January 4, 2013
READ: Proverbs 31:10-31
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last (v.30).
Alex Eklund likes beautiful women. He believes, however, that true beauty comes from the heart and character of a woman. In fact he says he would “rather have a Proverbs 31 wife than a Victoria’s Secret model”. He posted this comment after noticing the reaction to the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Watching this event prompted some of his female friends to air feelings like these on Facebook: “I’m going to have to hit the gym after this” and “I’m going to starve myself for a week.”
The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t get a second glance for her slim figure or perfect muscle tone. And yet, she surpasses every other virtuous and capable woman in the world (v.29). Her brand of beauty is based on her conduct and character, rather than her clothing, hair and make-up. The Proverbs 31 woman excels in three main areas:
She manages her money well (vv.16,24). She earns an income and invests it carefully. She’s generous with “the poor and opens her arms to the needy” (v.20). She works diligently (v.17). She works long hours (vv.15,18). Her work benefits those in her household and beyond (vv.20,24). She plans ahead (v.21) and is resourceful (vv.13-14). She speaks with understanding (vv.25-26). Kindness and wisdom characterise her words. She models “good and helpful” speech that can encourage people (Eph. 4:29).
Aspiring to be this kind of a person is far better than trying to morph ourselves into runway models. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last” (Proverbs 31:30). Fortunately we can clothe ourselves with “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:3-4), which endears us to God and gives the world a glimpse of beauty at its best. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Read Proverbs 7:10-14 to see the contrast between the Proverbs 31 woman and a very different kind of woman. Read 1 Timothy 2:9-10 to learn how Christian women might boost their attractiveness.
How might a preoccupation with physical beauty affect our spiritual lives? How does the Bible support the idea that it’s possible to be beautiful at any age?