the warnings in Proverbs. We need to make our young ladies aware of these differences so they can understand how their behavior affects others. They may love the way that shirt feels and those jeans fit, but is it worth her exercising her freedom to possibly cause a brother to stumble. Most young ladies are not aware of this and are incredulous when they do find out. I, in fact, was married for about 10 years before I really began to understand that men and women are truly dissimilar from each other in this area. It’s something I want to share with my children and possibly smooth their path saving them some of the pain I endured.

Prioritizing Properly Because of the Brevity of Physical Beauty

Eccl 3:11a He has made everything beautiful in its time.

My Emily (13) told me this verse is very meaningful to her in her self-image. There is a time for every girl to “bloom” God knows when that time is. If a flower blooms too early or too quickly it will not be a lasting flower.

1 Peter 1:24 For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,

Psalm 90:10 &12
10 The length of our days is seventy years— or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span [a] is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. 12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

… and when we gain wisdom, look what it does:

Ecclesiastes 8:1 Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance.

A Warning:

The Lord Judged Haughtiness related to appearance

Isaiah 3: 16 The LORD says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17 Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald."
18 In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, 19 the earrings and bracelets and veils, 20 the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, 21 the signet rings and nose rings, 22 the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses 23 and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
24 Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...