Opposite World Beauty Advice
September 3, 2014
By Laura DiFatta
I’ll never forget my grandmother—who was in her seventies at the time—telling me, “In my mind, I don’t feel a day over fifty!” I remember thinking, “Well, that’s depressing, ‘cause 50 is old, too!” I was in my teens then. My, how I’ve changed in my thinking. I get what she was talking about! Now that I’m in my 40’s, I can say, “Wow! Fifty isn’t old and I feel like I’m in my 20’s” (on a good day.)
Just this morning, I was playing at a park with my four-year-old, when I struck up a conversation with another (much younger) mom. In the course of conversation, she said, “Yes, ma’am,” to me. Ouch! That stung. I mean, I feel her age, not the age I must look to her! But, alas, I am what I am. In my forties. No spring chicken and all that…
But, I’m not depressed over aging. Really. It beats the alternative. And I’m not even kidding, I’d never go back to an earlier age unless I was promised I could take all the wisdom I’ve accumulated this far, with me!!
I’m totally realistic about aging and it’s effects, and I will keep using salves and creams that promise me anti-aging effects (although, I know there is a point of diminishing return.) My youngest son often asks me, “when you are old, will you have the same hair?” My answer? “You better believe it! If I have anything to do with it!” And I just added something to my arsenal that is supposedly helping with the four-layered bags I’m waking up with more and more often.
Obviously, I’m not alone in buying and applying beauty/anti-aging products. The Global Industry Analyst on-line report states: The “Market for Anti-Aging Products for Appearance Enhancement in United States is expected to be more than US $5.0 billion by 2015.” That’s a lot of money spent on defying the inevitable!! The truth is, if God grants me the years, no salve or cream or procedure will prevent me from getting old and wrinkled. Nor you. But, do not dismay! It is not all dismal by a long shot!!
We can find joy and rewarding results in this aging process! We really can! It is found in an ancient beauty secret. I’m already putting it to use as have innumerable women for centuries! I have seen its results throughout my life in many other women I have known, including both my beautiful grandmothers. And when this beauty secret is used, it will produce results every day of our lives! The beauty secret is found in this passage: ”Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past used to make themselves beautiful.” (1 Peter 3:3-5)
The great missionary Paul, who traveled all over the civilized world in his day and saw women from every walk of life including wealthy aristocratic women in the palace of Caesar in Rome, was addressing women of his day who apparently enjoyed adorning themselves every bit as much as we do. He encouraged these women to be incomparably more concerned about the inner beauty of their spirits than about the appearance of their faces and bodies.
While Paul was not encouraging us to neglect our physical selves, (read *1 Corinthians 6:19-20, below) he was making the point that there is a beauty that is unseen that is every bit as real, is more important and, when nourished, develops and increases over time!
We are thus encouraged, through the Word of God: to set our heart’s focus on a much more important goal than our looks or shapes. Growing in our desire and in our actions toward pleasing God has a by-product of a quietness and peace in our spirits that is beautiful at any age. In other words, a growing trust in the Lord and an ever-increasing focus on Him, produces the unfading beauty of a quiet spirit within us.
I mean, just slather this Vitamin S(pirit) on your souls: “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5) As we look to Him, Jesus takes away our shame and replaces it with the radiance of being fully known and fully loved and of being ever-transformed into His likeness! Ahhh!
I have been blessed to witness this opposite world beauty phenomenon in many godly women throughout my life. These women—though some quite advanced in age—diplayed beautiful to me. Their beauty radiated in their gentleness and peace, told me volumes about the fact and focus of their faith! Their faces pass before my mind’s eye now… Some have gone to Heaven, some are still alive on earth and are still witnesses to this enduring beauty Truth! These women took hold of the beauty-producing Truth that, “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day!” (2 Corinthians 4:16) by “fixing” their eyes “not on what is seen, but on what is unseen” and eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
I know many, many women who aren’t chronologically old now, but—as they age—are intentionally growing in their walks with Christ in a way that will make them glow with increasing inner beauty as they age. That kind of beauty will be noticeable and attractive. That kind of beauty radiates! And that kind of beauty brings glory to The Giver!
One last verse that speaks in a particularly direct way to this subject is this: “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!” As we again see the seasons change and new fashions emerge, let’s keep in mind that there is a beauty that not only won’t fade with time and age and wrinkles, but will grow and glow with age: The inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that is a by-product of a growing trust in God and a peace that comes from that trust in Him.
I do have anti-aging face products in my arsenal. I probably always will. But, I know the real secret to increasing beauty… “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with every-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
*“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20