Speaking the Truth in Love

How Do I Look?

On Halloween a small boy tramps the streets dressed as ugly as mom will allow. A hideous zombie mask is particularly appealing. But a little girl wants to dress up like a princess. Deep in her heart is a longing to be beautiful.

Grown women want to be beautiful too, and there’s no shame in this. The OT writers describe women who are both godly and physically attractive. Sarah is “very beautiful” (Gen. 12:14). Rebekah is “very fair to look upon” (24:16). Rachel is “beautiful and lovely” (29:17). However, there’s no biblical evidence that these righteous women have an unhealthy obsession with physical appearance.

Glossy magazines featuring tall, unbelievably slender models tend to make the modern Christian woman feel uncomfortable with herself. This is precisely what Park Avenue is after. If a woman sees herself as unattractive, then she will buy the beauty products marketed in the magazines.

This advertising strategy is deceptive and destructive. The beautiful face on the magazine cover is a lie. Without professional lighting and makeup artists, the supermodel tends to blend in with the attractive millions on the street. Besides, models often engage in self-destructive behaviors such as anorexia and bulimia to remain painfully thin.

An obsession with physical appearance mars the beauty that matters most. Peter tells Christian women: “Let not your adornment be external only—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:3-4, NASB). In time the lovely child in the princess costume becomes an elderly woman with gray hair and a lined face. But if she has the Spirit of Christ, she will always be a princess. A daughter of the King of Kings!

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