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Column: Beauty

To me, Christians who will accept a godly woman only if she is outwardly beautiful are “fake inner-beauty seekers.” They’re looking for a kind, gentle and humble wife — so long as she’s beautiful.

This past January the SocialCamOfficial YouTube channel released a video titled “My Beautiful Woman,” which follows Jane, an average looking woman doubling as a college student and single mother. Jane’s friend, Phutt, says people talk behind her back, wondering why the father is missing from the picture. But Jane says she would rather them talk about her than about her daughter, June, because the truth is much worse than their theories; Jane found June abandoned on the side of the road.

Knowing Jane’s situation, Phutt is enamored by her selfless love for June and says, “She is an ordinary woman. Not so beautiful, nor outstanding. But the smile she has for June makes me think that she is the most beautiful woman.”

This short film — based on a true story — is so important to the public discussion about inner beauty. June did not catch Phutt’s eye with her looks or accomplishments. She caught his heart with her actions.

Why do Christian men often think a girl must first catch his eye? Even biblical patriarchs fell victim to this mentality.

Around 1800 B.C., Jacob, the father of the nation of Israel, set out to look for a wife. He saw Rachel who was “beautiful and well favoured” (Gen. 29:17), and he decided right then and there that he wanted to marry her.

Richard Strauss of Bible.org says, “Jacob was impressed — probably too impressed. We get the idea that he was so fascinated by Rachel’s beauty, and so enchanted by her charm, that he failed to recognize her shortcomings or even to consider the will of God in his relationship with her.”

Rachel caught Jacob’s eye, not his heart.

To me, Christians who will accept a godly woman only if she is outwardly beautiful are “fake inner-beauty seekers.” They’re looking for a kind, gentle and humble wife — so long as she’s beautiful.

But the only two categories of women that really matter are ‘godly women’ and ‘ungodly women.’ Don’t go further dividing the ‘godly women’ category into ‘beautiful godly women’ and ‘average-looking godly women.’

Women are like books; the cover is no indication of the content within. Tales of adventure and friendship and bravery can be displayed in ornate, golden hardbacks in the front of the store, or they can be concealed in faded, brown paperbacks in the back of your attic. Both are treasures!

And my fellow women, we must take some responsibility, too. Are you mainly concerned with displaying your outer beauty or your inner beauty?

If a guy observed you every Tuesday and Thursday during Apologetics class, would he be enamored by your godly words and actions? Or would he just be enamored by your perfect curls and fashionable attire?

In the “My Beautiful Woman” video, the tagline is, “All women were created to be beautiful.” Wendy Wright from lifenews.com said this motto means that true beauty is absolutely attainable. No matter the genes you were born with or how old or young you are, you can attain true beauty as it is laid out in the Bible.

I say that we women need to re-evaluate our priorities in the dating scene. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed this scenario happen between two girls: “Hey, did you hear Jane is going out with John?” one girl asks. “No, let’s look him up on Facebook!” Then the two girls look John up on facebook. He’s average-looking. Jane is beautiful. “Oh, she could do much better than him,” one of the girls says.

That judgment was made without ever having met John. How do you know he isn’t smart, kind, humble, selfless and funny? Maybe John can do better than Jane.

If you need more convincing, just look at God’s example.

God never was, is or will be blindsided by beauty.

He loved and publicly associated himself with people who were labeled ‘unclean’ in biblical times, including lepers and prostitutes.

Isaiah describes Jesus Christ by saying, “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isaiah 53:2b).

In fact, He was so ordinary looking that none of the disciples mention anything about His outer appearance. Jesus’ betrayer, Judas Iscariot, even had to identify Him with a kiss.

God is well aware of people’s tendencies to be biased toward beauty, but God is never tempted to do this. Jesus could have come to earth as a youthful man, beautiful in face and form, but He didn’t, because outer looks do not merit favor with God. They don’t affect His perception of us. And they shouldn’t affect our perception of each other.

God is the wisest of all beings, and He looks only at the heart. So shouldn’t we change our thinking to follow His, looking only at the heart?