At one point, we belonged to this world, doing whatever we desired to do with our lives. Our mindsets were shaped by the world. Ephesians 5:8 says that “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”.
As Christian women, and daughters of the Most High God, we are not immune to the pressure the world puts on us to look, dress and act a certain way. Indeed, the battle is fierce. Paul told the Romans not to “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” Romans 12:2.
The world says a beautiful woman has flawless skin, gorgeous healthy hair, a shapely body with zero body fat, is the right complexion depending on the culture, and a dazzling smile. She also dresses in the latest fashion. She never has a bad hair day, her skin never breaks out, she does not add weight, and has no challenge keeping up with the latest fashion. The world also expects her to flaunt her body. It is beautiful after all. In the real world though, a real woman faces real challenges. As soon as you have made your hair in the latest fashion, you find that your skin has broken out for no reason. As soon as you have battled it with lemons and salicylic acid, you may find your clothes are no longer fashionable.
However, the Lord has a different opinion about beauty. In the King’s eyes, here are the things that make a woman beautiful.
1. A Gentle and Quiet Spirit
1Pet 3:3-4: Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
2. Modest Clothing, and Good works
1Tim 2:9-10: Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
3. Reaching out to the Needy
Prov 31:20 She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
4. Gracious lips
Prov 31:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
5. Hard work
Prov 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
You may ask, what exactly is modest? I don’t have an answer for that. What I know is when you are crossing the line, the Holy Spirit puts a check in your spirit. If you are not sure, why not ask Him. As daughters of the Kingdom, I pray that we would not allow the world to define what is beautiful to us. I would rather be beautiful to the King and not to the world. The King invites us to beauty that will not fade over time. The unfading beauty of a gentle and a quiet spirit. It is an invitation to be Forever Beautiful, as this article is titled. The beauty that comes from blessing others with gracious words. The beauty that reaches out to give a helping hand. The beauty that comes from serving others. The beauty of the Kingdom.
Now, the Lord does not ask His daughters to be drab and wear long shapeless grey clothing. By no means. Queen Esther was beautified for the King. And in various places in the Old Testament, the Lord speaks about adorning Israel with beauty (Isaiah 62:3, Ezekiel 16:10-13). Therefore, the Lord has nothing against beauty. However, our beauty needs to point others to Jesus, not distract them from Him. Jesus is to have preeminence in all things (Colossians 1:18).
Above all, may we value what the Lord values above what the world values. If the lines are blurred for you, ask the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth.
Prov 31:30: Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
1 Cor 6:19-20: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.