Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

1.25.2011

For Glory and For Beauty

These days, one brushes shoulders with a lot of different people in one trip to the grocery store. There’s the goth girl dressed all in black, her face smudged in soot-like makeup. A man walks by looking out of place next to the refried beans in his sharp argyle sweater. A woman in sweats and a sweatshirt stands in line—right next to the girl wearing a miniskirt (in the dead of winter!), and talks to the cashier dressed in his bland white polo uniform. In addition to taking in people’s attire, we also look at their faces—and whether we like it or not, we tend to make snap judgments of their beauty and handsomeness. Although the world certainly has their standard of beauty—and it seems to involve an ever-shrinking waistline, steroid-pumped muscles, less-is-more clothing philosophies, and Barbie-plastic features—beauty is not as subjective as we’d like to think, because God Himself has set a standard of beauty for both our outward as well as our inward appearance.

Beauty is most certainly not subjective. In II Samuel 14:25, we see the kind of gushing statement we might not have expected from Scripture: “But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.” God obviously has a measuring stick by which He gauges beauty—and that measuring stick is Himself. Ultimately, God has defined beauty by order, perfection, and virtue—the more something exudes the characteristics of God, the more it is beautiful.

It is our responsibility, you see, to reflect God’s beauty in the way we dress, in the way we do or do not apply our makeup, and in the way we arrange our hair. I Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Thus by dressing femininely or masculinely so that there is no mistaking our gender, by enhancing our features if necessary with makeup (but never distracting from our features with garish application or colors), and by avoiding androgenous hairstyles, we can bring glory to God. God Himself detailed everything about the Jewish priesthood, right down to their attire and the purpose of their attire: “And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty (Exodus 28:2).” Since we are now the royal priesthood, I can only conclude that it is our responsibility to wear garments for glory and for beauty. Beautifying oneself and one’s surroundings is both good and right.

We must beware, though, because beauty can not only be a tool with which to glorify God, but it can also be an unseen tripping hazard by which we fall flat on our face. Ezekial 16:15 condemns Jerusalem’s weakness in this: “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown….” If ever we dress ourselves in the complementary colors of a modest pink skirt and green jacket, adorn our face with just enough makeup to please, and succeed in achieving the perfect updo, and then walk out of the house feeling oh-so pleased with ourselves and oh-so condemning of that goth girl and that sloppy girl and that bland guy and that immodest woman, then we have missed the point. We have achieved God’s standard of beauty on the outside, and missed the inside completely. God said to the King of Tyre, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee (Ezekial 28:17).”

Remember Absalom, handsomest of the handsomest, and perfection personified? Sadly, his life ended much like the King of Tyre, Jezebel, Satan, and anyone else who has taken the glory for his beauty and become ugly and shriveled inside. Absalom cultivated bitterness towards his brother, eventually murdering him, before rebelling against his father King David, and leading a revolt against his rule. Ultimately, however, Absalom died the most ignominious death possible, his beautiful head catching on an oak tree as he passed under it on a mule, and his beautiful body left swinging in the air between heaven and earth (II Samuel 18:9).

Because God’s likeness and character defines beauty, it is not only our outward features and attire that make us beautiful, but also our inward spirit. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30).” In no less than four verses is holiness called “beautiful” in Scripture: “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 29:2).” This week, won’t you consider dressing not only for your King, but also like your King? Put a little extra time, effort, and thought into your morning routine, knowing that feminine and beautiful modesty pleases God and brings glory to Him. But don’t neglect putting a little extra time, effort, and thought into your morning devotional routine, because one without the other creates a pig with a ring in her snout. Make your surroundings and yourself for glory first and for beauty second.



All quotations are taken from the King James Version.
Picture Credit

9 comments:

  1. This is such a wonderful post, Miss Mikaela. Thank you so much for posting and encouraging everyone! :) The world thinks wayy too much of beauty, and, like it or not, we all succumb in one way or another.

    I was talking to my friend, Shelbe Jordan, and she said that she knows you guys! Wow, small world! ;)

    Blessings,
    Lucia

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  2. A very good post, Mikaela. Thank you for sharing the importance of investing in both our inward and outward beauty, taking into consideration moderation and God's standards. Once again, great writing! :)

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  3. Lucia--thanks so much! I don't think it's wrong to enjoy or value beauty, because God has made us like that, but as you say--we can think too much of it. How wonderful that you know Shelbe! It is indeed a small world. ;-)

    Ruthie--you just summed up my one-page post in one sentence. (How DO you do that? ;-)

    Thanks Brandy! Our society needs all the "amens" (in word and deed) we can get!

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  4. Wonderful post, dear...as usual :)
    Hope you're all doing well! We must try to get together sometime soon...

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  5. You're a dear yourself! Thank you for your faithful reading and commenting, and it simply has been too long since we've had some face time, hasn't it?

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  6. Hello, Mikaela and Lauren! I ran across this wonderful blog through Jasmine Baucham's and have just begun to read through former entries. Just had to say that this post was beautiful and quite timely for me. :) As it reminded me that God does not look on the outside but in the heart. :)
    Your writing styles are so refreshing to read and I've been greatly enjoying getting to know you two through your blog. :)
    Can't wait to see future entries!
    In Him,
    Meghan
    www.justasiam-meghan.blogspot.com

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  7. Thanks for introducing yourself! We love to hear more about who our followers are, how they found our blog, and where they are in their spiritual walk with God. Thanks so much for your encouragement--God bless you!

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  8. Good thoughts, Mikaela! Thanks for sharing. There is a balance to find here, and I think you summed it up pretty well in one of your posts when you said that the inside is the real beauty, and real womanhood, but it is manifested by the outside.

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