They say that beauty is skin deep. If someone asked, “Are you beautiful?” how would you respond? How do we rightly measure beauty? How much does the outward appearance affect who we consider for love and marriage? Is there an inner beauty to be measured?
Please pardon me for all of the questions. I usually write to offer some resolve to an issue when it comes to single Christian living, but today I look to our readers for insight. I’m hoping that this post will receive good comments because truth is I am still scratching my head on some things. [singlepic id=29 w=180 h=180 float=right]How important is physical attractiveness regarding dating and marriage? We shouldn’t care about what others think of our appearance but that is not so easy in a society where skin deep beauty seems to rule. Perhaps we can reason this out together.
It is important to understand what defines beauty and what does not. An inaccurate analysis of our appeal can cause turmoil within us, especially when it comes to relationships and acceptance. If we are not careful, when dating gets tough, we will blame what we feel we lack in the area of outward beauty. Why didn’t they accept us? There must be something wrong with me? Leaning our confidence on our outward appearance makes for an erroneous opinion of our worth.
So we say that beauty is skin deep, and all that’s important is what is on the inside of a person. Yet, many singles, including myself, have been rejected because we were not physically beautiful in someone else’s eyes. And there are singles that have been on the other side and quickly rejected someone because their outward appearance didn’t measure up to their likings.
When discussing the issue of physical attraction most Christian singles agree that it is important when choosing who they will marry. However, defending the necessity of good looks and sex appeal can come back to bite us. People judge our outward appearance like we judge the outward appearance of others.
“Yeah, he’s fine, but not Mr. Dumbo ears over there.”
“That girl is gorgeous, but her friend is a little too fat.”
We say these things (or something similar) in so-called innocence. Judging the outward appearance is a true deed of the flesh, our carnal nature. I wonder how often we have missed out on a terrific and fruitful relationship because of our personal discriminations. Hmmm….
While some take rejection of this kind with a grain of salt, others are emotionally scared. This is the peril of defining who we are based on how we appear to others.
Today I am a thirty-seven year old African-American woman. I am not ashamed of my ethnicities and roots that play a role in the color of my skin and the texture of my hair. Nonetheless, how I see my true self and how I value my worth has very little to do with what I look like.
Because of childhood experiences it took many years to get to this resolve. Yet for others the struggle to see how precious and wonderful they are still remains because they cannot overcome the harsh judgments of those around them.
When I was in middle school I did not feel beautiful because the color of my skin was not like everyone else in my class. In an environment that was mostly Caucasian, I thought the measure of beauty started with lighter skin. That was the approval line. Not too white though. A student whose skin seemed to be literally as white as snow was picked on and called ugly too. How twisted, right?
The rule of how I defined beauty as a pre-teen girl was shaped by statements like…
“Yeah, I guess she’s cute… for a black girl.”
My interpretation was that being darker skinned was as an ugly trait. This affected not only how I viewed myself in the mirror but also how I viewed my whole person. It wasn’t until Jesus saved me and I started living for Him according to His Word, that the insecurity shackles were broken.
To my surprise these racial measures of beauty are still rampant in the world. Do you see this too? Darker skinned African-Americans are shunned by lighter skinned African-Americans. Pale Caucasians are snubbed by tanned Caucasians. To take it further, curvy women wish to be skinny while the skinny women are purchasing padding for their buttocks and chest to have more…you guessed it…curves.
[singlepic id=28 w=180 h=180 float=left]Our society’s extreme focus on skin color, hair length, body measurements, and plastic surgery leads me to believe that the “beauty is skin deep” ideal is not truly accepted. Therefore it is up to us individually to take a stand. Perhaps we cannot change the world’s view of measuring true beauty, but we can change our own viewpoint.
So enough of this… Let’s read what the Word of God says.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
– 1 Samuel 16:7
Is anybody ready for a “heart” makeover? Are you looking for a companion who has had a heart makeover?
It is my prayer that all people esteem themselves according to the beauty of their inward man. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and every human beholder has a taste of a different kind. So why would we ever measure the beauty of who we are by so many inconsistent standards?
I pray that men and woman are delivered from the anxiety of not being accepted because of how they look.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
– Proverbs 31:30
As the Bible gives a clear description of who we know as the “Proverbs 31 woman”, there is no mention of her outward appearance. She is admired and desired because of her attitude, actions, and devotion. A true man of God wants a wife that he can trusts with his heart. The outward appearance cannot be trusted for it is vain and subject to change as the years go by.
The beauty of the outward appearance does not last forever nor does it give true insight to a person’s moral character. It is no evidence of right living or the ability to love unconditionally. If you are a Proverbs 31 woman, you better lift your head and give God the glory because your price is far above rubies! Same goes for the men too!
I urge singles to not put so much stock into physical appeal when choosing who to date and marry. I urge singles not to invest more energy into their own look than they invest into the beautification of their inner person.
The level of authority that the outward appearance should have in initiating an Eros love is up for debate. Personally it was important to me but not crucial. There are indeed physically attractive men and women of God who are equally beautiful on the inside. There are alleged unappealing folks who are just as unappealing in character.
Let the Holy Ghost guide us and not our flesh.
Ultimately, every Christian woman and man should feel good about who God created them to be. If we make alterations to our appearance let it be something we do to make us happy and not to fit in or satisfy some insecurity we’re carrying inside.
God is the ultimate Beholder of beauty and He is evaluating the heart.
Heart makeovers are crucial and necessary for success in love and marriage. Lip injections and hair extensions, not so much.
Our outward beauty is skin deep. Look at the heart.