Radiant beauty. When I was just entering my teen years, I read a book that described beauty in a way I will never forget. It was a story about an ordinary, “plain” girl, whose prayer every day was “Lord, give me smiling lips, sparkling eyes, and a singing heart”. And she was beautiful, though when you asked her friends, they had to stop and think about it. Nobody had noticed if she “classically beautiful” or not, but they all knew that she was radiantly beautiful.
That begs the question, what is beauty? What does it look like to reflect the glory of God inside AND out? We cannot afford to go to either ditch of pretending outward beauty doesn’t matter or focusing only on outward beauty.
Beauty that starts inside and flows out is true beauty. It’s not one or the other, it’s both. Dressing in drab, shapeless clothes with an unflattering hairstyle and pale skin doesn’t inherently bring glory to God. A cute outfit and perfectly styled hair and on-point makeup doesn’t inherently bring Him glory either. Where is our heart? And how is that heart being expressed?
Since I love the picture of smiling lips, sparkling eyes, and a singing heart, let’s look at beauty in those 3 areas:
Smiling Lips. The picture I see is a radiant woman who smiles easily, who can’t be caught pouting or feeling sorry for herself, a woman who greets others with kindness and joy and genuineness. There are no mean or idle words on her lips. A smile like that makes even the most plain woman beautiful.
“For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.” Prov. 5:3-4
“(The virtuous woman) opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
Sparkling Eyes. A woman with sparkling eyes is excited about the things of God. She lives with hope and is confident in God’s goodness. Her eyes are not dull, dark, or fearful, but full of fun and joy and delight. She is beautiful, she is alive, she is a joy to be with and look at and talk to.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19
A Singing Heart. This is my favorite. If a woman has a heart that is surrendered to Christ and she is filled with His joy, she will be beautiful. She won’t be able to hide it. The Holy Spirit dwells in her and she’s being transformed into His likeness. The joy and song within her can’t help but overflow.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16
Start with the inside. Choose to have wisdom and the law of kindness rule your lips. Enlighten your eyes by knowing the hope of His calling, the riches of glory of His inheritance, and surpassing greatness of His power. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly and sing with grace in your heart to the Lord.
Then, as the inside transformation flows out, use wisdom to “decorate” your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, in a way that glorifies God. If lipstick makes your smile prettier, use it. If mascara and eye shadow draw attention to your sparkling eyes, try it. Pick attractive clothes and flattering hairstyles, not for the purpose of drawing attention, but as an outflow of the radiant beauty within.
If God made beautiful flowers that are tucked away from observers, if He put intricate designs into snowflakes that are invisible to the naked eye, if He put color and design all over the world He created, do you really think He would prefer you to be as ugly and plain as possible? NO! There is nothing wrong with wanting to look beautiful as a reflection of your Creator.
It’s not about having the perfect features, or obsessing about your weight, or wishing you had money for better clothes. It’s about reflecting Jesus to the world inside and out.
Let’s live radiantly, sisters, beautiful because we are daughters of the King and we are called to share His joy and love and hope with everyone around us!