I have spent much of my life overly focused on my outer appearance, trying to look my best and wishing I looked better. At some level, I have always known that what’s on the inside is most important, but our society focuses on outward beauty. And it’s certainly an uphill battle. As we get older, wrinkles, gray hair, sunspots, waddles, and even chin hairs appear. I like to think of them as battle scars. Some women resort to Botox, plastic surgery, facial treatments, liposuction – whatever it takes to maintain their outward appearance. I am currently using “bangtox” which means having bangs to cover some of the wrinkles. Soon I will need to look like Cousin It!
Who determines what a beautiful appearance is? We see images of women that represent the ideal of beauty – skinny, beautiful hair and eyes, white teeth, stylish clothes, and a thigh gap to name a few. What’s up with the thigh gap thing anyway? Ideals may vary a little depending on the times and generation. Not it appears there is a big butt and fake eyelash thing. Unfortunately, we live in a superficial world where people do judge others based on appearance. We would all love to say that we are not in the majority and that we look beyond what is on the outside, but virtually all of us are influenced by the appearance of others.
There is some value placed on physical beauty in the Bible. Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel are all described as beautiful. But here is a reminder from Proverbs that Godly character matters far more than beauty.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. – Proverbs 11:22
I can’t quite get the image out of my head of a pig with a gold ring. Miss Piggy might be the one one that could pull that off!
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created us in His image. Isn’t that amazing? We are created in the image of the most flawless, perfect being ever to exist! Our body is our temporary dwelling place while we are on this earth. Although I believe that we should be good stewards of our bodies, it does not determine our worth. God thinks we are beautiful just the way we are. Even with stretch marks. Even with muffin tops. Even with bat wings. And even with lines and wrinkles. We should remind ourselves that what is inside is what matters to God – and that’s what should matter to us!