Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30
Woah, wait what? You don’t want to be pretty? Why? What do you mean by that? Isn’t being attractive an important part of being a woman?
Well I partially chose that title because A. It is attention grabbing and B. Has some truth to it and C. Will be explained in the duration of this post.
In a culture that is so wrapped up in how we are perceived by other people, a culture that has super sexualized both genders, male and female, I will attest it is really hard out there for us women. Being judged for what we wear, how our hair looks, if we are wearing make up or not, the list goes on and on. Girls are constantly being told that they need to look a certain way and models that have been portrayed as the “standard of beauty” have totally distorted how we view ourselves and how others view us. I guess what I mean by “it being so hard out there for us women” is that we have been conditioned that our worth is summed up in our appearance. Forget having a killer personality, godly morals, and traits that make you unique. If you aren’t attractive to the world, then you might as well just give up. PSA this blog post is about women of God and dating and marriage and blah blah blah, not some post that is pro feminist or whatever and is definitely not trying to promote some political agenda. No no no, this is about how inner beauty should trump outer beauty and why I think it is so important to remember it is not about us, but about Christ ultimately.
So back to the verse in proverbs (31:30)
Charm is deceptive: helloooo anybody can turn on the charm and say whatever you want to hear just to win your affections.
Beauty is fleeting: obviously growing old is something that is inevitable.
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised: it is so wonderful to know that our worth comes from Christ and He is where we derive our beauty from. He is the source.
Before I delve into this, I want to talk about this verse in context. The Scripture that precedes verse 30, is full of rich instruction for women of the Lord.
“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.” Proverbs 31:10-18
Wool…flax…working with my hands…a ship…fields…what in the world is going on here…
Specifically speaking here, these verses are describing what a virtuous woman looked like in that time period, but the general concept of what it says has remained relevant throughout the ages. This woman is a wife her husband can trust and is attentive to her husband’s reverence and affection. She willingly submits to him. Her husband is happy to have her and she always makes an effort to do him good. She doesn’t waste time and takes delight in her duties regarding the house and him. So Hannah what are you trying to say here… What about a woman who is independent and can take care of herself, and that “I don’t need no man” attitude. Well in my humble opinion, I think that is truly awesome in some regards, but that is not what we are talking about here. I think it is a load of crap when people have that “I don’t need no man” attitude because it completely disregards the wonderful design and purpose of marriage that God has ordained. It is so true that Jesus is all you need, but God has designed marriage as a beautiful thing where two complete sinners enter into a covenant before Him and promise each other and God that they will love each other till death does them part. The wife willingly submits to her husband as he makes a choice to love her day in and day out like Christ loves the church, whether or not she deserves it. When a husband loves his wife like Christ, she can flourish and become the wife and woman of God that He intends her to be. It is a beautiful design. This one of the reasons why I am discussing why it is important for this woman to exemplify these attributes of a virtuous woman so that the inner beauty that comes from the source of Christ will uphold her and serve as a reminder that it is because of His grace that she is beautiful…Not because she looks a certain way or has the best body a guy could dream of. I am really sick of trying to live up to the pressure of being “perfect” in a sense where I have to look good, be in perfect shape, wear make-up, and have my worth summed up in my appearance when I know my worth comes from holy, and precious Jesus.
“She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known at the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is kindness. She watches over the ways of her household. and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her: ‘many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.'” Proverbs 31:20-29
She is a cheerful giver. She has kindness written on her heart and tends to the needs of others. She governs herself with wisdom and we see how her heart is full of another world although she busily takes care this world with her hands. Above all, as we are told in verse 30, this is a woman who fears the Lord. Just because someone is beautiful, that doesn’t advocate God or to His wisdom or goodness. In fact, a man who chooses a wife based on her outer beauty could easily be deceived (just stating the obvious). A woman who fears the Lord and has her heart wrapped up in the affections of Christ will have beauty that is advocated in her soul. It is something that doesn’t fade and lasts forever.
So this is why I don’t want to be pretty. I much rather desire that my heart be turned towards the affections of Christ which continues to draw me out of my sin and into an everlasting joy that no outer beauty could ever compare to. Women, when we turn our hearts and minds to Christ, we desire this honor that comes from God over anything else that this world has to offer. No matter how appealing it looks to us, nothing will ever compare to the beauty we have from Christ. That is also why we must stay in constant studying of the Scriptures and meditate over what the Word says so that we will always be equipped with defenses of Truth when the world and society hurls insults at us and tells us we are not good enough. We know this. Morally and innately speaking, we are NOT GOOD enough. That is why we need Christ. He became sin for us and because of His sacrifice, we are justified before God and can experience eternity with our Creator and this is great news. We do not have to try to be good enough. By the grace of God, He gave His beauty in exchange for our ugliness. How wonderful and boundless is the love of Jesus? Sacrificial. Marvelous. He took our sadness and crowned us with joy and real peace. He left His perfection and fought for our redemption. It is so freeing to know that our beauty comes from the One who gave it all in hopes that we might turn from our sin and trust Him, and how freeing is it to know that His love for us will never fade and the beauty that He gives us is everlasting. I plead with whoever is reading this, find your worth in Christ and you will be transformed. He is so good.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.” Psalm 128:1
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:13
Here are some really awesome resources on the topics discussed above: