With the present fashion trends, the definition of ‘beauty’ seems to be undergoing some serious reviews. In the country of my residence, the rate at which new fashion trends are adopted and deposed for new ones is unprecedented. Fashion styles which we may have never imagined as acceptable due to our cultural backgrounds, have become very well assimilated into the system and even more radical styles are gaining popularity with every passing day. It is nearly unimaginable how some styles have become acceptable, but they abide with us any way.
Never before have the facial looks of women been as important as they are today. The time and other resources put into making the face more appealing (to oneself and to others) tell that it is no small matter. Older generations, even to grannies are not left out. The zeal of the younger generations has rubbed off on them and they feel they also have something to achieve by conforming to the latest trends.
I get more of the impression that ‘beauty’ now typically relates to how well the cosmetic “add ons” are used. The several powder types, paints for the lips, cheeks, eye brows, eye lids, face sprays, cosmetic lenses, artificial eyelids, and other cosmetic assessories seem to serve as tools with which women can transform themselves into creatures which were previously just fantasy.
More people are getting to appreciate and relate with these creatures of fantasy with greater delight, while they have less appreciation for the look of their own natural faces in the mirror.
The “humanoids” (no offense please) are gaining more popularity and in some cases, they have nearly replaced the real people. Many women and younger ladies get excited when told how good their humanoids look. I think the compliments really refer to the humanoids, even though the expression used is: “you look good”. Such statements will hardly be used for the same persons without the usual makeup.
All these are familiar: the desire for better looks, a longing for greater acceptability and admiration for oneself and from others as well. These goals are pursued even if we may need to transform ourselves into what we really are not. It is a business trade for appreciation.
However, we cannot get rid of the real persons we are. No matter how we try to psyche our way through, the person behind the mask is the real one. In getting acquainted with that person we may just be on the way to rediscovering “beauty”.
It Goes Beyond Outward Attraction
If the outward personality were all that mattered, then countless relationships would have been built on the externalities only. In addition, these relationships would also produce the expected bliss. This is not so however, as many recognize that there is more to people that meet the eyes and “not all that glitters is gold”.
In some parts of my country, one of the most decorated portable facilities for housing humans are the caskets used for housing dead bodies. Irrespective of how well decorated these caskets may be, most people find them strongly undesirable, simply because they relate to death and typically store corpses. This was how Lord Jesus referred to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27; people with attractive externalities but who were very different in reality.
If we can appreciate the need for something beyond the superficial, we can be assured that the Father of Life knows better and sees through all the superficialities to the depth of knowing who each person really is.
A Tip From The Heart
One of the things that were of least importance to Lord Jesus during His days on earth were outward performances and appearances. Social and economic status, religiosity and other presentations were superficial in His eyes. The real person was the person of the heart. The heart as used here relates to the deep seated factory that generates all the desires, ambitions, words and actions of a man.
This is the complex part that only God can handle. It just turns out that even some of the most godly deeds in the eyes of men can be the most repelling deeds in God’s sight (Luke 16:15). The reason for this? Although we frequently do not know the real intentions behind deeds, they are however explicitly open to God. This is further emphasized by Lord Jesus Matthew 15:18-20.
The heart is the source and that is where God’s Judgment begins. 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that while man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. This relates strongly to why we should watch our hearts with the most diligence, since all the issues of life springs up from it (Proverbs 4:23).
A Beautiful Woman
In a letter to the saints who resided in Galatia, Pontus, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, Peter emphasized on what the true beauty of a woman is in the eyes of God. This is seen in 1 Peter 3:3-5:
“Do not let your ornaments be those of the body such as dressing of the hair, or putting on of jewels of gold or fair clothing; But let them be those of the unseen man of the heart, the ever-shining ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great price in the eyes of God. And these were the ornaments of the holy women of the past, whose hope was in God, being ruled by their husbands:” (BBE; letters in bold were added by the quoting author).
The beauty spoken about here does not originate in this world. It originates from God and becomes evident as we set our minds on things above (where God is) and not on the things of the earth (Colossians 3:1-2).
The emphasis of true beauty is not on the outward, it never was, it never will be. The true essence is of the heart, the source of the actions and inactions. A good tree will produce good fruit and a bad tree will produce bad fruit. This is about the source.
Not For Women Only
Although this post speaks so much about women, it is a message to both the Dear brothers and Beloved sisters in Christ Jesus. Remember that the Church is Jesus’ Bride. Every member of this Bride has received the call to seek the true beauty. It is the beauty of a heart that is free of corruption, free of the enchantment of the world and submitted only to Jesus, the Bridegroom. It is the beauty of Jesus reproduced in saints like you and I.
This is the description of the most Beautiful Lady in all creation. Lord Jesus looks at her (His Bride) and says:
“Lady, you are Beautiful”.
Related post: “THE ENEMY WITHIN“