Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be beautiful. With all my heart, I wished and prayed for beauty. I liked to imagine that I was a beautiful princess who would someday be the Queen. And when that day came, dozens of young men would want to marry me because I was the beautiful queen. I still remember how, when I was about six-years-old, a boy shyly told his friend that he wanted to marry me because I was “kind of pretty.” I recall blushing, smiling, and cherishing his compliment. It was a gift to be beautiful.
As I grew up, this desire did not leave me. In fact, it only followed me with more fervour. I grew to understand the concept of ugliness and knew that I would never want to be that. And so as zits appeared I covered them with make-up. I put pretty dresses on and flowers in my hair. I adorned myself on the outside, all in the name of beauty.
It wasn’t until early this year that I realized how shallow and small this “beauty” was. Outward beauty is a gift from God, yes. And every girl should feel beautiful because every girl was created attractively by God. But there is something more. It’s like the cake behind the frosting which gives the sugar substance. It’s what makes each of us girls more than just pretty or even more than beautiful. It is the beauty of the Saviour.
A wife (or woman) of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
I was at a church dinner. This woman and I were sitting at the same table and after the regular small talk introductions, we’d ventured into deeper conversations. I’d shared my insecurities, worries, and struggles from every detail of my life. It was a deep discussion, to say the least.
“You need to be beautiful at heart,” she suddenly told me. I actually don’t remember what brought these words on except that they came. “You’re already beautiful on the outside, but you need to be more than that.”
“You mean inward beauty?” I asked, fully familiar with the term.
“Yes,” she replied. “You need to be beautiful like Jesus. Do you know what I mean?”
I nodded though the concept that she spoke of — beautiful like Jesus – was slightly new. I knew what she meant yet I didn’t. Inward qualities such as love, patience, kindness, and self-control had always been on my radar. They rarely came easily to me, but I still strove for ‘inward beauty.’ Yet until that moment I hadn’t really considered Jesus’ qualities as beautifying to me as pretty clothing or a good complexion.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the infading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4
This concept of “Jesus Beauty” is still new to me. I have to admit that I’ve failed at it time and time again. I’m so ugly at heart sometimes that I am not even qualified to be writing this post. But I’m working on it because my fear of ugliness is even greater now. I want to be beautiful more than ever before — beautiful, like Jesus, that is.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.