Saturday, January 30, 2010

Elusive Beauty

I guess you could say that I have always been obsessed by beauty. I love to see the colors in a lily, or the dew sparkling on the fields as the sun rises in the morning. It is in every human to be drawn to what is most beautiful and pleasing in the world. We have been created this way so that we will appreciate and enjoy all the glories of what God has created.

When I search for "beauty" or "beautiful" in the Bible, I overwhelmingly find it used in reference to women. In the Old Testament, we hear of many godly women who are described as being very beautiful--Sarah, Rachel, Abigail, and Esther, just to name a few of them. Each one of these women were known for being so beautiful that heads would turn when they walked by!

So how is it that a longing for beauty--which is a God-given gift!--can be so easily turned into a tool of the devil? I have struggled with that over and over. Because one of my deepest longings has always been to be beautiful. Not just to look pretty. But to have a deep, penetrating beauty, that remains even when all the makeup is gone. The more I look, the more I realize that this is the aim of almost every single woman I know. They may search for it in different ways. But they are all seeking true beauty.

I have realized that the pursuit of beauty is not vain. What is vain is when you remove God from that search. How can you have true beauty without the Creator of everything beautiful? Think of the emptiness of that search!! Trying to fill the void with anything but the Master Creator will not satisfy. How could anything possibly create beauty, when the only Source of beauty has been removed? So this pursuit of beauty easily becomes vanity. I'll admit, I have to fight frequently against the temptation to compare myself to the women in magazines or online images. When I do, I find myself thinking with discouragement the whole time, "I'll never look like that." But I realize that those thoughts are not of God. Anything that turns your heart away from what the Lord has already told us is not God-honoring. And what does God say through Scripture? He says that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." That means that when we are critical of ourselves, we are being critical of God's perfect handiwork. Does God not know how to create better than I do?!

So what is beauty? True beauty, that is. What should we be seeking? First of all, we should be seeking Christ. Second, we should be seeking the attributes of Christ. As Peter famously says, "let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" (1 Peter 3:4).

One of my favorite passages is Psalm 45:10-11--"Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father's house. And the king will desire your beauty...." This psalm is a love song, somewhat in the style of the Song of Solomon. I read it as symbolizing our relationship with our Lord. So when I read those verses, I am amazed to think that God desires my beauty in the same way that a man desires his wife! To think that the almighty God of heaven is preparing me for the day when I will be able to dwell with Him as His perfect bride is a humbling thought. What joy we can have to know the King of Kings, and to be His beautiful bride!! We can leave behind all that is vain, and run towards what is beautiful!!


Hannah said...

Wonderful post! There is another verse in Psalm 45 which says, "The King's daughter is all glorious within"--her beauty is that true and lasting beauty which cannot be seen by human eyes.

Flo said...

Thanks for sharing, Katie. :)

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day! ;)
God bless..

Florence (IBCP)