I always like to start with something personal, so please bear it with me!
I was raised in a Christian home – yeah, by now, you’ve got this point – and growing up, I learned how Christians are called to be different from the world. Biblical scriptures tell us that we live in this world, but we do not belong to it. We are not meant to have the love of this world or anything that belongs to it in our hearts. It was easy to understand and to live by this Biblical principle, especially when it came to staying away from peer influence or the social media fad. But, I was a girl – still is – and we lived in a world that’s obsessed – still obsessed – with looks. And, anyone who pretends it isn’t is an alien to me.
When I was a teenager, I learned, as far as women are concerned, that the society seems to value beauty over brains and it’s a pity. The media – be it commercial ads on TV or the covers of magazines – keeps telling us how we should look, how to achieve the perfect weight and what products to use to have the “Because You’re Worth It” hair. Back then, this culture made me feel inferior. As a result, I was finding myself fighting this inferiority on a daily basis – and let me add that this ingrained mindset had cost me quite a lot in terms of self-confidence and self-respect.
Thankfully, my mother helped me in making me appreciate my slightly above-average looks. She did this with the help of Biblical scriptures. There was this kind of “female ritual” we did which became like a habit, where we would sit down, I’d tell her about my insecurities and she’d ask me to reflect on what the Lord said.
Instead of fighting against this beauty-obsessed mindset, I think it is better to focus on what truly matters to the Lord.
Attractive for the Eyes
On one hand, the world talks about beauty lying in the eyes of the beholder and on the other, the Bible says that something which is seductive to the eyes is called lust of the eye.
We can read it from Proverbs 6: 25, “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.”
In 1 John 2: 16, we can also read, “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”
The Bible tells us that we can be tempted to sin by the lust of the eyes.
Le us go back to the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, where Eve was tempted. In Genesis 3: 6, we read that, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.”
So, basically, satan used the lust of the eyes to tempt Eve and make her go against God’s commandment.
The Bible further tells us that beauty is not what you see with your physical eyes. It’s a true fact that girls with flowing blonde hair, blue eyes and soft skin are considered to be super gorgeous. This combination has been a true classic known all over the world. But, these traits mean nothing to God.
God’s definition of beauty sharply contrasts with the world’s definition. While the world said that pale skin and attractive hair defines beauty, God once said that the beauty of old people is their gray hair (you’ll find that in Proverbs 20: 29 and Proverbs 16: 31).