Proverbs 11:22 – Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. (ESV)
As my husband and I were sitting in a restaurant enjoying our after dinner coffee, we were able to see the couples coming in for dinner before going to the local high school prom. We were enchanted with the beautiful dresses and all the sparkly jewelry, but our enchantment turned to shock when one very well endowed young woman walked in. The V in the front of her dress ended at her navel with only three very thin straps holding the two halves of the dress together. There was a great deal of “spillage” going on and she had to keep “readjusting”. Then we were given a view of the back of the dress. Let’s just say that we were quite confident she had neither a tattoo nor panties! I don’t believe that women need to be completely covered head to toe with no skin showing at all, but there should be some mystery involved! The most shocking thing for me about the dress is that her parents probably have not only seen it but also spent a large amount of money paying for it. I can’t help but wonder what that young woman will see when she looks into a mirror in twenty, thirty, fifty years. At this stage of her life she can look in the mirror at her physical appearance and confidently agree with the Psalmist that she is wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), but will she know that God sees her as a masterpiece when the mirror reflects wrinkles, grey hair, some extra curves, and possibly a roll or two? I have been a teen-ager on my way to a prom so I know it takes many days of preparation for a few hours of presentation, but I wonder how much preparation is going into her presenting herself to the Lord. Does she know that God sees more than her physical beauty (1 Samuel 16:7)? Is she aware of 1 Peter 3:3-4? I am not suggesting that God is displeased when we have a pretty hairstyle or wear some nice jewelry, but our beauty to God is not found in hairstyles, body shapes, and fine clothing. Proverbs 31:30 tells us that outward beauty will change but a woman who loves the Lord is to always be praised. I do not know this young woman, will probably never see her again, but I pray for her. I pray that her adorning won’t just be the perishable external but also her adorning will be internal with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4).
Psalm 139:14 – I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (NIV)
1 Peter 3:3-4 – 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (NIV)
Lord, as I was finishing my cup of coffee I heard a commercial for a call-in show for parents. The teaser was a mom with two daughters, ages 13 and 9. The 13-year-old is so concerned about her appearance that she will only wear clothes of a certain style because she feels those styles best camouflage her body’s “problem areas”. She will spend hours getting ready to go out of the house because she has to find the “perfect outfit” and then have “flawless hair and make-up”. The mom’s real concern was that the 9-year-old is beginning to display “body issues” and has put herself on a diet! I was recently talking to a young wife and mother who was talking about how she hides her body, even from her husband. Being much older and somewhat wiser on the subject, I couldn’t help but think that she needs to celebrate the way she looks because the day will come when she realizes that the way she looks right now is the best she’ll ever look! The day will come when she will realize the truth of that, but sadly, that day is far in her future. Why do we as women buy into the lies Satan whispers to us through media? I once heard a joke with the line “if I could loose 30 pounds, I’d be down to the weight I never thought I’d be up to.” Why do we look with disgust at the body You created. Psalm 139:14 tells me that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Genesis 1:27 tells me that I am made in Your image. So why does the number in the back of my pants or the number on the scales determine how I feel about myself? 1 Peter 3:3-4 says that my beauty shouldn’t come from the way I look on the outside. So why is outward appearance so important to me? Why are there so many types of make-up and body shapers and diet plans? It’s not a sin to want to look better. I heard a minister once say that if a little paint helps the barn door, by all means paint it! It becomes a sin when time in front of the mirror becomes more important than time spent with You. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us that You look at our heart, not our outfit. I like receiving compliments on how I look. I like new things. I like clothes, and I like make-up. But, Matthew 6 says not to worry about clothing but to seek You first. Lord, I’ll drink my coffee and seek Your face before I worry about “putting on” mine.