If you asked me five things I would change about my personal appearance, I could name them without thinking twice. I truly believe that women are their own worst critics, and becoming a mother does not soften this trait.
We live in a culture where women are constantly bombarded by images of what the perfect body looks like, what the latest fashion trends are, and how we should wear our make-up. Shows like Project Runway show us how to make a stage ready outfit in less than three hours using nothing but some trash bags, glue, and masking tape.
I find it interesting that when I read Proverbs 31, which epitomizes the perfect wife, mother, and woman of the Lord, there is no mention of her personal appearance whatsoever. In fact, verse 30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
In a world where women use everything from Botox injections to creams to surgery to keep their beauty from fleeting, the Bible makes it pretty clear that it will flee, whether we want it to or not. And while I’m not ready to throw away my night repair cream or my concealer, I wonder how my life would change if I took a little of that energy I focused on outward appearance, and used it to change my inward one?
A woman’s outer image may contribute to my first impression, but what keeps me wanting to be in her company is her character. Her ability to empathize, be compassionate, and find humor in everyday life. Her desire to look beyond herself and see the needs of others around her.
Outward beauty can never outshine a heart that’s focused on the Lord.
1 Samuel 16:7 even says, “Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I’m not saying to stop showering or to throw away your hair products, nor would I recommend it. When we take care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others. But perhaps we could focus a little of that awareness to inside as well. You know, that heart that’s beating in there? The one who made it is waiting to spend time with you. With me. With each of us.
And once we start focusing on Him, our outward beauty will radiate even more.
*This post was written as part of the Woman to Woman Wednesday and Three Word Wednesday Link-ups. Where women of the Lord encourage and inspire one another each week. Click the buttons below to find out more.