Beauty Within


My 7-year-old daughter is so pretty. She's a girly-girl, who loves to be the princess, all dressed up in dresses and jewelry. Even so, we often remind her that it's more important to be beautiful on the inside than to be beautiful on the outside. One's character is much more important than what they look like on the outside.

1 Samuel 16:7 that says "People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

1 Peter 3:3-4 tells us that "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, but rather 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." I l
ove this verse as it's so clear about what is of "great worth" in God's sight! No doubt about it (like asking your husband, "Do I look good in this?"). God is clear about what He defines as beauty.

Recently both myself and my daughter have been challenged in how much we really believe these verses.

My daughter has been sick (like the rest of us). In wiping her nose so much, she wiped the tip of her nose completely raw! It is now a big red scab. When she gets sick or stressed, she also develops cold sores. Not small and not just one - these are large and are like a big cluster of cold sores. These showed up to make her nose and lip all the more red and sore. To add to it, one of her teeth is loose and almost out, so she has a crooked tooth and sometimes blood in her mouth.

Here she is, a few days ago, with her dangling loose tooth and all.

So, she is hesitant to go to church or anywhere in public. She knows she doesn't look good. She is naturally shy and doesn't want to attract attention. That is a bit impossible with the big red scab on her nose! So she is being pushed a bit out of her comfort zone. And she is being challenged - Can she be confident when she doesn't look good? Can she consider herself beautiful because of what's inside regardless of what is outside?

And as her mother, I am challenged too. I want to protect my little girl from the stares, the gasps, all of the "Whoa! What happened to you?!" questions we've had recently. Can I feel the concern behind the statements? Can I focus on my girl's inward beauty, to model for her the lesser importance of the external? Can I walk with her through her suffering, through feeling like the ugly duckling?

There's a lesson to be learned. The truth is that all of us, young and old, will eventually face the day when we're not beautiful on the outside - at least by this world's standards. By then it will be too late to start cultivating that inward beauty that is of great worth to God.

An important lesson - for the 7-year-old and the 33-year-old! :-)


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