When man doesn’t destroy it, beauty is to be found all around us. And beauty comes in all forms, such as sound. This morning, as I sat quietly in the living room feeling the arrival of the dawn, suddenly a bird warbled loudly not far outside the window. I arose and went to the window hoping to see it, but there was no sign of it. It came, let loose its short song, and was off again. Continue reading
I read a story this morning on AOL news about a survey that “revealed” a difference in the way that men and women perceive beauty. According to the story, which originated in the UK as a psychology experiment, a certain number of women were given makeup to apply “as if they were about to go out” and then a “before and after” picture was taken and later shown to individual men and women who were asked to pick their “top 3” pictures based on these three criteria:
- One that they personally thought was most attractive
- One they thought most women would see as most attractive
- One they thought most men would see as most attractive
The results according to the survey? All of the men picked pictures of women who were wearing less makeup, and not a single woman picked a picture of the participants who were wearing all of their makeup.
I for one am not surprised. I have never been a fan of lip balm (it tastes nasty) much less the idea of a woman turning her face into a canvas that can only be seen her when she looks into a mirror.
Is it because I’m “old-fashioned” as I’m sure some would say? Is it because I’m “misogynistic” as I’m sure some would say? Is it because I’m “a control freak” as I’m sure some would say? Is it because I’m “cheap” as I’m sure some would say? My answer to all of those would be, no! Well, maybe yes to the cheap part (the stuff is far from free), but absolutely not even close when it comes to the rest.
I for one believe, and I really wish you could hear my tone of voice when I say this, that women shouldn’t have to makeup their face to be something that it’s not to impress people who aren’t already impressed with who they are. Why would anyone want to impress someone else with something that is not a true representation of who they are? The makeup must come off, and if “they” can only appreciate a beauty that must be bought and applied then what exactly are they appreciating about you?
Am I treading into dangerous territory ladies? At least with my wife I don’t believe that I am. I have told her on numerous occasions that I love the way she looks without makeup ten times more than the way she looks with it, and I haven’t had to use any makeup to cover up a black eye yet.
I mean what woman doesn’t want to hear that she’s beautiful just the way the she is?! Am I really that far off base here?
Now before I leave what some may consider to be “no man’s land” let me say this: I understand that some men like makeup, and I don’t believe that makeup in and of itself is sinful, so if makeup can be used in a way that still promotes and proclaims modesty then by all means use it if it makes you and your husband happy.
But please, and this is especially for any younger ladies who may be reading, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that wearing makeup automatically makes you more valuable or attractive in the sight of men, or God, because it is simply not true.
“in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 11:22: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.”
God described His relationship with the Jews as one giving His wife finery, including “jewel in your nose” (Ezekiel 13:10-16). In His prediction of His punishment on His people, the Jews, God listed what they would lose, including “the nose jewels” (Isaiah 3:18-23). A “ring of gold” would have been intended for a sign of an intimate relationship between a husband and wife (Genesis 24:45-48). It was never intended for a “swine!” Under Moses’ Law, “swine” were unclean, not to be eaten or touched when dead (Deuteronomy 14:8); Jesus taught pearls were not to be cast before them (Matthew 7:6); Jesus cast demons into a “herd of many swine” (Matthew 8:30-32); and Jesus taught a Jewish man had entered the depths of depravity who “would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate” (Luke 15:15-16). “A gold ring in a swine’s snout” not only was useless, but wasted, as well!
“A lovely woman” has wasted her beauty who does not develop “discretion” (good judgment, sound reasoning). “Discretion” should also be found in “young men” (Proverbs 1:4), developing slow anger (Proverbs 19:11), and represents the planning God put into “the heavens” (Jeremiah 10:12). King Ahasuerus, whose heart “was merry with wine,” commanded Queen Vashti to “show her beauty” for “she was beautiful to behold” (Esther 1:10-12), but she “refused.” She showed “discretion” even though the word is not used in this passage! It is true that “beauty is passing” (Proverbs 31:30), and a tragedy of womanhood seems to be those who work on their outside to be seen as attractive, while having the character of a rotting corpse! The runway models, singers, actresses, and other entertainers who emphasize all their womanly charms, frequently show their ignorance of what God made a woman to be, by their actions! God made a woman to fill the deep need for close companionship in a man through marriage (Genesis 2:18-25), not to free herself to do every vile sin perverse men could do! Good looks are wasted on any woman who is equal to men in sin by: cursing, drinking, drugs, violence, fornication before marriage, adultery after marriage, without conscience, and without natural affection for her husband and children. Good looks are wasted on the kind of woman Solomon has already warned a “son” to completely avoid (Proverbs 2:16-22; 5:1-20; 6:20-35; 7:6-27)!
“Discretion” is seen in Christian women who learn to “love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands” (Titus 2:4-5), and who learn how to dress appropriately at all times (1 Timothy 2:9-10). All women are truly beautiful who emphasize “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” (1 Peter 3:1-6, verse 4). There is no amount of make-up, perfume, sexy clothing, hairstyles, or aggressive behavior that can successfully hide the lack of “discretion!” Only by repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) can the real beauty treatments begin to develop the “new” beautiful person within (Colossians 3:1-17).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
Sam is one ugly dog! He is the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California for the 3rd year in a row. According to the NBC website Sam is a 14 year old Chinese Crested and was a shoe-in to win the contest. His owner, Susie Lockheed, said that even the judges recoil with horror when they first see him. I have known some ugly people in my life. Someone has said, “Beauty is only skin-deep but ugly goes clean to the bone!” That is true is we are talking about real beauty. Appearance is superficial, it is what is inside that counts. This is Just-A-Minute with Ed Boggess
Solomon described outward beauty as being vain (Proverbs 31:30). The NIV translates the term vain as “fleeting.” Both charm and beauty are superficial and temporary. Real beauty originates from the heart (1 Peter 3:1-4) when a woman displays (1) reverence towards God (Proverbs 31:30), (2) a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), (3) being submissive toward her husband (1 Peter 3:5-6).
Elizabeth Taylor, considered at one time to be the most beautiful woman in the world, died recently at 79. (Don’t get me started on her and her Hollywood ilk.) So here’s one of the great philosophical discussions (really!) of all time as your nudge for the weekend: define beauty.
Describe what makes a person beautiful.
Our grandmothers said that beauty is as beauty does. But be more specific.
A related question is how beauty relates to men. Usually, in the past, at least, men were called handsome, rather than beautiful. Who knows what the egalitarian extremes require today.
Note: The picture, by the way, was the first to pop up in a Google search for beauty.
When I study commentaries for a lesson or article/book, I look for powerful information and beautiful writing. In the latter category, one of the most poetic and engaging writers is John Phillips. We apparently share the belief that we should write so as to be quoted. Not with abstract flights of fancy, but with concise, penetrating prose that remains with the reader’s imagination.
I am reading his commentary on Philippians for a sermon on 4:6-8, and I came across this gem, “A great river of peace was thrown like a moat around the citadel of his soul.” Wow.
Let me hasten to add, that Guy N. Woods certainly wrote to be quoted and his pen was powerful. May we strive to be such writers!
I was reading the Profile page on Facebook recently when I ran across the news of a Disney channel celebrity who has recently entered rehab. It seems this young star has been battling an eating disorder and cutting herself.
There was a comment on the thread that was disturbing. A teen remarked that she couldn’t understand how this star could go through something like that, especially considering how beautiful she was.
Society has told us that we must be beautiful and if we are then life will be perfect. No problems, no worries, no needs, but the truth is, we are only beautiful in the eyes of Jesus. Without Him, we are as ugly as the sins we commit.
Don’t be fooled by the lies of this world. Find your purpose, find your beauty, find your future in Christ.
The rose has always been my favorite flower because of its beauty and distinct sweet smell. The rose carries with it symbolic meanings as well, depending upon its color: http://www.rosegathering.com/meaning.html