Lasting Beauty

Katie Millen

So much of what women are being bombarded with are products, tips and “solutions” that promise to make one attractive. How to get beautiful hair, flawless skin, and a new body by Christmas are all plastered on the covers of magazines and interweaved in commercials. The messages to women are endless, promising to make one beautiful and desirable.

And who doesn’t want to be beautiful? But there is a beauty beyond losing ten pounds and a white smile. The beauty that attracts now, will one day be gone, the lovers that love because of what pleases the eye, will one day fade as the outward beauty disappears.

“And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life.” (Isaiah 4:30)

How this frightens those who find happiness in their outward appearance! It is not that wanting to look your best is wrong. But where does your treasure lie? What is your focus and aim? To receive glory from man or to give glory to God? Do you spend more time at the mirror on the wall, or with the mirror of God’s Word? Those who spend their life striving to receive glory from their outward beauty are like the gardener. He works and toils to bring forth a rose, and the glory such a flower brings. But the praise from neighbors is is short-lived. The rose will only last for so long, until the flower wilts and dies.

“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. (I Peter 1:24)

There is a beauty that won’t fade away as the years steal the flower of youth. There is a treasure that will not rust and corrupt, but only becomes more beautiful with age and maturity. There is a love that will only deepen with time and experience. You are right to be scared if you’re being loved by someone who only wants you for what will fade away with time. Physical beauty. It is so fleeting. You best not get too comfortable with it!

But I have discovered a beauty that actually grows with time. Here is the secret:

”A gracious woman retains honour.” (Proverbs 11:16)

Wow. There is a graciousness that goes beyond physical beauty. Graciousness is a product of receiving every resource that is in Christ Jesus. Rather than focusing on outward beauty, the gracious woman has spent her years at the feet of the Lord, learning of Him and His ways. She has walked through life’s fire and has gained gold. She has received the grace of God to overcome pride, bitterness, anger, jealousy, and discontentment. She is clothed in meekness and humility. Kindness is in her mouth. She is always growing in grace, as she continues to grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. This woman is a giver. Why? Because she is so filled to the brim, she cannot help but pour out onto others. You can not be gracious, unless you have received Grace. You cannot give, unless you have received.

The gracious woman doesn’t seek the “age reversal” treatments! Time is her friend, not her enemy. For with time, she will continue to grow in grace. She will continue to learn and grow in the character of Jesus. Years will provide more time to shine. She embraces the years, for they bring opportunity to “put on” Christ, being conformed to His image.

The gracious woman makes Christ look attractive to her family. When they see her, they see His beauty. And they want it.

“Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” (Psalm 90:16)

Though the flower of youth fades, the gracious woman continues to grow in honour. Those around her will be blessed and she will be beloved by all those who come into contact with her. She will bring pleasure to her husband, as he watches her grow in grace and wisdom. Her children will look up to her, value her counsel, appreciate her sacrifices for them, and call her “blessed.” Though her hands are no longer soft, they bear the marks from years of selfless giving of herself for her family. But they are the most beautiful hands in all the world, according to her children. The years and precious babies have stolen her once slim figure; but there isn’t a model in the world who looks as elegant as she does, according to her husband. And if the day comes when her work on earth is done and she finds herself alone, bedridden in a nursing home, she has never looked more precious, according to her God.

Our desire should be to look like that woman. Do not waste your years trying to salvage what will one day be gone, and no longer remembered. Spend your youth, not on things that are fleeting, but on becoming a woman who fears the Lord. By doing this, you will retain a beauty that will never fade!

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

Katie is a wife and mother of three children, residing in New York City. She enjoys any moment she can get writing about the things God is teaching her about motherhood and special needs parenting.