Beautiful in Whose Eyes?

Beautiful in Whose Eyes?

While I was sick this week, out of sheer boredom, I turned on Oprah. I really don’t care for her, but this day the topic was intriguing to me. They had some ladies on there who were obsessed with their looks. One woman was in her early thirties and was frequently getting botox injections. One thing was very clear about all of the women who were portrayed – they were caught in a huge web of bondage – the bondage of feeling that their only worth was in their beauty.

I began to search out the scriptures on this subject. Ezekiel 7:20 says that Israel was proud of her beautiful jewelry and used it to make her detestable idols and vile images. Ez. 16:7-14 talks about how the Lord caused Jerusalem to be the most beautiful of jewels. Later, God covered their nakedness, bathed them, and put ointment on them. He also dressed Jerusalem in fine linen and covered her with costly garments, adorned her with jewelry, put bracelets on her arms and a necklace around her neck, and put a ring on her nose, earrings on her ears and a beautiful crown on her head. Jerusalem became very beautiful and rose to be a queen.

Moving on to v. 15, it says that Jerusalem trusted in her beauty and used her fame to become a prostitute. She lavished her favors on anyone who passed by. v. 20 says that Jerusalem took her sons and daughters and slaughtered them and sacrificed them to the idols.

As I pondered on this scripture, I thought about words that we, ourselves, may have spoken that could actually damage the self-esteem in our children.
Do any of these phrases sound familiar?
I look terrible today. I feel so ugly today.
No, I can’t go out because I haven’t put my face on today.
I am getting so fat. Oh, this outfit makes me look huge!

When we continue to say these things in front of our children, what are we teaching them? They are going to be constantly bombarded by the Hollywood version of self-worth, so we need to be extra careful not to let that version of self-worth be spoken in our own homes. If we don’t guard ourselves against this, we can sacrifice their self-esteem. They will begin to look at what they perceive to be flaws in their appearance, and those flaws will be magnified in their minds.

What does the Bible say about our worth? Rom. 5:8 says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (It doesn’t say that when we became gorgeous and thin that Christ died for us.)
Ps. 139:13 says that God created our inmost being and knit us together in the womb of our mother. v. 14 says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Remember the scripture regarding David where it says that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart?

What kind of beauty should we be seeking? Prov. 31:30 says that charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but that a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Prov. 8:11 says that wisdom is more precious than rubies and NOTHING you desire can compare with her.
Rom. 13:14 says that we should clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus.
Col. 3:12 says to clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. — A side note here: I know a lady who has the virtue of patience, especially with children. I am not a patient person, so to me, she is very beautiful because she exudes that character trait that I desire God to develop in my life.
I Pet. 5:5 says to clothe yourself with humility, which is strength under control, toward one another.
Eph. 4:2 says to be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.
I Tim. 6:11 says to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
I Pet. 3:4 mentions the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s eyes. I always wondered what a gentle and quiet spirit was. Since I love to talk, I always felt that I couldn’t attain that characteristic. A gentle spirit is one who doesn’t cause disturbances. A quiet spirit is one who isn’t upset or boisterous at the disturbances caused by others. Now THAT I believe that I can attain! (with God’s help, of course!)

It’s obvious that God’s view of beauty is so different from this world’s. It is so easy to fall into the snare of the Hollywood version. We must be careful to guard our hearts, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov. 4:23

© 2003, Stacy R Miller


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