We cannot leave the story of Esther without reflecting on the definition of true beauty. We’re told in the bible that Esther was both “fair in form” and “beautiful” in countenance and face. But, she is most remembered for her remarkable courage and faith.
While there is nothing wrong with Christian women wanting to look nice, each woman must examine her own motives. Today’s world places great emphasis on beauty – exceptionally perfect women stare at us from magazine covers every time we visit the grocery store. Christian women, while they can dress nicely and take care of their appearance, must at the same time not let their appearance become all-encompassing.
A carefully groomed and well-decorated exterior is artificial and cold without inner beauty. Scripture does not prohibit a woman from wanting to be attractive. Beauty, however, begins inside a person. A gentle, modest, loving character gives a light to the face that cannot be duplicated by the best cosmetics and jewelry in the world. Christian women are not to try to be unattractive; instead, Paul called them to reject the world’s standard for attractiveness. A Christian’s adornment comes not from what she puts on, but from what she does for others (1 & 2 Timothy & Titus).
Here are some pointed verses from scripture that can guide us as we become the beautiful woman after God’s own heart that He intends for us to be:
Develop godly character – it is your best outfit!
“Strength and honor are her clothing” (Proverbs 31:25).
Don’t worry about following the crowd – you have a higher standard.
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good” (3 John 11).
Seek God’s approval rather than that of the world.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Watch what you wear – your clothing is sending a message.
“A woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart” (Proverbs 7:10-11).
Wear what is appropriate for the occasion and as a daughter of the king.
“Women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation… which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
Would others characterize you as a woman who is beautiful in good works and character? Spend time thinking about your character choices and your ministry to others. Don’t forget to begin your assessment with your behavior and good works toward those who live right under your own roof! Your family should be the first in line at seeing and praising your beauty as a woman after God’s own heart.
Question: As a woman after God’s own heart, do you need to place less emphasis on your external appearance and more emphasis on that’s going on inside your heart? Share some thoughts about how a woman can nurture her heart.
For more encouragement and daily steps to living God’s plan for you, read my book, Small Changes for a Better Life.