Bible Verses about Beauty and Outward Appearance

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
    But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
  • Psalm 45:11 NIV
    Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
        honor him, for he is your lord.
  • Proverbs 31:25 NIV
    She is clothed with strength and dignity;
        she can laugh at the days to come.
  • Proverbs 31:30 NIV
    Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
        but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
  • Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
  • Song of Solomon 4:7 NIV
    You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
        there is no flaw in you.
  • Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV
    The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
        because the Lord has anointed me
        to proclaim good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
        to proclaim freedom for the captives
        and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
        and the day of vengeance of our God,
    to comfort all who mourn,
        and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
    to bestow on them a crown of beauty
        instead of ashes,
    the oil of joy
        instead of mourning,
    and a garment of praise
        instead of a spirit of despair.
    They will be called oaks of righteousness,
        a planting of the Lord
        for the display of his splendor.
  • Ezekiel 28:17 NIV
    Your heart became proud
        on account of your beauty,
    and you corrupted your wisdom
        because of your splendor.
    So I threw you to the earth;
        I made a spectacle of you before kings.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV
    Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV
    Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.

Passionate Pursuit

The other night, I poured myself a cup of hot tea, kicked off my shoes, picked up my knitting and settled deep into the sofa to relax with a movie.  Something about fall reminds me of the scenes in Anne of Green Gables as she strolls along the tree-shaded pathways and the leaves reflect the changing seasons.

So, I put in the DVD of the Anne of Green Gables sequel and watched one of my favorite stories play out on my television once again.

As I sipped my tea, I realized that what seems so romantically endearing and compelling about her love story with the straight-talking Gilbert Blythe is his willingness to pursue her.  He may have fallen in love with her in grade school when she broke her slate over his head after he called her “Carrots,” yet he waited for her.

And waited.

And waited.

He cheered her on and encouraged her success, asked her to marry him, was rejected, waited some more, got sick and nearly died, and asked again.

Maybe that’s the great romance we’ve all dreamt of or longed for as school girls or teens or even grown women.

And even while part of me wants to scream at Anne through the television to drop all of her “high-faluting’ mumbo jumbo” and just realize already that love is right there in front of her, part of me is entranced.

It’s true in all my favorite stories, every book I own with its cover falling off and the pages worn from me turning down the corners for want of a bookmark: Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, Emma . . .

In each story, the theme is the same.  The girl remains comfortably clueless that a man is in love with her, but he is captivated by her beauty and strength of character, her wit, her capacity to change and grow . . . and he pursues her relentlessly until she finally discovers she loves him in return.

In her book Captivating, Stasi Eldredge says:

“We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil.”

Perhaps many of us do long for a beauty that captivates—-a beauty worth pursuing. Like Anne or Elizabeth or Emma, we want to know that we are worth noticing, worth waiting for, worth sacrificing for, worth fighting for . . . just worthy.

So that when the world beats us down with reminders of standards we can’t meet and the girl next door makes us feel ugly and clumsy with her model-like beauty and when we’re run-down from dishes and laundry and carpools and mess . .  .we still feel that message deep down that we are captivating and we are loved.

Yet, no matter how lovely we may be, with the God-beauty of our character inside where it counts or with sparkling, head-turning physical beauty, we aren’t always pursued.  We don’t, after all, live in a historical romance novel or in Jane Austen’s world of matchmaking and marriages.

It just doesn’t always turn out that way.

And yet pursuit is always part of our Great Romance.

Psalm 45:11 says,

Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
    honor him, for he is your lord.

God doesn’t have to romance or woo us.  He could remain distant and unmoved.  Surely the beauty He sees in us isn’t really so worthy of His attention and He could toss out a marriage proposal and conclude with, “take it or leave it.”

Yet, He bends low and tenderly calls, He watches as we trample after worldly enticements and then calls us back time after time.

Like Hosea relentlessly chasing after his wife, the wayward Gomer, so God says:

“Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.

And more than any of that, God Himself laid aside the glories of heaven to walk among us, to live for us, to die for us, and to make a way for us to spend eternity with Him.

That’s love.  That’s pursuit in the most wildly passionate and extravagant way, more than any bouquet of flowers or poetic marriage proposal.

Stasi Eldredge reminds us that:

“The story of your life is also the story of the long and passionate pursuit of your heart by the One who knows you best and loves you most”

Remember today that, while you may not be perfect or totally worthy, still God loves you and is enthralled with the beauty He created in you.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2012 Heather King

Weekend Walk: Will Break for Beauty

We took a day off for beauty.

Yesterday, my youngest and I waved goodbye to her older sisters as they rode off to school and we climbed into the minivan for a drive on a sunny, warm but not too warm day, passing horse farms and the river and watching sunlight burst through the tops of trees, casting shadows here and brilliance there.

We traveled to see friends.  We don’t do this often enough, just sitting and talking, laughing,

watching kids play with toys.  In all of life’s busyness and the red circles around almost every day on the calendar, we don’t give enough time to friendship.

Sitting along the edge of the beach, we helped tip over buckets of moistened sand to form sand castles.  Pine needles and lost feathers, bits of shell and pebbles smoothed by the waves became castle flags and decorations.

Then we walked and collected treasures washed ashore by the tide.  Children see treasures in ways we do not.  I picked up unbroken shells, shiny, smooth, etched with color and patterns.  My little one picked up massive clam shells covered in barnacles and sand, murky in color and awkwardly shaped.  She handed me slivers of broken shells and even tried putting fistfuls of sand in her treasure bucket.

It was beauty to her.

What is it about the seaside that brings peace to the soul?  My friend says maybe it’s the rhythm of the waves.

I think she’s right.  I stood there for a moment and thought of the comfort it brings me knowing that the wave will come and another and another, in constant motion, totally faithful, reliable, trustworthy.

And that is our God.  He doesn’t wash over us and then pull back never to return again. He brings wave after wave of ever-coming, perpetual grace.  The world is an uncertain teeter-totter of a place, with unexpected terrors lurking around corners and surprises that drop us to the ground.

But God—He is faithful.  God—-He is always grace.  God—He is ever true.

After a stop at the school to pick up my older girls, we raced home to eat dinner and become beautiful: Choosing outfits, doing hair.  The girls fought over bracelets.

Then we met with other friends and drove once more, this time to see Ballet Magnificat, a professional Christian ballet company.

The music began.  Just instruments at first.  The dancers took to the stage and we watched and it was fine and it was okay.

But then one lone female voice sang,“Praise the Lord, O my soul and let all that is within me praise His name” and the dancer stretched her arms high in worship, her fingers almost touched heaven she was so long and outstretched.

And I caught my breath.

This was worship.  This was total abandon in praise to a God so worthy.

Yesterday, we took a break for beauty.  We paused and lingered long with friends and we filled our souls in the deep wells of nature and dance and worship.

I want to carry that along all this week and be intentional about it.

After beauty fills you up, it spills out and sloshes over the sides of your heart every time there is rushing, stress, tension, worry, boredom, work, monotony. 

We must work hard to protect the memory and refill often by taking a break for beauty, by seeking the soul-filling glory of God’s presence.

This week, I’ll be meditating on the verse to help me remember:

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple
(Psalm 27:4)

To hear the song by Kristene Mueller that began Ballet Magnificat’s performance, you can click here or click Play on the video below from the blog.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

The Top 10 Best Things About Hotels

The Top 10 Best Things About Hotels

10.  When there’s a problem, someone else has to fix it!  No breaking out the tools when something is wrong. One word to a hotel staff member and within five minutes the handyman shows up with his own tool box.

9. How excited your kids get about every little thing:  There’s a tiny refrigerator!!  And a microwave!!!  And a TV!!!!  And a couch with a pull-out bed!!!  There’s a closet!!!  And a bathroom!!!  Everything is more exciting in a hotel room. Add in some luxuries like a hotel swimming pool, electronic key cards, and elevators with buttons to push, and you have kid-paradise.

8. Styrofoam cups with lids:  Our hotel had a little hospitality bar in the lobby with packets of tea, hot cocoa, creamer, sugar and more.  One night after swimming in the pool, I grabbed some hot chocolate packets as a treat for the girls.  The best part?  The cups they supplied came with plastic lids.  Hot cocoa at home ALWAYS involves huge messes and near-industrial-sized spill clean-up.  Why didn’t I think of travel mugs with lids long ago?

7. Heavenly showers: Our shower at home maxes out at a slow trickle and a few drips at a time, so a few days with a hot water massage-like shower was indulgent.

6. Short-Order Cook Breakfasts:  At home, I sometimes feel like I should snap my hair into a bun, tuck a pencil behind my ear, don an apron and take down breakfast orders in a tiny notebook.  At the hotel, we had buffet-style breakfasts where everyone found something yummy—well, except my three-year-old, who prefers breakfast at home with her favorite cereal every . . . . single . . . . day.

5. Someone else washes all the towels and sheets.

4. Someone else vacuums the floor.

3. Someone else washes the dishes. 

2. Someone else scrubs the toilets.  Sensing a trend here?  I sure did.  We’ve tried stay-cations before, but do you know what I still have to do then?  That’s right—laundry, dishes, cooking, and general clean up.  For a few days in the hotel, I picked up mess but never once pulled out the bleach or loaded a dishwasher or washing machine.  Of course, we carried home a trash bag full of laundry that I washed the night we got home, but I had a few days of respite.

1. Being together: Our house is pretty small, so it’s not like we spread out and never see each other when we’re home.  Still, there’s something special about experiencing time together without my husband heading off to work, propping up our feet and watching a movie together, making plans for the day, and sharing in a nighttime snack.

School starts for us in just a few days.  So does ballet, choir, Awana and more.  Two birthday parties are already on the agenda for September.

When life gets packed so full, it’s so hard to appreciate every little thing—like escalators and the electronic keys in hotels and cocoa cups with spill-proof lids.  We lose child-like wonder and excitement about the little things

Almost eight years ago, I held my first baby girl in a hospital room and now, after what seems like a blink of the eyes, we stood in her second grade classroom to meet her new teacher.

How does it all happen so fast?  How do we miss so much?

In her book, A Sudden Glory, Sharon Jaynes says, “The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life.  As the Psalmist wrote, ‘We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing’ (Psalm 39:6 NLT).”

Moses prayed: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

We can pray the same.

Lord, help us to number our days.  Help us to make each one count.  Don’t let a single one slip by us unnoticed and unappreciated.

Don’t let us ever miss or skip time—One, two . . . twenty . . .fifty–and not be able to account for the days in between.

Don’t let us get so wrapped up in doing laundry and dishes that we forget to thank you for the clothes and food you’ve given us.

Help us not to get so focused on the minutiae of everyday worries and stressors that we forget to have joy.

Show us how to slow down each day, rest, pay attention—yes, notice Your grace, Your beauty, and the gifts You’ve placed in our lives.

To sit with our children a moment longer.  Linger over a cup of tea.  Breathe in the scent of a garden.  Notice the beauty.  Enjoy deep down the laughter of our children.

Amen.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Weekend Walk: 09/10/2011

Hiding the Word:

Last Sunday, my oldest girl graduated to an older Sunday School class.  She burst out of there so excited about how great it was because they “did great crafts!”  They do something else, too . . .  memorize a verse each week.

This week, her verse is one of my favorites:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”
Proverbs 3:5-6

I’m posting that around my home in the NIV translation this week to memorize and meditate on.  But, I also want to share with you the translation in the Message, which I also came across this week in my reading.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
   he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Those are freeing thoughts—we don’t have to figure everything out on our own and that it’s God who keeps us on track.  We just need to listen at all times to the prompting of His Spirit.

It’s also a challenging thought because, well, I like to figure everything out on my own. But that involves very little faith and trust in my God.

Have you picked a verse to learn this week?  Will you share it with us?

Weekend Rerun:

God’s Love Letter, Originally published 03/09/2011

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion (Isaiah 30:18, NIV)

The other night I was fluffing my pillows before I turned out my light and I felt paper where pillow should be.  A card!  And inside, a love letter from my husband.  I cried as I read it and cried more the next day when I read it again. (No one reads love letters just once, right?!)

Everyone receives love in different ways, but words are precious to me.  Whether they are written or said, words are the most powerful way to show me love and the most potent weapons used to hurt me.  That’s because they rumble around in my head and heart and echo back to me over time.

Still, spoken words and written words aren’t equal.  Yesterday, I wrote that humans are forgetful creatures.  We so easily forget what people say to us and sometimes we mis-remember and distort conversations.  Written down, though, the words became more concrete and able to withstand time, changing circumstances, and shifting emotions.

Unfortunately, I do sometimes forget.  The other day I had a breakdown while doing my hair.  I was getting ready to go out with my husband, so I thought, “I’ll try to look nice.”  So, I painted my nails.  I’m the worst ever at painting my nails.  I’m never patient enough and always touch something before they’re dry.  In fact, it’s pretty impossible to meet the needs of three little people without touching my children, so I had to re-paint this one fingernail FOUR times!!!  At that point, when my daughter asked me, “Mommy, can you . . . .” I gave in and just took the nail polish off completely.  Then, I decided to work on curling my hair.  I love curly hair.  But, alas, I was the kind of girl who read books as a child and not a little girl who played with hair.  That means that I am now a totally clueless grown woman when it comes to curls and blow drying and styling.  After just a few attempts at curls resulting in frizz and disaster, I washed it all out and just left my hair the way it normally is.  So much for dressing up.

At that point, I forgot.  I forgot my husband loves me the way I am and he thinks I’m beautiful.  Inside, I heard the lies—“You aren’t pretty enough.  You’re a plain Jane and always will be.  You’re surrounded by women with better hair, skin, nails and clothes and you just don’t measure up.”

I need the reminders that I am loved.  Imagine if a married couple said, “I love you,” on their wedding day and then never again expressed love for each other.   Years later, the wife complains, “You never tell me you love me” and the husband answers, “I showed you I loved you when I married you.”

God showed us His love clearly and completely through the cross.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NIV).  That sacrifice should serve as concrete evidence of love.

The world tells us, “Look at these bad circumstances in your life.  God doesn’t love you.”   We sin and we think, “No way can God forgive me or use me or love me.  I’m too messed up.”   We feel distant from Him, and we think, “God’s left me.  He’s no longer here by my side.”  But, we look to the cross and we remember, God loved me enough to die for me even when I was still rejecting Him.

Christ’s death on the cross was the most perfect expression of love, but God knows us.  He knows our fickle and forgetful hearts.  He knows that—like a wife in a marriage—we need reminders and expressions of love over time.   So He gives us the Bible, His love letter to us.  We don’t need to seek affirmation and fulfillment from other people or accomplishments.  At any time in a day, we can meet with God and be reminded of His great love.

I tell my two daughters at least once a week, “No matter what anybody says and no matter what happens, remember that you are loved, you are beautiful and you are smart.”   Then, they roll their little eyes at me and sigh, “I know, Mom.  You tell us all the time.”  And I do.  I tell them all the time because the media, culture, mean girls, and Satan will fight hard to tell my girls lies, to convince them that they are ugly, fat, unloved, and not good enough.  I give my daughters truth over and over again, hoping that they can identify and reject the lies.

It is in Scripture, that God expresses His love over and over again, so that we don’t forget it.  In Hosea 2:19, we read:

And then I’ll marry you for good—forever!
I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness.
Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go.
You’ll know me, God, for who I really am (MSG).

Stressed out about work?  Read God’s Word and be refreshed.  Feeling like a failure as a parent?   Let God’s Word encourage and strengthen you.  Not sure that God can take care of you?  Dig deep into the Bible and remember His promises.  Struggling with feeling like you aren’t beautiful or loved?  Take down God’s love letter from the shelf and be reminded of how He cares for you and longs to lavish you with affection and blessing.

Sitting on the shelf unread, God’s love letter to us might look nice and serve as a memento.  But, it’s only when we take God’s Word down and read and re-read it that the words regain their power and become an effective arsenal against the lies we face every day.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King