I remember a story I was once told about a youth pastor who was trying to bring a point home to his kids. So he brought some little brownie balls, like little round donut-hole shaped brownies, and he showed them to the kids, but he didn’t serve them because, actually, they were brown balls of dog poop made to look like something that was edible. I don’t know if this was a true story or not, but he was making a good point: sometimes we’re so focused on what’s on the outside that we forget to focus on what’s more important: what’s on the inside. Thanks for joining us for our last day! Here we go.
Our verse for today is Proverbs 31:30. It says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” I love this verse, because it applies to my wife. But I also think it applies more generally to what we were talking about in that example: it urges us to focus more on the inside. There’s nothing inherently wrong with outward beauty, but it doesn’t last forever. It’s vain when we put all our focus on that.
Our world today is so focused on the outward. We’re focused on making the outward appear a certain way. This is especially pressured on women and girls, from a very young age. We’re bombarded by images and messages that tell us beauty has to meet a certain standard, and if it doesn’t, it’s not beautiful.
“Charm is deceitful.” Of course it’s good to be nice, but we need to be nice with the right motivations. And “beauty is vain.” We should be more focused on what’s on the inside. Outward things have some value, but true value is in this: “a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” True beauty comes from the inside and flows to the outside. I’ve met women or people before who looked nice and attractive, but as soon as they started talking, saying things that were not pleasing to God, it made them seem very ugly. This verse reminds us that the one who should be praised is the one who has that reverential attitude and desire to please God. Take some time to read more of this chapter, verses 10-31, and to be reminded that what’s on the inside is far more important than what is on the outside. If there’s no substance on the inside, then what’s on the outside doesn’t matter. It won’t last.
Now, let me speak to the young ladies for a minute. I hope this all came across right, because I know there are a lot of issues with body image and what not. But what I think is the most attractive thing about a woman is her confidence: confidence in who she is, and especially in who she is in the LORD. That’s where true confidence comes from—from the One who made you, and made you for Himself. If you structure your life around what it means to be a child of God, that is a beautiful thing. Sometimes this can be kind of intimidating to guys, because you’re so confident, but don’t give into that. Be you.
One time I had a mother come up to me at a school that I’d been at for several years in a row. She told me her daughter was getting married to a guy she had gone to school with. A few years ago, this guy had approached her daughter and asked to date her and she responded, “You’re not ready for me yet.” She knew who she was in Christ, noticed him and how he interacted with people, and knew he wasn’t ready yet. So he went out and grew up, and then now they’re getting married. That’s amazing! That girl knew who she was and what her value was. And that guy knew what he wanted, and knew what he needed to do to gain it, so he went out and did it.
Let’s read our verse one more time. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised,” (Proverbs 31:30). So let’s focus on walking with the LORD, and on making the inside beautiful, because outward beauty eventually fades away. Get wisdom.
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