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What Makes A Woman Truly Beautiful?

By: Guest Blogger

Did you know that God actually wants women to be out-of-this-world beautiful?  Believe it or not, God compares the stars, the cosmos, and galaxies with idea of true beauty!

He connects these two seemly unrelated concepts with a really cool Greek word.  Hang tight with me as I briefly explain God’s poetic analogy in the following verse:

1 Peter 3:3-4 says “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.”

Just like English words, Greek words often have multiple meanings.

The word for “adorning” in 1 Peter 3:3-4 is “kosmos,” which can have two general meanings based on context.  It can take the meaning of the actual plant earth, worldly affairs, the people of the world, earthly government, etc. Or it can carry the idea of ornament, decoration, adornment—specifically in the arrangement of the stars, the heavenly hosts, etc.

Basically, Peter was warning women not to place their identity and focus on their outward appearance.

In essence, he’s saying, “Don’t let your world revolve around what you look like.  Don’t let your image be the substance of your thoughts or the focus of your life.”

Even as Christians, we can subconsciously believe the lie that gorgeous women are the ones with the poutiest lips, the longest legs, the skinniest figures, the most revealing clothing, the most seductive expression, etc.  That is the message that our culture is screaming at women day and night!

Girls, the approval of our culture will lie to us every time. 

Proverbs 31:30a says that “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain….”  In other words, your skin is a vapor—a fleeting breath.  But God has an eternal perspective.  He knows that we are worth more than our outward appearance!

When we place our value in our image, we cheapen the very essence of what it means to be women.

Back to our verse in 1 Peter. “…let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart….” Here’s the idea it communicates: Instead of being consumed with temporary looks, let your adornment be revealed in who you are as a person.

Why do you think God used the same Greek word “kosmos” to describe how women ought to adorn themselves?

Let’s zoom way out and think about the cosmos for a second.  Think about the sheer radiance of the stars, the awesomeness of the galaxies, the splendor of the heavens.  When God spoke the cosmos into existence, He didn’t just make it functional—He made it stunningly beautiful. He ornamented the blackness with galaxies of jewels.

By using the word “kosmos” to describe what should be a woman’s adornment, God is comparing the beauty of the heart to the brilliant splendor of the glittering galaxies.

He wants us to have celestial-like adornment.

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself…’” (Isaiah 40:26).

So what’s all this business about “the hidden person of the heart?” What does that even mean?

If that’s supposed to be what makes us out-of-this-world beautiful, it’d be nice to have a little more clarity.  Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in the dark.  Here’s another passage describing what it means to be a beautiful woman in God’s eyes:

“…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

Did you catch that?

God tells women to adorn themselves (by the way, same Greek word there for “adorn”) with good works.  Based on the texts of 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Peter 3, here are all of the things that reflect the beautiful adornment of the “hidden person of the heart”:

  • Gentle and quiet spirit
  • Pure lifestyle
  • Modest clothing
  • Self-control
  • Good works

Instead wondering “How do I look?” all of the time, we should really be asking, “How can I become more like Christ?”

Let’s face it, God made women lovely on the outside.  That’s how He designed us! 

But when we possess these inner qualities, we as women become unbelievingly, imperishably beautiful at the core of who we are.  We shine like stars, like God’s ornaments of adornment in the midst of this foolish and counterfeit world.

This is a battle that every Christian women must engage.  We need to fight for the kind of beauty that is of eternal value and splendid radiance.  Notice the wording in 1 Peter 3:3 “DO NOT LET your adorning be external…but LET your adorning be the hidden person of the heart.”  There is effort going on here!

God knows that this is a fight for the heart. 

That’s why He instructs in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”

The question is, which “world” will we allow to inform our thinking about what makes us beautiful as women?  The world of our culture, which is based on Satan’s lies, or the world of the kingdom of God?  Women must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and confront the enemy’s lies about true beauty.

I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

  • In what ways do you feel the pressure of living in an image-obsessed culture?
  • Which of these “hidden person of the heart” qualities do you need to cultivate?

PHOTO CREDIT

This amazing guest post was written by Liz Halcomb. If you would like to submit a guest post to GirlDefined, click HERE. 

Gir Swirling her Head

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  • Kaela Schultz

    Great post! i especially need to work on having a more quiet spirit.

    • Liz H

      Thanks Kaela! You and me both. Keep up the good fight!

  • Question: Does a quiet spirit mean that we cannot speak our opinions?

    • Liz H

      Hi Tatiana! Great question. If we take a look at the point of those verses in 1 Peter 3 and 2 Timothy 2, God is encouraging women to have a restful, gentleness about their demeanor. Peter and Paul (the authors of these verses) are explaining that part of what makes a woman beautiful is her peace-making, humble, gentle spirit. She is “quiet” in that she is the opposite of quarrelsome, disrespectful, indiscreet, fretful, etc.
      It’s helpful to contrast these verses with the foolish woman in the book of Proverbs:
      Proverbs 21:19 “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.”
      Proverbs 9:13 “The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing.”
      Proverbs 11:22 “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.”
      Since sin entered the world in Genesis 3, the woman’s natural (sinful) desire is to dominate men. It’s easy for women to be disrespectful, both in spirit and in word. Paul and Timothy are encouraging women to fulfill their calling as helpers, instead of having a dominating, discontent spirit.
      Paul and Timothy are not necessarily saying to never give an opinion. We as believers are all supposed to live as peacefully as possible with all men (Romans 12:18) and to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
      Hope this helps!

  • Rebekah Teravskis

    Wow! Thank you Liz! This is really good!

  • Clara

    Thanks so much, Liz! Not putting too much time into physical appearance and not having a meek spirit are things I need to focus on!

  • What a lovely article! Thank you for the time you put into this, Liz! I love how God set up the whole concept of beauty–and how He takes pleasure in TRUE beauty. I’m so thankful my worth and my beauty ISN’T only external, because I can never meet society’s standards of a beautiful and valuable girl.

    As Christian girls, we can have a beauty that not even Miss Universe can hold a torch to! Because CHRIST is the most beautiful thing EVER, and Christ in us is far more beautiful than what our culture can produce.

    • Liz H

      Amen, Anastasis! That is so true! It is such a privilege to represent the beauty of God’s creativity in the world, both on the inside and the outside!

  • Nicole

    I have a dilemma, what if God gave you a great figure, long legs and arms, cute face, long lashes and beautiful hair. And you have a quiet spirit, youre gentle, you dress modestly but with style and you apply some make up not like Hollywood but to enhance the God given beauty, and you love the Lord with all your heart, but in nature your very reserved, shy and quite around people. So then the modest guys think You’re a snob, proud and seducive, when in reality it’s not like that at all! Do you believe I need to hide my God given beauty in baggy clothes, stop wearing make up, wearing my hair up to be noticed by good guys? Sometimes I think my beauty blinds the good guys. Even though I don’t view my self as that and prefer to stay in the back, but I can’t deny that God gave me model parameters. People give me compliments everyday and tell me to be a model but I don’t have confidence in myself, and i feel so unattractive because of my reserved nature. nobody can get to know the real me. It makes me so sad. I don’t know if any of this makes sense to anyone.

    • Amber Lester

      I am also very quiet and shy snd struggled with that a lot when I was in high school. Keep trusting and trying to follow God. He made you who you are for a reason. Over time I have excepted my quietness but learned to not be so shy. Remember it only really matters what God thinks and you just half to live to please Him and show others who He is. If they miss understand you just keep being yourself and try keep your eyes on God and try not to let them bring you down.

    • Princess4Hvn

      I also struggled with being shy. I hated that characteristic in me, because I saw that it prevented me from sharing the gospel when opportunity arose, and also made me feel lonely. I prayed and claimed 2 Timothy 1:7. I also thought on other passages and read the book “How to Communicate with Confidence” by Mike Bechtle. After prayer, and sometimes having to uncomfortably open my mouth (for example, I wouldn’t talk to the person next to me on the flight until the announcement for descent), the Lord helped me to grow past that. I hated how it felt to be on the outside of a group, so I started befriending others who were like me. Then I slowly gained more confidence. Now I am blessed with many precious friends. People are surprised if I say that I was once shy!
      Sometimes I’m presented with the opposite challenge of wanting to be in groups and considering being more bold and changing things about me to fit in, however I know I must be true to God and to who He made me to be.
      So I’m learning to be content to be quiet, or to speak. I want to be a vessel through whom God can bless others. If you keep this attitude, I know from experience, Godly guys will notice.

    • Seeking truth

      @ Nicole, this is very true. I feel badly for women like yourself who are seemingly not treated fairly by men because of the beauty God gave you. It can admittedly be difficult for men to make eye contact with a lady that they find attractive, because it’s both overwhelming and frustrating to see beauty without any means of expressing to them how/what we feel about them (let alone a safe way of complimenting them about it). We’re also afraid of looking stupid or saying something stupid that will cause her to dislike us (especially for those of us that are introverted and also have some social anxiety). It can then become a real struggle to not intentionally avoid them for those reasons. So it’s not because we don’t like them or find them attractive–just the opposite; but I know it doesn’t make it easier for you. 🙁

      If you’ve ever seen the comic allegory movie “The Gods Must Be Crazy”, you’ll know that, although exaggerated a little, the main character, zoologist Marius Weyers, falls all over himself trying to assist a beautiful lady by the name of Sandra Prinsloo. There is more truth in this depiction about men and how we become around women we find attractive than people may realize.

      But the pain goes both ways—as the saying goes: “Don’t hate [or avoid] me because I’m beautiful.”

    • Hannah

      Hmm… What I’m getting from your comment is your desire for guys to notice you. I think what Liz said in her comment is about right on. Also if you really are living a Christ-like life, people will notice. There is no hiding a godly person in the midst of this crazy world. Just be the ‘real reserved you’ and if people actually legitimately care about you and God they’ll get to know you. Relationships are a two-way street. I’m kinda shy myself but I sometimes just make myself be more friendly and out of that good things have happened. 🙂 (Also I’m I little confused about why people use the terms ‘great figure’ and ‘model parameters.’ I mean seriously what even makes a person have a model figure? Cause those standards are just from the world. Not God.)

      • Nicole

        Hi Hannah, I think you might have misunderstood me, so I’ll try to clarify. My desire is to be noticed by godly guys, because as you mentioned “the model parameters” is the worlds standard and that’s what seduces most men in the world, and out there I have no problem being noticed. When ungodly men realize that I’m a believer they lose interest, because they only want what their flash desires, and I’m proud that my body is the temple of God because I can point them to Christ that way. Although I’m reserved as I mentioned before, I get bold when speaking of God.

        The problem is that even Christian guys aren’t holy, and they have eyes. So godly guys will keep their eyes off of model figure girls that might make them sin in their thoughts. If a girl has a slim waist, straight legs and long arms, don’t you think she will stand out in front of the other girls that are more plain?
        Yes, the world made the standards about model parameters and great figure, but is it a sin if God rewarded you with all those factors thats considered a model figure by the worlds standards? As I mentioned before, do I need to put on baggy clothes to attract godly guys attention?

        I only need one godly guy to be attracted to me, the one I will be attracted to as well, but there aren’t many left. I’m from such a small town and There are no guys in my church and if somebody sees me for the first time and knows that I’m 25 and still single, they might just think I have boyfriends all over me outside of church, when really I’ve never even been in a relationship. I’m not a guy crazy girl, never had crushes like most school girls. Had been attracted to several guys in my life, always looked at them as potential husbands. My desire is to find the right one, or rather I want him to find me, and get married, because the years go by quickly, and I know that God has a plan for me and like some one mentioned earlier, maybe my second half isn’t ready for pursuit yet, maybe God is still using him for His glory. I just want to be patient and not lose trust. I don’t advertise myself on Instagram or Facebook, I just don’t want to find a guy through Internet, I know some girls did and they’re happy, but I’m waiting for God to perform a miracle in my life. I feel so lonely sometimes, yes, but God, the Bible, my parents and this blog encourage me to wait on the Lord and not lose trust. He promised to prepare good stuff for those who love Him and live according to His will and that’s my biggest desire.

        • Hannah

          Okay. Well I wasn’t trying to be argumentative or anything like that. But hey, what if God wants you to be single for the rest of your life? Sometimes that sounds kinda scary to me but if that’s God’s will than like you said ‘that’s my biggest desire.’ Amen! Keep on seeking God and living for Him and He WILL direct your path. (Oh and I think anyone who is saved by the blood of Jesus Christ is holy. His righteous salvation makes us holy in God’s sight. Not that we don’t ever sin, but we are righteous in God’ eyes.)

        • Val

          Correct me if I have mistaken your concerns but from what I understand the first thing that I want to tell you is: don’t worry! If you are a beautiful girl, good for you! There is no shame in being how God created you 🙂
          It is obvious that a pretty girl will initially attract more attention than a less physically attractive girl and this is not in any way your fault. You don’t need to dress like a potato sack. I can assure you that a real good Christian guy will not make assumption about your life, he will try to know you for who you really are.
          And about your personality, I would advise you to pray about it: there is no need to change your personality in order to please people but sometimes it is a good idea to step out of our comfort zone and maybe be the one who initiates a conversation, or start a new activity or hobby. Pray for wisdom and don’t worry! Hugs! 🙂

    • Joy

      Hey Nicole,
      Save your purity for your husband. When your married you can dress for him as skimpy as you like. But pray please keep pure. You’re special!!!!

  • Arlenis Soto Checo

    This Article makes me understand all about Beauty!!! Thanks You so much!!!!

  • Heather Hemsley

    Mmm, great post Liz! 🙂

  • I would have to work on my good works. I could do a lot more. I have a generally meek spirit and I’m very quiet and shy. People tend to see that as weakness and try to pick on me. Others constantly ask me if I am depressed or sad. I really am a happy person. I just find pleasure in simple things. Sometimes I wish that the world we live in wasn’t so judgmental.


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