Okay, as promised, here’s a kind of “part 2” to the post Life Goes On, where I asked what you think true beauty is (thanks for uno contribution :P). I think the Bible is pretty clear on it, but I Googled it and found some interesting bits I didn’t think of.
Of course there’s Psalm 139, where the creation of each human being is described. The point, which FOTF brings up, is that God created us in His image, and He most certainly is not ugly, but beautiful. You do the math. However, this is a little bit like saying “we’re all unique,” which some people point out is another way of saying “we’re all the same,” or like my best friend’s band teacher used to tell them, “I hate you all equally.”
So. This was brought up in the comment, too: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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.” 1 Peter 3:3-4. I don’t think this is saying it’s wrong to braid your hair or wear jewelry or whatever, but it’s saying that this shouldn’t be the source of your beauty. In other words, beauty is not based on appearance, but on what’s inside you. I won’t go on too much of a tangent yet, but I think we all know that there is nothing good in us from birth; humans are, by nature, dead inside, if I can say that. The Holy Spirit is the one who changes and transforms us. So true beauty, then, comes from God; He is beautiful, He made us like Him but we sinned and separated ourselves from Him, and through His Spirit we are made like Him again.
1 Samuel 16:7b says, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I think the theme is getting pretty clear here: inner beauty is what counts. Have you noticed how someone can be physically very attractive, and yet they themselves are not beautiful because of their personality? And, on the other hand, sometimes people are not physically attractive, but when you get to know them you begin to think how beautiful they are. Our personalities and hearts are not separate from our physical bodies. And again, since we can only be made truly pure by the Holy Spirit and Jesus’ love and mercy for us, and since He Himself is beautiful, true beauty comes from God.
Another thing to think about is Song of Songs, or Song of Solomon, depending on which Bible you’re reading. The way it’s written hints that the Beloved is lovely partly because she is loved. When you love someone, no matter what the rest of the world might think about that person’s appearance, to you, he/she is beautiful. God, THE God, loves us. He is the one who transforms us and refines us, not because of anything we do or are, but because of who and what HE is. He calls us His Beloved.
And then we come to Proverbs 31:10-31, the very last part of the book of Proverbs, called “The Wife of Noble Character.” Notice that it’s not “The Beautiful Wife” or “The Hot Girl Sitting In Your Algebra Class.” Outward, physical appearance is not wrong at all, OBVIOUSLY. God created it, and all things He created are beautiful. Before I go on let me just point this out (at the risk of making people angry). Way back when when humans were still very much on a primitive, animalistic level, like the cavemen or whatever, I doubt they thought, “That dude is hot because he’s tall and has muscles.” If they were capable of complex thought at all, it was probably more like, “Height = strength and health, and will produce good offspring.” Just saying. It’s more survival of the fittest than physical attractiveness – it ensured the survival of the species, just like with animals today. But now that we are how we are, with souls and intelligent thought and, you know, GOD, shouldn’t we also have evolved past judging/being attracted to people simply based on outward appearance?*****
So anyway, back from the tangent…this section of Proverbs describes all the characteristics of a good and noble wife. She is hard working, honest, full of integrity, compassionate, joyful, content, fair and just, wise, shrewd, strong, dignified, generous, kind, and graceful. Then, in the second to last verse, we get to the punchline: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (note: I’m betting this applies to men, too.)
There are many, many more points on beauty in the Bible but I think these are the main ones. Hope it helped and feel free to still say what you think 🙂
*****Evolution vs. Creationism is a whole other beast so I’m not going into this right now 😛