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Understanding Beauty Biblically

By: Atticus Nguyen


Photo Courtesy of Pexels

The Sit Down

If the Lord wills, I know that at some point I will one day need to sit down with my children to explain to them the difference between the world's standard of beauty and the biblical definition of beauty. Dare I say, the word beauty has been perverted. What has been defined with the transcendental and eternal is now reduced to the purely physical and temporal.


The world's standard of beauty can be broken down to a few aspects. My attempt at exegeting the word is not comprehensive, but it gives the gist. It also helps that I grew up in a cosmetic surgeon's household so I got to see the world's definition taught and applied.


Worldly beauty can be expounded as sex appeal, fertility, and perpetual youthfulness.


I won't spend time explaining the graphic details of each aspect of worldly beauty, but you don't have to walk outside for very long to see how this plays out in everyday life. It is Freudian and evolutionary anthropology at its finest, reducing people to no more than animalistic sexual beings vying for people to lust after them to find the next intimacy high.


There is irony with his beauty standard because we know deep down that it is problematic! I've listened to multiple presentations this year alone about the harmful effects of cosmetic surgery, false beauty standards, and the social media agenda on young girls' minds! Yet the world doesn't offer hope or peace!


All it can offer is to continue promoting public sensuality with a less eurocentric lense and being "body positive" about not having the same bodily proportions as certain celebrities.


Here is what I'm not saying: that beauty can't be physical. I'm not here to shame anyone as to how they're built according to God's design for them. Beauty can be physical, but it is subjective from culture to culture. There is no passage in scripture that says beauty is defined by certain bodily proportions, high cheekbones, tan or pale skin, etc.


When it comes to beauty and the process of dating/courtship unto marriage, Costi Hinn made the application of this concept clear in a sermon expositing Song of Solomon. I won't quote his whole sermon directly, but the gist is that Biblically applying beauty means that you are not trying to look attractive to everyone else in the world.


Should it be the Lords will for you to marry someone, you only have to look compelling to that one other person who sees you beyond the physical and temporal.


Beauty and Proverbs 31

It seems like half of my blog posts now have referenced Proverbs 31, but there is so much wisdom we can find in this passage about a Godly woman. I believe that there is an argument here foor Proverbs 31 also talking about beauty. As I eluded to before, you only have to be beautiful to the one other person in your life that you may marry, and it goes beyond the temporal and physical. The Proverbs 31 man adores his Proverbs 31 woman for a reason after all.


Here's the mic drop moment for this post: Proverbs 31 doesn't mention a thing about sex appeal.


Not a thing. Zero. Zilch. Zip. NADA.


What it does mention are God-given attributes that define this Godly woman. Her beauty is exhibited by her character. I can provide snippets from this chapter as outlined below:



Verse 30: She is a worshiper of the Lord.


Verse 17, 22, & 25: She is dignified and strong.


Verse 22: She is elegant.


Verses 11-24: She is diligent and prudent.


Verse 25: She is joyful.


Verse 26: She is wise.


Verses 20 & 28-29: And she is humble.



My heart does break for the women and men who are stuck in the trap of the worldly standard of beauty, and I've seen it play out in my family's clinic. I see it play out with so many young women flaunting themselves for the sake of digital or in-person attention.


But our response by ascribing to the Biblical standard of beauty and conjuring up notions of modesty does not justify us before God. Only by grace through faith in Christ can. As one of my favorite hymns go:


As summer flowers, we fade and die

Fame, youth, and beauty hurry by

But life eternal calls to us

At the Cross...


Turn away your from your sin and set your eyes upon Jesus, the one who created beauty!

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