Beauty Matters

By Michele Howe

Reading the Saturday advertisements, I felt a skip in my heart. Big sales on cosmetics - hmmm, did I need anything? I considered my stock of facial enhancements and realized I didn't need a single item. Still, I was drawn to the glamour promised by these ads.

I paused again, reconsidering whether I had all my facial bases covered. Disappointed, I had to admit for the second time in less than two minutes that I did not require even one addition to my beauty supply store. I finished perusing the remainder of the newspaper. Then, while folding it to stack onto my used paper shelf, I spied the same colorful ad enticing me to reconsider my decision. This is ridiculous, I thought to myself. I'm not thirteen years old nor am I a forty-something prima donna wanna-be.

Puzzled, I continued to muse about why I am so drawn to that which enhances beauty or creates an illusion of its existence.

Strange, given my personality. I rarely spend more than thirty minutes from the moment I step into the shower to when I walk out the door on my daily ministrations. Yet, like most women I know, I find lotions, perfumes, facial make-up, and hair accessories mesmerizing.

Likewise, I can hardly resist lighting a fragrant candle or rearranging a vase full of fresh flowers to their best advantage. I spy a silk blouse that would look perfect on a friend and I have a difficult time walking away. I love to surround myself and those I care about with expressions of beauty.

I decided to study what the Bible had to say on the subject. I came away from my study surprised and somewhat relieved.

The Bible helps explain the timeless feminine quest for beauty. Its primary emphasis is, of course, on inner beauty. The writer of Proverbs repeatedly warns women against becoming obsessed with enhancing their outer self to the detriment of their inner spiritual loveliness. Preoccupation with external beauty can render us fruitless by distracting us with worthless goals. The Bible exhorts all of us - women and men - to focus on our relationship with God and service to others as our top priorities, not an inversely preoccupied plan of self-improvement.

Still, as individuals endowed with inventive natures, women echo creative expressiveness as we attempt to introduce beauty not only into our surroundings, but also on and in our very person. The fact is - women are wired for beauty. Used rightly, responsibly, and in right priority, this can be a powerful asset.

Even a fleeting glance at the great masterpiece of divine artwork expressed in nature shows that God values beauty in all its diversity. As women learn to embrace the lovely gifts of beauty, we can better appreciate why we yearn for such reminders of holy and untainted purity all around us.

This also explains our drive to recreate beauty in our environment. Our intuition and sensitivity can be channeled to elevate a higher standard of beauty in our families and communities.

The Bible affirms that certain creature comforts can be spiritually rejuvenating. "Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart..."1.

So go ahead - buy that pumpkin spiced candle, or a new tube of lipstick, or that kitchen wallpaper that mimics a country garden. Create! Emote! Fabricate! Imagine! God underscores our efforts to usher beauty into the world around us.

As we appreciate the value of beauty, we can take advantage of opportunities in the home, community or workplace to enrich the lives of others with caresses of beauty. It may be taking a few extra moments to cut some fresh flowers to grace a sterile office, or setting out a fragrant bowl of potpourri to revive the spirit, or settling down with a luxurious hand lotion for some needed therapeutic remedy.

Of course, we must be careful to avoid becoming obsessed with external expressions of beauty. Should we waste hours a day in front of the mirror, or obsessing about buying new things for our homes? Obviously not. But if keep our hearts focused on God and ready to serve others, we can bring joy and beauty to others and to our environment. Don't fight against your God-given love of beauty, learn to work with it and use it to make the world a better place.

Practical Suggestions for Creating Beauty


Bring something from the outdoors inside. Choose fresh-cut flowers, assorted seashells, or colorful gourds and make them the centerpiece on your kitchen table or give them to a neighbor or co-worker.


Light a candle. Select the most fragrant type available and make it a point to light one regularly for a double sensory impact.


Hang a wind chime. Choose a chime made of wood or metal, then close your eyes and relax.


Listen to soothing music. Unwind to some carefree musical selections as you work around home.


Take a quick assessment in the mirror and decide upon one area to focus on. Pluck those brows, use a moisturizing facial cream nightly, or buy a pot of tinted, flavored gloss.


Try a new recipe twice monthly. Borrow the latest cookbooks from the library and plan a culinary feast to share with others.


Exercise away the blues. Spend at least twenty minutes daily walking, running, weight lifting, or doing a stretching/strengthening program.


Commune with God. Take time daily to read and meditate upon God's Word. Let His words restore your spirit.


De-stress with gardening. Start small and invest some quiet moments digging around in the dirt.


Smile. Your greatest gift of beauty to others comes from your heart.

Michele Howe is a freelance writer who lives in LaSalle, Michigan.
Contact Michele at:

1 Prov. 27:9

Do you know God personally? Read:
Peace with God


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