Today’s culture places a high value on beauty. We see ads of beautiful women and beauty products everywhere. Social media is full of women with filtered or photoshopped pictures. We look at them and then either feel that we don’t measure up or else we try to compete. We spend time and money on getting our hair and nails done and keeping up with the latest styles and trends. However, let’s take the time to stop and think. What does the Bible say about beauty? Does God care about our outer appearance?
What the Bible Says About Beauty
The Bible has several different types of verses that talk about beauty. There are verses that talk about physical beauty as well as inner beauty. There are also verses of caution as we deal with beauty. As we see from Genesis, God created us in His own image, and He created each of us exactly how He wanted us to be. If you are gorgeous, it’s not a mistake. If you are ordinary-looking, it’s not a mistake either.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 ESV
What is God’s definition of beauty?
As we’ll see, God’s definition of beauty is vastly different from society’s. Culture looks at beauty as the outward appearance and shape of someone. In fact, the beauty industry is a $532 Billion dollar industry! However, God is looking at a heart that loves and follows Him. What’s amazing is that while many cannot attain a high level of worldly beauty, all who allow the truth of the gospel to change them can attain what God calls beautiful. That, mama, is what has eternal value!
What is inner beauty in the Bible?
So, what is inner beauty according to the Bible? As I mentioned above, inner beauty comes from within. Biblical beauty is an inner beauty that transforms us from the inside out. It will radiate from us, giving us a look of peace and confidence. Inner beauty comes from fearing the Lord and from godliness. It comes from the good works that flow from our faith in Jesus. As we see in the verse below, inner beauty is a lasting beauty from a gentle and quiet spirit. Even as our bodies grow older, our inner selves can grow more beautiful.
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 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.” I Peter 3:3-4
Bible Verses about the Beauty of a Woman
There are several verses in the Bible that talk about beauty or the beauty of a woman, however, some verses deal with biblical beauty more indirectly. Instead, they speak of what we should be concerned about rather than our physical appearance. As followers of Christ, we want to focus on things of eternal value rather than things of this earth.
Physical beauty is often mentioned in the Bible when someone is described. For example, Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was very beautiful, even when she was old. In fact, she was taken away twice because of her looks. Saul, Absalom, and Bathsheeba are other examples of people in the Bible with beautiful forms and appearances. God created each of us in our own unique way, and He made some people very beautiful. There is beauty throughout all of creation, including in people, so we are free to enjoy it. Check out these verses from Song of Solomon:
“Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.” Song of Solomon 1:15
“My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away’,” Song of Solomon 2:10
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7
While physical beauty is not sinful, it can become sinful if we allow it to consume us. There is the potential for pride to creep into our hearts and corrupt us from the inside out. This was the case initially with Satan, but later Jesus also accused the Pharisees of looking good from the outside while being full of hypocrisy.
“Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.” Ezekiel 28:17
“So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew 23:28
Jesus reminds us that we shouldn’t be worried about what we’re wearing or become obsessed with exercise to the point where we’re not having time to grow in godliness. As we’re reminded in the verses below, this life is more than the physical.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25
“for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
How do we grow in inner beauty? Our relationship with God will transform us from the inside out. As we spend time reading the Bible and in prayer, our hearts will change. As our heart changes, our thoughts and our actions will change as well.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
The Bible does speak specifically about the true beauty of a woman and some attributes that contribute to her true biblical beauty. Proverbs 31:10-31 is a common passage full of amazing qualities in a woman, but there are several other verses that remind us that we need to be women who fear the Lord above all. We need to be faithful, godly, and respectable. As godly women with inner beauty, we become more valuable even than precious jewels!
“She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:15
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
“Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things.” 1 Timothy 3:11
“likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
As moms, unless we prioritize our relationship with God, it can easily fall by the wayside. Learn more about growing closer to God. As we grow closer to Him, we become a better wife and mother as well.
What Does God Say About our Beauty?
So we’ve talked about what the Bible says about beauty, the importance of inner beauty over our appearance, and many Bible verses which help lead us to those conclusions. Now, is it a sin to care about how you look? I would say that depends on you and the value you place on your appearance. Pray and ask God to reveal to you your motives. Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, so we do need to take care of our “temples,” but at the same time, our looks should not become a higher priority in our lives than what God has called us to do and be. Our relationship with God and His desires for us should never be sacrificed.
Is prioritizing beauty something you struggle with? How do you grow in inner beauty? Please comment below. Also, while you’re here, I hope you will take a look around. If you resonate with the topics I write about, I’d love to have you join the community through the link below, or find me on Facebook.
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