Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beauty. Show all posts


What is Beauty? - A Dose of Encouragement

As ladies we hear a lot of talk about beauty, we see a lot of adverts about beauty and from an early age we are aware that most people will make a decision for themselves if we are beautiful or not!

So instinctively we know who decides about who is beautiful in this world but before let ourselves stay in this mindset about beauty we really should consider what beauty really is.

Or what is real beauty.



Let's take a very quick questionnaire

Questionnaire   (with my personal answers)

Read through the questions and note your personal answers.

1.   What is your favourite colour?       Blue

2.   What is your favourite number?     4

3.   Which do you prefer?  odd nos. / even nos.    Even

4.   Do you like to have music played loudly or softly?    Softly

5.   What style of music do you prefer?   Classical

6.   Do you like spicy food?     No

7.   Do you prefer savoury or sweet?     Savoury

8.   Do you prefer dogs or cats?     Dogs

9.   What type of shapes do you prefer?   curvy / straight   Straight

10. Do you like to go to bed early or late?     Late

Did you agree with my answers?

When I did this short questionnaire with a group of women last month no-one agreed completely with my answers in fact not many of the ladies could find someone else in the group who were very similar in their answers (even though quite a few of these questions only had a choice of 2 answers).

Different Answers!


Because we are all unique.


We will not all agree on what is beautiful.

We all have our different preferences and likes and dislikes.

Sayings about Beauty     

Have you heard these sayings over the years?

You may have some other suggestions to add to this short list

a. Beauty of Creation - colours of the rainbow 

b. Beauty is only skin deep

c. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder

d. Beauty makes you smile 

e. She's a beautiful soul

f.  I don't know what he sees in her, she's no beauty!

(ok this last one may be a Northern Ireland saying)

But leading on from these sayings let me tell you:

The Story of my face when Fred told me he loved me. 


At a youth camp I was fond of Fred and I thought from previous times that he may have been fond of me but I  thought there may have been someone else who was also fond of Fred!

But I had a very ugly and very large blistered patch on my cheek which everyone kept staring at. 

An ugly face which made other people stare at me but not Fred 

No idea if my face was going to be scarred for life, but that didn't stop him from loving me and telling me this at the end of the camp.

You can read more about this in What a Face!

Being physically ugly did not stop Fred from loving me

This always encourages me because it helps me to remember that:

  • Being unsaved made us ugly in God's sight
  • God just could not have us in His family because of our sin.
  • However being unsaved didn't stop God from loving us
  • So He sent Jesus to be punished & die in our place to replace the ugly sin in our lives with forgiveness  

Being physically ugly does not stop God from loving me!

But what is the real Beauty that God sees?

What 10 things can we learn from the Bible about Beauty?

1.   Is there a difference between physical beauty and Godly beauty?     


1 Samuel 16 v 7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Proverbs 31 v 30

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.



2.   Can physical beauty be harmful?  Used wrongly?  Lead to sin? 



- lust  

2 Samuel 11 v 2

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.

- pride 

Esther 1 v 10-11

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. 

  - lies 

Genesis 12 v 10 - 13

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 

And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance.

Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 

Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” 

3.  Is physical beauty essential to becoming a Christian?

NO! beauty is never mentioned regarding salvation

Ephesians 2 v 4 - 5

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)


4.   How do we become beautiful in God's eyes?   

   Our beauty starts in our salvation.

 1 Peter 3 v 3-4

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,  
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, 
the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,  
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts 
of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

God could not have us in His kingdom because of our sin which had nothing to do with our physical beauty
we had no Godly beauty because of sin in our lives before our salvation.

5.  How do we stay beautiful in God's eyes? 

By the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

2 Corinthians 3 v 18

 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.


6.  What should we be focused on? 

  The marvellous God who created us
the attributes of goodness
the true, noble, just, pure, lovely goodness of God  

Philippians 4 v 8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report, 
if there be any virtue and if there be any praise
think on these things.

7. What beauty are we to ultimately want to admire? 

The beauty of God

Psalm 27 v 4 

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in His temple

8.  Is Godly beauty essential to growth as a Christian? 


The clue is in the sentence - Godly beauty must be beauty that reflects God hence it must be godly in nature so must take on the attributes of God.  The more we get to know God the more we will be changed by Him and we cannot be changed by God unless we show His beauty to others which means we must have His beauty within us.

9.   What were we created for?  

Good works

Ephesians 2 v 10

For we are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.


10.   What did God see in His finished creation? 

A likeness of God

Genesis 1 v 27

So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God created he him;
male and female created he them

God created man in His image 

so this would indicate that mankind was beautiful to God


God did not look at all of creation and record it as beautiful, 

instead God clearly recorded it in the Bible as being GOOD!

Genesis 1 v 31

And God saw everything that He had made,
and, behold, it was very good.



In God's eyes everything He created was good.

And it is logical that whatever is good in God's eyes 
is beautiful to God.

So Godly Beauty is Goodness.

Distorted or Beautiful? - A Dose of Encouragement

Anyone who knows me personally or has read a lot of my blog posts will know that I absolutely adore my iPad
 (I wish they would pay me for saying that - I would be rich by now).

Also my family will know that I have far too many apps on my iPad (mostly free ones - I only get paid ones if I cannot find a free one which will do the job).

Well one of the apps I had downloaded one time ages ago was one to have a little fun with photos.  You loaded your photo into the app and then you could get a black and white sketch of a funny kind of outline of the photo.

I played with it once some time in 2012 and just used two photos that I found; quickly one of each of our boys many years ago when they were young. My husband had scanned some negatives and I had those pictures on the ipad so they were handy to use.

 (I can hear our daughter now saying "what about one of me?" 
- she always claims that being the third child was so unfair because we didn't take as many photographs of her as a baby as we did of the boys.)

These are the results of those two experiments

Faces stretched and pulled into strange shapes ending up with a kind of a caricature of each of the boys.  It provided me with a bit of a laugh and then shortly afterwards the pics were transferred to the computer and forgotten about.
In fact it took me quite a while to find them today.

Have you ever had a picture just pop into your mind?

Well you can probably imagine my surprise when suddenly these two pictures popped into my mind during a prayer meeting at church a few weeks ago.  I saw them clearly in my mind's eye and thought this was very strange.

Then God impressed a phrase on me

"I do not distort things I make them more beautiful"

Two of the words in that sentence really stood out to me.

"Distorted"  and  "more"

It was good enough, I felt, that God was telling me or reminding me that He does not distort things - that is the work of the devil.

And it was even better that He was reminding me that He makes things beautiful.

But the thing I felt that was being stressed was the fact that He makes things MORE beautiful.

Perhaps we need to take heed of Psalm 90:17

Now this only shows the first part of the verse but I think it is important that we also consider the next part

And establish the work of our hands for us;

Yes, establish the work of our hands.

God is not making us beautiful so that we can bask in our beauty, He is making us beautiful so that we can work for Him.

With the beauty of God upon us we will be more like Him in all ways filling us with His Holy Spirit and bringing forth the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  Our minds, attitudes and feelings will be more aligned to God's and ultimately this will help us to reach others for Him

So can we sit back and just think for a little while today about how we as children of God are not distorted but are made more beautiful by God?

I'm thankful to have a God who can make things MORE beautiful.

Do you want to thank God that He makes us more beautiful than we can imagine?
I do.

What a Face! - A Dose of Encouragement

Having grown up (as some would have described me) as a Tomboy; I made it into my teens not too conscious of my looks or interested in make-up.

Then when I was 14 I met a boy!

    And I didn't change.

I met him at a youth meeting and decided he was the guy for me.
(There really is a bit more to it than that but that might be for a different story sometime).

 I didn't go to the youth meeting all the time but we got to know each other a little as friends over the next 2 years.  There were things I wanted to know more about from the Bible and he was the one I talked to.

Two years after we met there was a Summer Youth Camp for a week and I wanted to go.
My problem was the week before it I was going to be on a School trip to France arriving back into Belfast on the day the camp started in Bangor.  The Pastor of the church which ran the youth group approached my parents and asked if it would be ok with them for him to meet me off the boat in Belfast and take me to the camp and they agreed.  I was delighted and even though I had been promised for a few years that I could go on this trip in my 5th year at the grammer school I was now looking forward more to the camp than to the trip to France.

While on the school trip I found I had a little blister forming on my cheek but just thought it would be ok. By the time I arrived at the youth camp I was greeted with remarks about how I really should go to the chemist and get something for my face but it was Saturday evening and they weren't open.  By the time it got to Monday morning the blister had spread up my cheek and was not very nice looking.  Walking me along to the chemist were two of my girl friends and this guy I liked, but when I got there I just didn't want to go in.  I dreaded the thought of anyone touching this cheek and even though they tried to persuade me several times I would not go.

It got bigger and bigger and when I think back now I can't believe anyone would have wanted to be near me at all as it could have looked as if I was contagious with something.

Towards the end of the week this blister thing was quite a sight to see and was rather ugly.  I was not looking at myself all day so I didn't have to see the ugliness but others did.

Then there was the day that we all went to walk up Slieve Donard the highest mountain in the Mournes (I believe).  There was a bunch of us who got lost and headed the wrong way but had a laugh anyway.  I'm not sure that everyone else would have been too happy had there been any accidents; as I was carrying the First Aid Kit.

Well who was I sitting beside in the car on the way home?
You've guessed it, that guy I liked.

Well I sort of (cough, cough) fell asleep on the way home and whose shoulder was conveniently there for my head to slip down unto?
You've guessed it, that guy I liked.

All during that week I was in his company a lot but never alone, always with other friends.  Then the last night of the camp we did get the chance to be on our own for a very short time during which he told me he loved me.  Quick work for the quiet lad everyone thought he was.

When I arrived home my parents were startled to see the "thing" on my face.
The doctor was called immediately and he did a home visit.
Apparently I had caught a virus while sunbathing in France and it had caused my skin to develop several small blisters as it burnt and these then turned into a horrible scab.  I was prescribed an ointment which was very effective and the scab seemed to dissolve and most of it just slid down off my face.  My family were relieved that my face cleared up very quickly with no scars, while I was relieved that there was not as much pain as I had feared.  This virus still lies dormant under my skin and flares up now and again.

When I would think back to that time and tell our kids the story of how daddy told mummy he loved her before they even went on a date together; the main thing in my mind would always be that this was our special story.  But one thing that my sister had said to me all those years ago always made it more special to me in particular.  She said

She told me that she couldn't understand how I came back from camp with a boyfriend when I looked the way I did.

Later when I asked Fred (the guy I liked) why he hadn't been put off by my ugly face, he just told me that he thought I was beautiful and that something on my face didn't change his mind.

So you see all these years I have been very happy and extremely thankful that Fred loved me when I was looking ghastly and I never would have thought I was beautiful.  He wasn't attracted by my looks,  he was attracted to me, the person I was.

Maybe I should explain that 4 years after this camp I married Fred and we have now been married for 36 years.

Even as the years have passed and I have not thought myself to be pretty, Fred has often told me that I am Beautiful.  That has always helped me to feel special.  This is just one of the reasons I still love my husband.

A lot of the attributes of God are hard for us to see, or to understand because we think as humans but He is God.  When I experience the love Fred has for me and how he sees me it helps me to see how God can love me and see me as beautiful just the way I am even though I am far from perfect for which I can never cease to be thankful.

Do you know that God wants you to know that you are beautiful?

Do you know that God loves you?