Friday, February 25, 2011

The Imperishable Beauty...

This week at APU was Beauty Week in an effort to uncover the unfathomable pressure and stress that our young women face today to be deemed attractive, pretty, and desirable. Several of the students have created an exhibit to help illustrate this fallacy of beauty through powerful pictures, testimonies, and prayers. Walking through and being immersed in the heart breaking stories was a sobering and eye-opening experience.

I cannot even imagine the pressures foisted upon young women through magazines, TV, and mass media to be beautiful.
This heart breaking realization made me feel immensely blessed to not go through these same struggles, being a guy, but also to cherish the true beauty that lies beneath every one of those struggling with self-image, confidence, or anorexia. Matthew provides a valuable reminder:

"And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, [...] will he not much more clothe you?"

Unfortunately, todays society often judges by clothes or appearance. That is why consumerism and the clothing industry is so successful, because of the anxiety and stress over how we look. However, you are not judged by the quality of your clothes nor your weight, hair, or body, but by the content of your character. "Do not let your adorning be external, but 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: 3-4, ESV)

Today, Godly men in the Church often fall short in their willingness to look at the heart and not judge by the outward appearance. Mass media can play a large factor in these pressures, but us men have been an unfortunate instigator. Instead, being men of Christ, we should look upon our sisters with love and respect, just as God does. "For the Lord does not see as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV)

I'd encourage you men, and myself, to next time you see your wife, girlfriend, friend, etc. to tell her she's beautiful, inside and out. And young women, to not worry about what the world says, but to concern yourself with where your heart is. For it is written, "A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." And that is something no one can put a price on.

much love,
reed

4 comments:

  1. The worst part about it is when you hear men talk 1Peter text they always focus on the word not in the ESV text, "merely". I often hear something like "see, it says merely external, so as long as you have the hidden person of the heart, you can focus on your external appearance". That totally misses the point of the text, and makes people think that beauty really is an external thing, rather than being about a gentle and quiet spirit. Your post is right on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Much appreciated Greg! I agree.
    I can understand the possibility for discrepancy there. In response to those men, I would simply point to several other passages of Scripture where the heart is more important than the external, namely the others in this post. There are several more that I haven't listed.

    God bless
    reed

    ReplyDelete
  3. The worst part about it is when you hear men talk 1Peter text they always focus on the word not in the ESV text, "merely". I often hear something like "see, it says merely external, so as long as you have the hidden person of the heart, you can focus on your external appearance". That totally misses the point of the text, and makes people think that beauty really is an external thing, rather than being about a gentle and quiet spirit. Your post is right on.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Much appreciated Greg! I agree.
    I can understand the possibility for discrepancy there. In response to those men, I would simply point to several other passages of Scripture where the heart is more important than the external, namely the others in this post. There are several more that I haven't listed.

    God bless
    reed

    ReplyDelete