Beauty (and ‘Apples to Apples’)

{Today’s post is on beauty, from a Biblical perspective.  To get to the topic, however, I use the game ‘Apples to Apples’ and the movie Lord of the Rings (LOTR).  If you want to skip the intro and just dive into the post, jump to the light blue +++ section. 🙂  I’ve been debating on which of my posts to complete first, and this one was for this week.  In the upcoming weeks, I plan on writing about the movie ‘Inception’ (which I just saw for the first time the other night) and another post with a chapter of my story to get feedback from you all. 🙂  And then… but… that’s too far out. 😉  You’ll just have to wait and see!}

For part of our youth-group’s Christmas party, we sat in a huge circle on the floor and played Apples to Apples (playing with over nine people makes this game that much more fun!).  By round nine or so, we had arrived at the green car titled ‘scary’. I looked over my hand of seven cards and decided that ‘cage’ was the only mildly scary card I had.  I didn’t win, and please don’t ask me what the winning card was because I forgot.

I made a comment that ‘cages’ are scary (when my card was discarded) and the person judging said, “You guys have seen LOTR, right?  Don’t you think she (referring to me) looks like Éowyn?”

This has to be the third or fourth time someone has told me that.  I was confused.  How did we jump from scary cages to Éowyn?  Apparently, Éowyn hates cages and that is why the whole discussion started (I forgot that part of the movie).  I have seen LOTR once (extended versions).  She is a really cool character and I enjoy being told I look like her.

Éowyn

Éowyn2

Eowyn

Eowyn3

Eowyn4

I like this last picture because it goes with and against feminism all at the same time, haha!  (not the topic of this post… but…)  She is saying there’s a difference between bro’s and sis’s (guys and girls), but she’s fighting in the armor of a man. :p

If you haven’t seen LOTR, you should do so!  It is a really well done movie series, and I am looking forward to seeing the Hobbit (probably when it comes out on DVD and our library purchases it).

+++

There’s my long intro into the topic of beauty.  🙂  In our culture, we lift up and star-ize (I know it’s not a word…) those whom we deem the most beautiful.  Currently that means women with small bodies, who have surgeries and then proceed to wear as little clothes as possible.  We (as girls) look up to these women and even though we try not to be affected by what they say/do/dress-like/act, etc. we still are.  Guys tend to have long flinging hair, muscular chests/arms and awesome glasses.  I’m not a guy so I’m not even going to try to go into boys minds and see what they think.

So, back to the girls.  One thing you should know, before we go into this much, is that my personal standards of modesty are higher than many of my friends, and even a couple of my sisters.  I don’t want you thinking you have to dress like me, or think my ideas/standards are the final word.  :p  They aren’t!  They’re simply what I’m comfortable with and what I think (for me) pleases the Lord most and follows His commands.

Just what does God have to say about modesty and beauty?

“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.”
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”
~ Psalm 27:4

“Do not lust in your heart after her [the immoral woman] beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes,…”
~
Proverbs 6:24

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
~
Proverbs 31:30

“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”
~ 1
Timothy 2:9-10

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
~
1 Samuel 16:7

There are more, but I will leave those for you to read outside of this blog post (here).  God values what is on the inside more than what is on the outside.  Does that mean we should neglect our appearance and skip baths and showers?  Of course not!  He also commands us to care for our bodies because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).  I went through a stage in my life (around age 13) when I hated showers.  I literally hated them.  Because of that, my hair stank and was very greasy for a year or more.  It was gross!  Looking back, I see that I should not have rebelled against my parents (who did their best to get me to wash anyways) and I should have taken better care of myself.

Even though we are to cultivate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, a quiet spirit, and more, we should not forget the outside of our bodies.  Instead, focusing on the inside, we should also care for the outside.  Now, this plays out differently for different people.  I abhor make-up, so, I avoid it at all costs.  My sister loves the stuff and is careful to wash her face every day and put on special acne lotion, and cleansing stuff spending hours in the bathroom.  That’s care for her body for her, and it’s different for me.  I clean and shower (and now I do enjoy showers and I can’t go for more than 2 days without one or my head gets intolerably itchy) and dress carefully (hopefully with a better sense of fashion now-a-days).

That brings us to a second part of beauty.  How we dress.  The clothes I wear tell people I meet a lot about me.  If say, I wore a completely black outfit and dyed (oops!  I almost spelled it died!) my hair black and wore white makeup, you’d instantly think to yourself ‘goth’ or ’emo’ and you’d have assumptions about my character, attitude and beliefs.  Looks mean things.  If you saw me in a suit, skirt and heels holding some sort of briefcase you’d immediately think I was a business woman and that would open up those assumptions.

I have a little bit of an issue with the word ‘cute’.  Don’t take me wrong, I use it all the time to describe babies and younger siblings (the youngest ones, not the older ones!), but… when people use it on an outfit?  I think, ‘Yes, the outfit is becoming, but they’re really complimenting how adorable/sexy that person looks.’  ‘Cute’ in today’s terms, means close fitting, revealing cuts, and lacy/see through garments.  I know the word did not originally mean that (similar to the term ‘gay’, which has been totally destroyed), but when you say it today that is what it quite literally means.  One part of my brain goes, ‘Yeah!!  Wear clothes that people will say are cute!’ And my other half says, ‘Wear that shirt and skirt/pants and you’ll be warm, comfortable, and not show anything you don’t want shown!’

As girls, we like to get compliments.  It is something we will remember for a long time afterwords.  I’m not different than the rest.  I enjoy compliments.  I simply, do not wish to get them in outfits that leave less to the imagination or (even with undershirts) give people pictures even if skin is hidden.

Paul says we should dress modestly.  He does not mean braids or jewels or gold are bad, in and of themselves, but that when they are used to hide up bad characteristics or flaunt ourselves, then they should be avoided.

I think we should aim for beauty in character, modesty in clothing, and focus on God.  If I distract those around me by drawing attention to myself, I think that is a problem.  Now, I have been known to wear my bright pink square dancing skirt or (when I was younger) a blue and white sailor style polka-dot dress… 😀  I’m not saying go gray and don’t wear anything colorful or creative!

Wear something that shows off your fashion sense, but also would honor your Lord Jesus Christ.  Together we can change our culture for the better!

There’s my two cents on beauty.  What do you think is modest in today’s world?  How do you strive to follow God’s commands while also keeping up with modern styles?

* Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I do wear pants (actually I LOVE pants now).  I used to detest jeans, but I’ve found them quite useful over the past year.

** I don’t think make-up is bad, it’s just not for me.

*** All Bible verses were taken from the 1984 NIV version on Bible Gateway.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. indytony said,

    December 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I appreciate your reflections on beauty and modest dress. I’m very happy to say that both my daughters are now young women who have internalized the Biblical standard of modesty and apply it to their dress and mannerisms as well. Keep up the great writing. I look forward to reading more.

    • Lysbeth said,

      December 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment. 🙂 I look forward to reading your posts as well!


Please share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: