I'm not disagreeing with any of you who are commenting that inward beauty is of the utmost importance in comparison to outward beauty.
Proverbs 11:22 compares a physically beautiful woman who is not discrete with a pig adorned with a gold ring in his snout. No amount of makeup or beautiful clothing can mask an unattractive heart.
My roommate in college was the posterchild of the campus. Gorgeous. Before I met her I knew her name and overheard many conversations where guys were talking about her. I too was swept away by her beauty and smile. But when we had lived together for a couple of months, that outer beauty was quickly transformed when her true heart was displayed. I was repulsed by her selfishness and her pride and her disregard for others. Her physical appearance was actually transformed by her heart's motivations.
I love being feminine. I love wearing skirts and dresses. I love experimenting with different ways of doing my hair. But should my heart not be right with God all of that is for nothing. Pure vanity!
So, you see? I agree with you.
However, as with many of my other posts that have sparked disagreement, I only brought up one side of the issue. Women are so often exhorted in the church to enhance their inner beauty. Do you really need another parrot to tell you the same? Sometimes I think the intensity with which this message is preached is rather reactionary to such issues as anorexia/bolemia, obesity, immodest dress and appearance, causing opinions to be swayed to the other extreme with equating plain/bland appearance with godliness.
Isn't that the same?
Both are trying to draw attention to themselves by their outward appearance one with enhancing it, the other by disregarding it. 2 extremes. Similar motives.
I am merely attempting to bring up a little discussed issue and commenting that indeed the condition of the heart and one's character is of primary importance, but that doesn't negate one's taking pleasure in creating/enhancing physical beauty.
God is the author of beauty in so many different forms, both physical and spiritual. He himself is beautiful. Artists, made in the image of God, get a thrill from copying the Master Artist or from creating their own beauty. A tree in the middle of a meadow is beautiful, especially as the mist of the evening rolls in. Would you tisk-tisk if someone came along to enhance that beauty by hanging a multitude of candle-lit lanterns from it's branches? "Shameful. God created that tree beautiful just how it is. Shame on you for attempting to add to it."
No, that's silly.
Beauty is good. Like Seumas commented on Dani's blog, the goodness of beauty does not make it moral.
Some churches decide against adorning their building in guilded sculpture and choose instead to maintain a humble appearance. Is the stainglass church better than the other because it is "more" beautiful? That's obsurd. But if that "plain" building houses a group of people who are spiritually dead and full of pride and hypocrisy, it is not better than a sepulchre. However, as one enters a cathedral and the regal pillars and arches draws one's eyes upward to the sparkling, coloured glass, one might find himself giving glory to God the Author of all things beautiful. The congregation may be as spiritually dead as the other, but that doesn't keep one from praising God. That beautiful woman walking down the street may be an atheist, however, one can still appreciate her beauty.
I desire to bless Michael with my appearance (sigh ... and just to be sure i'm not misunderstood ... AND a kind, gentle spirit). The other evening I dressed up, put on a strand of pearls, straightened my hair, and put on a bit of make-up. His appreciation could not be masked. And I took delight in having pleased the man I love in this way. (And for your information we also read Scripture together and prayed).
I feel odd having to justify myself in this ... or tacking on further explanation. human responsibility ... BUT also sovereignty of God. wife respecting ... BUT also husband loving. outer beauty ... BUT also inward beauty. make-up ... BUT also prayer.
I have a feeling Craig's going to tell me that I don't have to always justify myself on my blog. I suppose I need to remember that few of you actually even know me, so I'm scrambling here to be sure you know that I understand the value in a beautiful spirit. But honestly I'm a bit afraid I'm going to get a comment like, "What? You like wearing dresses?!! Are you saying trousers can't be feminine?!"