Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
Give her the reward of her labor,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.
Proverbs 31:30-31 (HCSB)
I have written many times on the Proverbs 31 Woman. I have referenced my war with her, and my coming to love her as a sister and guide as a woman.
Sometimes I miss this last bit of the verse as we close out Proverbs. I bypass it as I ruminate on all the attributes of the ideal woman that is being praised. But recently I was reminded of these verses as I read through Jen Hatmaker’s new book, For the Love.
In a particular section she talks through the various beauty lies we believe and the way it affects us as women. From age-defying to runway models, we keep being told that beauty is what we must attain at all costs. In a conversation with some girlfriends we discussed how far people are willing to go to hold onto that piece of youthfulness, of a beauty they yearn for or even had at one time.
Again I am reminded by seeing these verses, and engraving them on my heart, that charm can be used for good or evil-and I have seen it both ways friends. We wield it for our own purposes sometimes, and it costs us so much. It drips with deception and lies, merely because we are seeking to better our own situation or obtain our desire. Beauty is truly fleeting, if that’s what we are seeking after. It will always be just out of our grasp.
But you know what isn’t? The fear of the Lord. Laboring for His good. Giving Him the glory for who you are, just as you are. Fearing God means it’s not about me and what I can get, but about knowing He’s the Giver of everything and Ruler of all. It means that He withholds some things and blesses with much more. It looks like forgiveness, mercy, grace and love pouring out. While reverence and awe fill a life.
While I still slather on age-defying moisturizer, I know that I don’t wish to pursue after a fleeting deception of beauty. What I do desire and yearn for deep down is a continual fear of God that allows me to work for His glory and not for my own good. Being clothed in strength and humility are finer garments than I could ever hope to obtain…and I have to be okay with the knowledge that others may say it’s about less wrinkles, bigger diamonds and finer purses. But the most beautiful women I know are the ones wearing the fear of the Lord, strength, humility, grace and love daily.