I think my wife grows more stunning with the passing of time! The other day I was almost overwhelmed by her beauty as she shuffled down the hallway grabbed a cup of coffee and plopped down on the sofa next to me at 6 in the morning to read her Bible and start her day in prayer. No airbrush needed. No bikini to reveal any flesh. She had not spent a moment getting ready . . . And she was in that moment everything I want in my wife.
The cult of external beauty is rampant! I have been considering this blog for a couple of weeks and within that time the original illustrations I was considering have been replaced by fresh ones that are already being replaced. I saw an interview with Christie Brinkley, the stunning model from the 80’s who now at age sixty looks 25. The talk show host that was interviewing her danced around the subject of the dangers of a culture that objectifies woman and places their value on the looks of their bodies, but all the while it was clear that Christie Brinkley was on that show because of her external beauty at age 60. The irony was almost visible in that interview.
I have also seen all kinds of posts on facebook about women working to get a bikini body or suggesting that everybody has a bikini body. One even proposed that the way you get a “bikini body” is by putting on a bikini . . .
We live in a culture where the best that most people have to offer on this subject is to say, “everyone is beautiful”, which flies in the face of what my momma used to say. Some mommas talked about boxes of chocolates but my momma was more earthy and sage. She used to say, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.”
It is far from my skill to solve the problem for this culture we live in. Yet at the same time, I believe that any successes in life carry with them a curse. So too goes beauty. Many women (and men) have been betrayed by their physical attractiveness. External beauty is both a blessing and a curse.
But one thing I think remains true. Striving for external beauty at the expense of internal beauty: kindness, gentleness, peace, joy, patience, and a deep abiding relationship with God . . . This will turn ugly every time. Notice that I am not saying I am against external beauty . . . nor am I minimizing the pain of those who have found themselves outside of the discussion. I imagine that those who feel less than attractive can only ever been more hurt by statements like, “beauty is on the inside” while the culture screams the opposite.
I don’t fault my wife for her external beauty. 😉
But I am so much more thankful for the work she has put into cultivating the internal beauty of a meek, compassionate, kind and gentle spirit. I would rather have her next to me meeting with God, than doing crunches in the gym everyday of the week!
I like to leave comments on your blog posts because I like receiving them on mine from people; it lets me know that people read and are engaged, a true joy of writing.
Enjoyed reading this post and agree that your wife has internal and external beauty. 🙂 This statement–> “I believe that any successes in life carry with them a curse” is probably most true when said success is worn as a badge of self-worth or self-glory.
The culture’s obsession of beauty is as with all good things from God (love, sex, provision, beauty etc) taken to an excess–>sin.
I agree Heidi that often when we abuse a success or gift by giving it too much weight, it often becomes a curse. What I had in mind, however, is that often a woman who meets the culturally acceptable standards of beauty (even if she has not sought that beauty in an unhealthy way) still often will be objectified by our culture. In other word, beauty can betray us even when it is not all we are living for.