Beauty Is Only Skin

“Beauty is only skin deep”…..

I can still hear my mother echo those wordsas I go through my morning beauty ritual of moisturizer, foundation, concealer and color.  I began wearing makeup as ayoung teenager in an attempt to hide the blemishes of puberty.  Now, it’s an attempt to hide the signs of aging. A battle that I am quickly losing, but I am not about to hoist a white flag of surrender just yet!!!

As a teenager I had no idea what these words meant, along with other southern quotes and antidotes to life that rolled off my mother’s tongue as if they had come directly from the Bible.

However, these words brought new meaning to my spiritual journey during a recent trip to the Estee Lauder counter for my stockpile: artillery for this battle we call “aging graciously”.

As I was making my purchases, I caught a strong whiff of Estee Lauder’s Beautiful perfume, which was accompanied by the words, “I want the largest bottle of Beautiful that you sell.”   Now here was a woman who was making every attempt to be beautiful.  She had perfect hair, nails, make-up and a great tan.  Yet, as she turned to face me, her beauty artillery could not hide her severely deformed body.  Just like me, she was applying makeup to something that wasn’t going to change, or quite frankly, matter in eternity.

In that moment I finally got what my mother was trying to instill within me.   Man looks at our outward appearance, but God looks at the heart! 

I really think that many of my mothers’ sayings were taken from the book of Proverbs, but with her southern translation you have to read between the lines.   In Proverbs 31:30 we read, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

The book of Proverbs begins with the command to fear the Lord (1:7) and ends with the picture of a woman who fulfills this command.

So, do you want a large bottle of beautiful?   “The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.”

“Though the Lord is
very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and
righteousness. In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich
store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is the key to
this treasure.”
   –  Isaiah 33:5-6 (NLT)

Questions for Your Quiet Moment:

  1. Do you have a part of your beauty regiment that you cannot pass up before you leave your house for the day? What part would that be?
  2. When you think of beauty, what comes to mind?
  3. Read and write out Proverbs 31:30. Instead of writing “a woman” from the verse, write your name. When you put together the idea of beauty you wrote in the second question with this Scripture verse, how do the two differ? How are they similar? How does it affect you to see your name in the Scripture?

Written By: Major Susie Erickson, Assistant Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary

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