Lily of the Valley: True Biblical Beauty (Part One)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Before we can delve into what true biblical beauty actually looks like, I wanted to address what beauty is not. Unfortunately I cannot adequately cover all of this in one post, however I hope to provide an outline of what true beauty does not look like. (And trust me I'm still learning as well!) But once we do understand what true biblical beauty is not, we'll be able to see what godly beauty, precious in His sight, really looks like.

Beauty, first and foremost is a heart position before God. Therefore false beauty will also have a wrong heart position. Everything in life starts from the inside out. God taught us this when He was looking for a new King of Israel, and Jesus later reiterated this to His disciples. Even the Proverbs are filled with teachings of right and wrong heart positions.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

This is a very familiar verse. However we'd do well to not glance over it so quickly, especially since Jesus later on expounds on this very same topic.

"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." Matthew 15:18-19

The Proverbs are also rich with teachings on the heart.

 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight. Proverbs 11:20

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. Proverbs 14:30

(There are a plethora of verses in the Bible that speak on the heart of man. I highly encourage anyone to do a Keyword Search at to read more about these important teachings in God's Word.)

Since the heart is so important to God we have to remember that false beauty begins with the heart.  Outward beauty that is bold, flirtatious, immodest, immoral and impure begins with a wrong heart position. We're all prone to it too. In fact, without a proper understanding of God's definition of true beauty we won't be set free to embrace true biblical beauty.

The Apostle Paul often wrote in his many epistles to the churches he helped to plant what holy living looked like in contrast to the unbelieving world. In his letter to the Ephesian church Paul contrasts right and wrong living. I've come to the conclusion that even though he's generally talking about holy conduct in the Christian church and what walking in Christ looks in contrast to wicked practices, we can also apply his words to what false beauty looks like in contrast to true, biblical, Christ-like beauty. Take a look at the following verses:

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. Ephesians 4:17-19

Callousness, sensuality, greediness, impurity. These are still more fruits of false beauty.

One of the most powerful chapters in the Bible that sets forth false beauty is Proverbs 7. I won't post the whole passage here but I do want to highlight some key phrases within this chapter to help give us further clarification.

The adulterous woman full of false beauty in this chapter is wily of heart, smooth with her words, dressed immodestly, loud and wayward, bold in face, seductive in speech and appearance, and from what I can gather from this passage, full of discontent.

Did you catch her heart condition though? Wily in heart. Some synonyms for wily include, crafty, cunning, devious, shrewd, sly, and tricky.

The Bible uses to an adulterous woman to illustrate what false beauty looks like, but a woman doesn't have to be an adulteress in order to portray false beauty.

Often in today's society, false beauty portrays itself in much more subtle and unattainable ways too. While we can't ever truly know someone else's true heart position before God, we can be aware of the fruits of of false beauty: impurity, immodesty, flirtatious, bold, brazen, devious and hard hearted. 

Add to this though the amazing technological advances, a lot of the false beauty being portrayed is not only wrong heart motives, but also just plain wrong. It's not real. It's fake beyond fake!

Today's advertising and media is full of immodest and seductive looking women. In fact, these women are so made up and airbrushed that they don't even look like themselves! Watch these videos below to see just how fake the beauty we see in the media really is.

While I can't purely blame the media for all these problems (the problems go much, much deeper than this), I can say that the media has not helped one bit. Heart positions, unattainable beauty, and false advertising have all contributed to the difficulties women face today dealing with beauty. I highly recommend all women to read former Victoria's Secret's Angel Kylie Bissuti's book I'm No Angel: From Victoria's Secret Model to Role Model. It's an eye opening, shocking testimony of what really goes on in the world of fashion and Hollywood's version of beauty.

This of course the bad news. The good news? God's true beauty is far more glorious than any magazine ad, media image or photoshopped woman than any of us could ever imagine. And we too can become this gloriously beautiful woman that gets even more beautiful as we grow in grace each passing year. Our earthly bodies will wither and fade, but our heart and spirit will live for eternity. God's much more concerned with our inward heart position and character than we'll ever know. And while it's ok to want to look nice, dress nice do our make-up and hair nice, it all has to start with a right heart position.
Join me next time as we discuss what true biblical beauty really looks like!

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