A recent experience taught me a very valuable lesson that I wanted to share with you. I was asked out on a date, but like always, I found a way to sabotage the date before I even went on it. As his words that “I was quick to judge him” rang through my head, I kept pondering why I did this again. Even though I thought I was ready to start dating, I realized I still had a lot of things to conquer within myself. I was still insecure, and did not quite forgive and forget the hurt from my past.
It was during this revelation that the Lord reminded me of the passage Proverbs 31. Most Christians know this chapter explains what it means to be a virtuous woman. Before this experience, I do not believe that I had read the entire chapter; I challenge you to do so. The characteristics of a virtuous woman starts with verse 10. And even though these verses talk about the virtuous wife, this can most definitely apply to the single woman as well. A virtuous wife (or woman): enriches her husband’s life (v. 11); takes care of her household (v. 15); is a hard-worker (v. 17); takes care of her own business/career (vs. 18, 24); helps the less fortunate (v. 20); is clothed with strength and dignity (v. 25); is not fearful of the future (v. 25); and is wise, and speaks with kindness (v. 26).
I noticed that beauty or physical appearance was not used once to describe her worth. The only time that beauty is mentioned is at the end of the chapter. In verse 30 it says, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised”(NIV). What a difference this message is from that of society; where if you are not beautiful or attractive, then you have little value/worth. Women are bombarded daily with commercials and magazine advertisements on how to improve ourselves to become attractive to men. We are told to use coloring products to hide our gray hairs, apply makeup to cover up “imperfect” skin, and to wear shape wear to appear to have the perfect body shape. To be honest, I have struggled with this façade of beauty. And while I am starting to embrace my body, I know that I need to delve deeper before I can overcome my insecurities.
Beauty is Fleeting
If you have not yet, there will be a day when you will ask yourself what was the point. What was the point in putting your body and finances in jeopardy for the sake of being attractive to others? While de-cluttering one day, I asked myself this question. I had a least 50 different hair products that were supposed to do one thing or another for my hair. I spent hundreds of dollars on hair products to “tame” and change my hair texture so that others might find me more attractive.
The beauty products and services that we use are not all harmful, but we must examine our hearts and intentions in using these products and services. Are we using makeup or weave (for example) to “increase our worth” or attractiveness to others? If so, we are setting ourselves up to be greatly disappointed. And when we solely base our lives on external characteristics, we will be forgotten once someone else “more attractive” comes along. The problem with the concept of beauty is that it is relative and fleeting. They say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” When you equate your beauty with your value/worth, you are likely to have mixed emotions when your beauty “falls short.” Imagine the amount of time you wasted on something so superficial and fleeting, instead of fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.
Find Your Confidence
Our bodies were created how they were for a specific reason, which is why we do not all look the same. Instead of focusing on external beauty, we should work on our internal beauty that will be long remembered after we die. I understand that I will never be perfect according to society, and that is okay. I realize that there are a lot of things society has taught me over the years, that I must ignore. I want to be happy, I want others to like me for me. We need to find the confidence we had when we were young; when we knew we were smart, beautiful, and charismatic. As corny as it may sound, it is the internal being that matters most. And since this is true, we need to work on ourselves. We need to focus on what brings us joy, how to be kind to others, how not be fearful of the future, and walk in dignity. For these characteristics are what truly makes us beautiful, not makeup or an hourglass body.