Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

They say that I am growing old; I’ve heard them say times untold,
In language plain and bold – but I am not growing old.
This frail old shell in which I dwell is growing old, I know full well!
But I am not the shell.
What if my hair is turning gray; gray hairs are honorable they say.
What if my eyesight’s growing dim; I still can see to follow Him
Who sacrificed His life for me – upon the Cross at Calvary!

Why should I care if times old plough has left its furrows on my brow?
Another house, not made with hands awaits me in the Glory Land.
What though I falter in my walk and though my tongue refuse to talk?
I still can tread the narrow way; I still can watch and praise and pray!
The robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise to seize the everlasting prize
I’ll meet you on the streets of gold and prove I am NOT growing old.

~by Ernest Barkaway as shared by Joni Eareckson Tada in “Gray-Haired Splendor,” Joni and Friends Daily Devotional, March 30, 2012

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Earlier…we talked about the cursed things at the grocery checkout lines, specifically women’s magazines. One of the troubles with these magazines that we did not discuss was the problem of the covers. We don’t even have to buy these magazines to be infected by them. Just looking at the “beautiful” women on the covers is a double whammy. First, it can destroy our peace by putting us under the same kind of pressures as all those articles on the perfect party or the perfect new decorating scheme. We may be tempted to think, “How can I look like that when God keeps blessing me with children?” Thus, we allow the stress of watching our diet, fixing our hair, purchasing and maintaining an attractive wardrobe, etc. to destroy the peace in our homes.

Secondly, perusing these magazines implants in our minds a false idea of what beauty is all about. Peter tells us in Scripture what our goals ought to be and he is far wiser than Helen Gurley Brown. In 1 Peter 3:1-6 we are given God’s definition of what beauty truly is: “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

Of course we know this passage, but do we really heed it? And do we teach it to our daughters? For that matter, do we teach this to our sons so that they will recognize true beauty when they see it and not pursue or accept a worldly counterfeit?

~Denise Sproul in Tending Your Garden

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

The love of beauty is nothing new—legend has it that a beautiful Greek youth named Narcissus pined away for love of his own image. He stared into a pool of water looking at his beauty for so long that he turned into a narcissus flower (a daffodil).

We have our own versions of Narcissus today. I read about a woman who spent her entire inheritance on extreme plastic surgery because she wanted to look like a Barbie doll. Well, you and I might not do something so painfully foolish, but we might get depressed and feel sorry for ourselves if we do not look a certain way or wear a certain dress size. We find ourselves comparing our looks to the looks of other women everywhere we go. When we do that, we are vain. We are, like Narcissus, pining away for love of beauty…

We must turn our passion from loving ourselves and calling attention to ourselves to a passion for God and serving Him regardless of what we look like. We must thank God for what we look like and gratefully grow old graciously. We should leave a legacy for our daughters and the younger women in our church that the Lord Jesus was our passion, not what we looked like. Instead of living as vain, proud women, our lives should be “a living and holy sacrifice” for our Lord (Rom. 12:1).

~Martha Peace in Damsels in Distress

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

I don’t mind getting old. Before the day began this morning I was looking out at starlight on a still, wintry sea. A little song we used to sing at camp came to mind—”Just one day nearer Home.” That idea thrills me. I can understand why people who have nothing much to look forward to try frantically and futilely to hang on to the past—to youth and all that. Get a face-lift, plaster the makeup on ever more thickly…dye your hair—anything to create the illusion you’re young. (The illusion is yours, of course, nobody else’s.)

Let’s be honest. Old age entails suffering… 

It would be terrifying if it weren’t for something that ought to make the Christian’s attitude toward aging utterly distinct from all the rest. We know it is not for nothing. “God has allowed us to know the secret of his plan: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him” (Ephesians 1:9, 10 PHILLIPS).

In the meantime, we look at what’s happening—limitations of hearing, seeing, moving, digesting, remembering; distortions of countenance, figure, and perspective. If that’s all we could see, we’d certainly want a face-lift or something.

But we’re on a pilgrim road. It’s rough and steep, and it winds uphill to the very end. We can lift up our eyes and see the unseen: a Celestial City, a light, a welcome, and an ineffable Face. We shall behold him. We shall be like him. And that makes a difference in how we go about aging.

~Elisabeth Elliot in “I Won’t Bother With a Face-Lift”

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Our culture’s pursuit of beauty can be summarized with this definition: A love of self. God’s definition of beauty can be summarized with this definition: A love for God. Which beauty are we seeking to cultivate? Are we intentionally and actively cultivating an inner beauty or do we give more attention to our outward appearance?

See, the way we think about and attend to our personal appearance is really a mirror on our hearts. It shows whether our priority is to cultivate inner beauty or outer beauty. It actually reveals either a love for God or a love for self. It either reflects godly motivations or selfish motivations. It’s questions like these that have helped me to see that all too often my desire is for self-glory rather than desiring God’s glory.

First Corinthians 10:31 calls me to an altogether different standard. It says, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Everything we do should be for God’s glory, not our own. We are to pursue holiness in every aspect of our lives including our beauty pursuit.

~Carolyn Mahaney in “Beauty Is in the Reflection

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

I would guess that one of the first things you did this morning was pick out your clothes and get dressed. But did you remember to put on love?

No, that’s not a new perfume. It’s one of the characteristics Paul mentions in Colossians 3, where he says, “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (v. 12).

Wow! Can you imagine what our homes and workplaces would be like if each of us consciously put on those five qualities every morning?

The passage goes on to say, “Above all these put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Love is what pulls the whole outfit together.

How much time do you spend getting dressed in the morning? And how much time do you spend putting on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and above all—love?

~Nancy Leigh DeMoss in “Put on Love

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Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

In several places Scripture singles out the issue of beauty in a pointed way. Proverbs 31:10-31 portrays the true beauty of fearing, trusting, and loving the Lord our Redeemer. It comments on charm’s deceitfulness and beauty’s emptiness. The true and enduring beauty of character, peaceableness, wisdom, trust, and love breathes forth from those proverbs. First Peter 3:1-6 similarly redefines beauty. It contrasts the cultural image (“external adornment”) with the true and imperishable image of God in the heart.

True beauty is fearless; it can never be ravaged by time or affliction; it can never be made insecure. This is a kind of beauty that can be more radiant at ninety than at eighteen; it improves rather than deteriorates with age.

 ~David Powlison in “Your Looks: What the Voices Say and the Images Portray,” Journal of Biblical Counseling

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Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

What does God’s Word say about beauty? Well, for starters, Proverbs 31:30 reveals the falsehood and the futility of this whole quest for physical beauty. This verse reveals the end result of such a pursuit.

It says “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain.” Now, it’s interesting the word “charm” in the Hebrew means bodily form. Now, form and beauty are the two things our culture esteems and pursues with fervor, are they not? Yet God’s Word exposes our pursuit of the perfect figure and the beautiful look to be worthless.

It’s interesting that if you should ever do a study of women in the Bible who were physically beautiful, you would discover that their beauty was far more often connected to trouble and temptation than it was to blessing and goodness. You will find many stories in the Old Testament of lying, cheating, stealing, murder, adultery and idol worship all linked to the physical beauty of women.

Nowhere in the Bible are women instructed to wish for, ask for or strive for physical beauty. Instead it warns us of the futility and deceitfulness of such a pursuit. Neither does the Bible portray physical beauty as a blessing for those who have it. It alerts us instead to the greater potential for snares and temptations that come with having this trait.

~Carolyn Mahaney in “The Heart of the Matter

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

How can you nurture your commitment to the Lord and become more beautiful in His eyes? Being beautiful in God’s eyes calls for you to focus on your inner character instead of your external appearance. Rather than the clothes you wear, the hairstyle you choose, the car you drive, or the house you decorate, you are to be primarily concerned about living out the holy character that God works in you as you live in His presence.

You are to seek the praise of God rather than men. You are to shun the transitory vanities of this world and pursue instead the eternal beauty of the Lord. These—not face and form—are the interests of a woman who fears the Lord. It is your fear of the Lord that sanctifies every other part of your life and shows the internal majesty of God that is at your very core.

What difference does such a deep commitment to the Lord make? Put simply, it influences all that you and I do! Just as the sun radiates its light, so the presence of the Lord shines through in all you do and in the dedication with which you do it, bringing light to all you touch. Just as fountains, springs, and waterfalls are fed by a source, so your joyous, refreshing power and purposes issue forth from your deep-seated commitment to God.

When your heart trusts in God, you refresh the people around you with your selfless deeds and dedication. Your supreme love for God energizes your conduct, your character, and your love for others. Your faith in God generates, animates, and adorns the beauty of your moral stature and the usefulness of your life.

~Elizabeth George in Beautiful in God’s Eyes

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Proverbs describes how a woman with no character got a man’s attention. Some of the descriptives used for her include the following: smooth tongue, captivating eyes, persuasive and seductive speech, a mouth smoother than oil, and flattering speech (see Prov. 5:3; 6:24-25; 7:21). The techniques used today by the modern woman are as old as the first woman who ever snared a man’s soul. The whole emphasis is on the superficial, external aspects of a woman–aspects that fade with every passing day. Many women’s magazines glorify this woman’s techniques rather than expose her bitter end. Marriage based simply on outward beauty can lead to immorality and ultimately, divorce when an even more attractive body comes along.

The Word of God very clearly warns women not to fall into “the body beautiful trap.” “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes” (1 Pet. 3:3 NIV). Although braided hair and gold jewelry are not wrong in and of themselves, real beauty is not found on the outside. This verse does not advocate homeliness as proof of godliness. Some women are under the misguided perception that to be holy, one must look homely. This is not true. Women should seek to look their best. This verse simply challenges you to not devote all your energies toward painting the outside, thus neglecting the enduring qualities that need developing on the inside…

When you look at the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10-31, you will see God’s picture of a beautiful woman. There are 20 verses describing her. Only one verse mentions her outward appearance. If you were to spend 1/20 of your time on outward physical beauty and the other 19/20 on developing the other qualities God describes as beautiful, such as wisdom, kindness, and godliness, you would become the excellent woman Proverbs 31:10 says a man should try to find.

~Debby Jones & Jackie Kendall in Lady in Waiting

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

Wherever the gospel has spread, the social, legal, and spiritual status of women has, as a rule, been elevated. When the gospel has been eclipsed (whether by repression, false religion, secularism, humanistic philosophy, or spiritual decay within the church), the status of women has declined accordingly.

Even when secular movements have arisen claiming to be concerned with women’s rights, their efforts have generally been detrimental to the status of women. The feminist movement of our generation, for example, is a case in point. Feminism has devalued and defamed femininity. Natural gender distinctions are usually downplayed, dismissed, despised, or denied. As a result, women are now being sent into combat situations, subjected to grueling physical labor once reserved for men, exposed to all kinds of indignities in the workplace, and otherwise encouraged to act and talk like men. Meanwhile, modern feminists heap scorn on women who want family and household to be their first priorities; in so doing they disparage the role of motherhood, the one calling that is most uniquely and exclusively feminine. The whole message of feminist egalitarianism is that there is really nothing extraordinary about women. That is certainly not the message of Scripture. Scripture honors women as women, and it encourages them to seek honor in a uniquely feminine way (Proverbs 31:10-30).

Scripture never discounts the female intellect, downplays the talents and abilities of women, or discourages the right use of women’s spiritual gifts. But whenever the Bible expressly talks about the marks of an excellent woman, the stress is always on feminine virtue. The most significant women in Scripture were influential not because of their careers, but because of their character. The message these women collectively give is not about “gender equality”; it’s about true feminine excellence. And that is always exemplified in moral and spiritual qualities rather than by social standing, wealth, or physical appearance.

And that’s setting the record straight. Far from denigrating women, the Bible promotes feminine freedom, dignity, and honor. Scripture paints for every culture the portrait of a truly beautiful woman. True feminine beauty is not about external adornment, “arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel”; real beauty is manifest instead in “the hidden person of the heart … the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV).

~John MacArthur in “The Biblical Portrait of Women: Setting the Record Straight

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A Model on a Mission for Modesty

When professional model Rachel Lee Carter became a believer, her understanding of the importance of modesty took time to develop. She shared the following story with Covenant Eyes

About ten years into my career I was asked to model a bra for a department store catalog. I had never modeled lingerie before but wasn’t dead set against it. I justified it telling myself, “Even Christian women wear lingerie.” Besides, this wasn’t smutty underwear—it was full-coverage lingerie. I booked the job without counting the cost and the pictures came out in Sunday’s paper.

During this time, I was just about to launch the ministry Modeling Christ. I went to my pastor, to seek an endorsement, but instead he gently prompted me to consider just what I had been modeling. He confronted me, in love but with firmness, on appearing in the lingerie advertisements. I felt stubborn and immovable, but I told him I would pray about it. I must confess I didn’t understand because I felt the clothes were modest. What irony. This is how I know modest is a relative term. It means different things to different people.

My pastor proceeded to tell me men think differently than women do, and that even though the garments weren’t revealing to me, they still had the potential to make men stumble. I wondered just how that was my problem. He went on to tell me many men had come to him in need of counseling because they were struggling with pornography. At this point I began to feel anger because my modeling was definitely not pornography. As he gently continued, he shared with me most of these Christian men admitted their lusting and stumbling began with the images seen in a typical Sunday paper…the kind of images I was appearing in. The way I heard it—and the way he intended it—was these kinds of ads were an introduction to pornography. One thing I understood for certain: men do think differently than women.

I did pray about it, but I struggled with the concept. I wrestled with the idea of needing to change the way I dressed because of the potential my choices had in making someone else falter in their faith or in aiding pornography. But the more I prayed and sincerely wanted to know God’s will, the more my heart became convicted of the matter. My heart was changed, not because of my pastor (though God used him to initiate it), but because God cares about this issue. God did create men to be different from women.

When I accepted this standard and asked for God’s forgiveness (for my unyielding spirit and for any damage I may have already caused another), I realized I’d have to explain to my agency I would no longer be available to model lingerie. This was a difficult task because I feared their judgment. Fortunately they appreciated my honesty and conviction and removed it from my status list…

The reason I share this story is to convey the importance our decisions have on others and on our walk with the Lord. As moms, we must model dignity and modesty to our kids. The Word of God is clear: I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety (a love for spiritual things)…appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

It can be easy for us as women to look harshly upon other Christian women who dress immodestly, but we need to realize that many simply haven’t been taught biblical principles of modesty. Like Rachel’s pastor, we need to look for opportunities to lovingly teach others what God’s Word has to say about feminine beauty, and soon they may be passing those truths on to others just like Rachel is…

Rachel Lee Carter has recently written a book on the topic of modesty entitled Fashioned by Faith.

Where True Beauty Is Seen

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake,
I shall be satisfied with your likeness.”

Psalm 17:15

Author Leslie Ludy describes the key to becoming a woman of beauty. This is worth passing on to other women that you know… 

Photo: Vea Avernalis

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

In elevating appearance as one of its highest values, Western culture has lost its heart. There has been a huge shift in the way that our culture thinks about the identity of people. In our obsession with all things physical, we have quit viewing people as being controlled by the content and character of their hearts. To deny the heart is to reject the true nature of our humanity. In essence, our true self is spiritual and when we deny this, we lose an accurate sense of our personhood and get reduced to a network of interacting and interrelated biochemical machines.

If there is no heart, then there is no inner self, and if there is no inner self then the real you is the physical you. So, the health, adornment, and pleasure of the physical self will, by necessity, become the highest of functional values.

But if there is in each of us a heart, as the Bible describes, then there is a spiritual inner self. This means that the essence of the true you is not to be found in your physical body. The essence of your true self is your heart. In reality, your body is just an earth-suit created by God, and therefore reflecting His glory, but designed to be a house for the real you, the heart. The motivational you, the thoughtful you, the emotional you, and the character that is you, is the heart. It is much more than our bodies that make us different from one another. The place where we are most profoundly different from one another and from the rest of the creation is the heart. What is essentially the most glorious and beautiful or sad and ugly about any human being is not the lines of her face or the profile of his body, but rather the condition of the heart. Your identity and mine was never meant to be rooted in the physical self. It was never meant to be attached to the size of your ears, the width of your nose, or the shape of your stomach.

True beauty has always been and will always be a matter of the heart. There is nothing ever made that is more gorgeous than a heart ruled by an active and joyful worship of God. And there is but one surgeon who can produce such beauty, the Messiah, the suffering Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

~Paul David Tripp in “Appearance is Everything: Reclaiming God’s Image in an Image-Obsessed Culture,” Journal of Biblical Counseling, Fall 2005

Photo: OBMonkey

Beauty Supplements

Your daily dose of true beauty advice…

In verse 3 Peter [1 Peter 3:3] begins to talk about how women braid their hair and dress. And at first this seems completely out of the blue. But actually this isn’t a detour or rabbit trail. There is something so profound about what Peter does here. Think about it: Peter is addressing one of the most common means by which a woman seeks to gain power over men: appearance and allurement.

It was true in first century Rome; it’s true today. One of the primary ways that a woman gets what she wants is to highlight or flaunt her beauty and her outward appearance. This is why the hair,makeup, jewelry and clothing (not to mention diet and plastic surgery) industries are multi-multi billion dollar industries. Female sexuality, female beauty is often used like a weapon.

This text indicates that a natural tendency in the female human heart is a failure to entrust your­self to God and instead to put your hope in how you look. To get what you want–love, care, atten­tion, power–by the way your body looks, by the way you dress, by your style.

And Peter is saying to women, “Don’t play by the world’s rules.” Don’t find your greatest joy in feeling sexy. Find your joy in the approval of your God. Don’t make your focus outward adornment, make it inward adornment.

The point is not that it’s wrong to do your hair or wear jewelry. If that’s what this verse is saying we’d have to also say it’s wrong to wear any clothing at all. obviously that isn’t the point. Many women today need to adorn themselves with more clothing.

The point is that outward adornment shouldn’t be your primary preoccupation. You should give more attention to cultivating a heart that loves God, more attention to a quiet and gentle spirit–that means an attitude that isn’t demanding. God sees your heart; he looks past your outward appear­ance and what he cares about is your inner person. So make that beautiful.

Clothing and style will get you attention. A short skirt catches the eye of the world–but a quiet heart catches the eye of God.

~Joshua Harris in “A Word to Wives: 1 Peter 3:1-6

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