"Beauty is only skin deep," they say. "Ugly goes clear to the bone." Most of us are not so concerned with the "bones" as we are with the padding and the skin that go over our frame.
Every woman wants to be beautiful. Millions of dollars are spent each year on beauty products alone. We buy lotions to smooth our skin and even out its color, powders to brighten cheeks and to make eyes more alluring, and wax to soften and color lips. We purchase sprays to hold our hair in place and to improve our bodies' scent. We buy shoes to make us taller, the latest clothes to flatter our figures, and jewelry for the final touch of glamour.
Surgeries to beautify those parts of our bodies that we think are ugly cost a lot in time, effort, and dollars. We spend hundreds of hours on our bodies so that we will look our best for those we want to impress, and for those we love.
How God must long for us to be this lavish in spending time on the condition of our souls. Our culture focuses on the importance of having a beautiful body even though it is temporal; it will fade and die. Our spirits, internal and invisible, are more important. They will live eternally either in God's presence or cut off from Him in an eternal hell if we fail to recognize and accept the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary to cleanse our sin.
What beauty secrets can we apply to the development and growth of our souls?
A Joyful Heart
A joyful heart will put a sparkle in our eyes, lift our spirits, and put a spring in our steps. A joyful heart is a woman's best cosmetic. It will keep us outward-looking and upward-looking, rather than inward-looking. Nehemiah admonished, "‘Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength'" (Nehemiah 8:10, NIV). King Solomon's description of the ideal woman implies a joyful and outward-looking heart, even though the word "joyful" is not used to describe her (Proverbs 31:10-31).A joyful heart will put a sparkle in our eyes
A Gentle and Quiet Spirit
Peter also describes the ideal Christian woman--one who is beautiful in God's sight. He adjures against concentrating on "outward adornment" (1 Peter 3:3). The "gentle and quiet spirit" of a godly wife will influence an unbelieving husband to make his heart right with God (3:1-6). Paul urges both Timothy and Titus to admonish women in gentleness and quietness at home and in the community (1 Timothy 2: 9-11; Titus 2:4-5).
A Holy Influence
Peter encourages both men and women in holiness (1 Peter 3). He says:
Guard your minds (vv. 8-9). We must live in harmony with others and be sympathetic, compassionate, and humble.
Guard your tongues (vv. 9-10). We must not exchange insults. Paul cautions against "complaining and arguing" (Philippians 2:14). The King James Version translates this as "murmurings and disputings." We may not audibly complain, but it is easy to mutter under our breath or murmur in our spirits when we are crossed.
Guard your actions (1 Peter 3:11-15). We must not be guilty of retaliating or backbiting. Do all our actions reflect Christ to those who do not know Him?
Guard your consciences (vv. 16-17). If we keep a clear conscience, we will not be ashamed.
Young women seem to be beautiful physically without much effort. As we age, it takes increasingly more money and time to keep up a beautiful facade. However, every woman who knows and loves God can be beautiful in His sight, and to her loved ones, by developing her inner person, her spirit. Life may be a painful business, but every woman can be a gorgeous specimen of God's grace by following His beauty secrets.