Ok, we’ve all heard it before.  True beauty isn’t what’s on the outside, our physical appearance.  True beauty is what is on the inside, and this is true.  I know that I aspire to excellence in character, even though it often doesn’t seem like it (my hubby and kids can tell you some ‘not-so-nice’ stories).  The Bible also talks about how “charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” -Proverbs 31:30.  Women can be very powerful by using their beauty to entice men or for selfish ambition to get what they want, unfortunately.  Of course we should never try to make ourselves beautiful with the intention of attracting the attention of some man that’s not our husband or because of our greediness or covetous desires-using our beauty as a tool to get what we want.  I do, however, have to wonder why I feel so yucky and down when I don’t look beautiful or when I don’t put any effort into my physical appearance.  I can’t help but think that if God is the author and designer of beauty and if he made women beautiful, with breasts, soft skin and curves, then what’s the problem with paying attention to how I look, dress, or physically present myself.

I remember when I was doing a music school in Australia, the girls/young women generally didn’t really take care of their appearance or place much of an importance on it.  I remember overhearing one girl say to a group of friends something along the lines of how she doesn’t dress nice in day to day life because when some special event did come along and she dressed nice and put that extra effort into her appearance people would think she looked AMAZING!  My husband thought that that way of thinking was ridiculous (he’s Brazilian and generally Brazilian women don’t think that way).  I didn’t think it was ridiculous, however, I did think that it was kind of a mentality or way of thinking that had developed amongst this certain group of people.  Throughout the duration of my school, I always took care to dress and present myself in an appealing way.  Not for anybody else’s benefit, but for my own.  I had one girl send me a note once, along with an old skirt of hers that I really liked, and on the note it said that she wanted to give me that skirt as a gift and that she thought that I was such an elegant woman.  I was really blessed by that comment.  All because I took an extra few minutes in the morning to place an importance on how I looked.

So what I believe it comes down to is that human beings are extremists.  We have a difficult time sometimes being balanced.  Yes, the Bible talks about true beauty coming from within, but God is also the maker, creator and designer of beauty and has made women beautiful, and men appreciate that.  What man doesn’t want to see his wife beautiful, taking care of herself, and enhancing her natural beauty creatively?  I know that when I do my husband takes note and appreciates it.  He tells me I’m beautiful.  And what woman doesn’t like to hear from her husband that she’s beautiful?

Don’t get me wrong though.  I don’t believe that beauty is just simply appearance.  There can be an extremely attractive woman with bad character, and because of her character, she becomes unattractive/ugly.  My husband once told me that if he sees a beautiful woman smoke, she’s no longer beautiful.  Physical beauty isn’t anything without purity and good character.  But physical beauty becomes the icing on the cake to a woman of purity and good character.

What do you consider to be true beauty?  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think; I’d love to know.