Saturday, May 31, 2008

More On Beauty. Or... Moron Beauty.

*NOTE*: I don't believe I possess the sum of all knowledge on this topic, so I'm very interested in your contributions to this discussion. However, I'm not looking for opinions only (although those are welcome)... I really want to know what scripture says about this. I want my beliefs to be shaped by God's word, not what's considered "normal." If I'm missing something or off somewhere, please let me know why you think I'm out of line scripturally. The stated purpose for all this discussion is not to provide a platform for my opinions, but because I'm going to be speaking on this topic and really want to make sure my statements are grounded in Truth.

The man thread brought about a good discussion in the comments section. You can check it out here. Feel free to add your own comments! Here are some of my additional thoughts, untamed as usual (hah!):

- In every friend circle I’ve had since high school, amazing godly women were never asked out because there was one girl in the group who was the most beautiful and all the guys spent their time crushing on her or took turns dating her. Often (but not always) she was not a woman of strong character. It makes me think those guys are, quite frankly, spiritually immature (or maybe I'm just judgmental).

- I've heard countless guys say, "I want to marry the most beautiful woman in the room" or "in the world" or "that I've ever seen." I've never heard a man say, “I want to marry the most godly woman I know” or “the wisest woman” or “the woman with the best personality.” But in 5 minutes, there will be someone more beautiful. Things will start to sag and wrinkle, and it will all go away. If your relationship is founded on this, it is much more likely to fail. In fact, since many godly men view women through the same paradigm as worldly men, it’s no wonder our divorce rate stacks up the same.

- Proverbs warns again and again about marrying a quarrelsome woman. It doesn’t say “woe to the man who marries an ugly chick… sucks to be you.” Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, expounds on a litany of desirable traits in Proverbs 31. His only mention of beauty? He calls it vain. He goes on to say “a wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies…” Noble character... Not big boobs.

- In the New Testament, Peter talks about feminine beauty pretty specifically. Here's what he says the focus should be: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." That verse isn't just for women... it's a signpost for men.

Listen... every woman wants to be considered beautiful to her husband, so I’m not suggesting that women abandon all efforts to improve their appearance (for crying out loud, no!!!) or that men marry women that they find unattractive. Here's my suggestion:

- Women, make Peter's words your theme!

- Men, try praying that God would help you to be drawn with the fire of a thousand suns toward character and godliness
, and to not be led astray by physical beauty. May you find a woman whose physical beauty is the icing on the cake.

What can you add to the conversation? I welcome your agreement or rebuttal. Bring it! :)

~TLC

5 comments:

pax273B said...

tara,

as a male i fully understand and support your position. i hope that we can be united by this rather than cause more division. im encouraged by your character and value you for stepping out. your boldness is beautiful and i value it more than rubies

scott

Luke said...

Tara-Leigh,
No need to publish this comment. I just wanted to let you know that Solomon didn't write Proverbs 31; it was King Lemuel. Also, my bible says something interesting about v.10-31...they are an acrostic. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

TLC said...

Hey Luke! I wanted to go ahead and publish it... hope that's okay! Every commentary I looked at said that King Lemuel was another name for King Solomon, that they are the same person (I guess it's kind of like Simon and Peter or Abram and Abraham). At any rate, thanks for looking out for me! Hope you're having a stellar day!

~TLC:)

Luke said...

If Solomon and Lemuel are the same dude, this is very disappointing to me. I always liked to think of Lemuel as the "fun" king. You know, the one with the convertible, the gelato machine, and the rockin' weekend parties? Oh well.

Seriously though, I went digging after you replied and found that there isn't really a consensus on Lemuel. Certainly there are many who think he is Solomon, but I also found many who say that no one knows for sure, including the commentary that's in my own bible (Life Application Study Bible, NIV). Anyway, I don't want to be contrary but I don't think the Solomon/Lemuel alias issue is a settled one. However, I apologize for saying you were wrong when it's very possible that you aren't, and just as possible that I am. :-)

Having said all that, it really doesn't matter to me who he is as long as he's telling the truth.

Sidewinder314 said...

I've learned that Scripturally, men are focused upon in their strength and women are focused upon in their beauty. No matter how much men try, they will not understand a woman's need to feel beautiful/alluring - just as no matter how much women try, they will not fully understand a man's need to feel strong/competent.

It is good that men look for beauty in their respective woman, it is how God created the order of the sexes (just as how women want to be viewed for their beauty). The problem enters when it is the sole "virtue" for which they are looking. In that, I would agree that they are not men with calling and direction, but boys trying to fulfill immature fantasy.

Paul got it right: Men need unconditional respect; whereas, women need unconditional love. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs' book "Love & Respect" is a good treatise on such matters and is strongly recommended.