Reading for Today: Proverbs Chapter 31
Verse 30-31: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gate.”
Do you know a beautiful woman? What is it about here that makes her beautiful? A woman that has outward beauty is highly sought after. This is nothing new. A beautiful woman is the subject of many magazine covers, TV commercials and all around recipient of all the attention. This is the way of the human race. Women that may not fit into our culture's definition of beautiful may have suffered on the short end of this stick. When short hair is in, women with long hair are deemed less beautiful. When tans are in, women with light skin are deemed less beautiful, etc. Our culture decides what is beautiful in a woman and the women of our culture scurry to adhere to its every whim.
What truly defines beauty in a woman? In reality, this can be dependent on the interior of a woman. Yes, inner beauty does matter even to men. Let me explain through a couple of Neanderthal examples. Some men find woman who have an "earthy" style as more attractive than, let's say, a fancy salon styled hair do with the latest makeup trend and designer clothes. This particular man interprets this woman as having natural beauty and seems more authentic. Maybe he would see her character as being someone who would care about the more important things in life than her being so focused on the world. Another man is attracted to the woman who drives a truck and wears camo. As funny as that sounds, he finds her personality beautiful because she shares his interest. Yes, even a woman's outer beauty can be deemed greater by the way the man sees her inner personality reflected in her outward appearance.
It's what's inside of a woman that truly defines her beauty. Consider this passage:
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 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 very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, (1 Peter 3:1-5)
Lord, help us to remember that we are defined by your standards and not the world's. Help us to conform to your Word and let our culture have their standards without dictating to us who we are. Let our obedience to you define our beauty and our character. Amen
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