What Is Beautiful To God?

{By Samantha Roose}

beautifultoGod

Being a girl I have always wrestled with the topic of beauty.

But these past few weeks I have been wondering, what does God think is beautiful? So I asked Him. This is the journey He led me on:

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

From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.

Psalm 50:2

God is beautiful. Therefore, since we are made in God’s image (Gen 1:26) we are beautiful. The verse continues to reveal that the desire of the Psalmist is to reside in the temple of the Lord so that He can constantly view God’s beauty. According to 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, we are the temple of God. As the temple of God we need to display the Lord’s beauty to others.

As I continued pondering being a temple I asked myself, what is a temple?

A temple is a place where individuals can come to worship undistracted. Temples are sacred and set aside for the purpose of a deity. Often inside and outside temples are adorned and ornate. Temples are taken care of and not in shambles. Temples are committed to presenting the power of their divine being to others.

Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.

Psalm 45:10-11

One of my favorite verses confirms that beauty is intriguing, delightful, and attractive. But in the same verse we are directed to honor God with our beauty by giving it and committing it completely to God.

…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.

Isaiah 61:3

If God is bestowing a crown of beauty then beauty is a good thing. So, what goes along with beauty?  Joy and praise. Finally, all these things add up to display the Lord’s splendor.

This is how we need to approach beauty: an opportunity to display God’s splendor. We are not to sell or degrade our beauty. Instead, like a masterpiece is majestically framed to enhance its beauty, we are to dress gloriously to highlight the splendor of the Lord who is in us. We are supposed to be a temple who is entirely committed to presenting the Lord to others through our appearance and responses.

In an allegory God finds Israel as a discarded infant and cares for her. As she grows he lavishly provides for her every needs giving her fine clothes, jewelry, and sumptuous food. Then He says:

…the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect…

Ezekiel 16:14(b)

I believe He is saying here that the clothes He had given her did not cover up the beauty.  Instead they completed it, enhanced it, and magnified it.  Grieving He says:

But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute…you degraded your beauty offering your body with increasing promiscuity to anyone who passed by.

Taken from Ezekiel 16:15-25

First Israel trusted in the beauty that God had bestowed upon her. Then she offered it to others. The gift God had delighted in giving her she gave to others. Obviously, she gave her body in prostitution but we can also offer our bodies subtly in the way we walk, talk, and dress. Beauty is dangerous when we trust in it and use it to our own means like Israel or security like Tyre and Lebanon (Ezekiel 27, 28, 31). When we do not care for beauty and offer it to just anyone we degrade it. Using beauty selfishly steels its value. However, when beauty is used selflessly for the glory of God – as it was intended – to display His splendor, it is powerful!

Your beauty should not [only] 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.

1 Peter 3:3-4

I think only can be added to this verse because God clearly enhances Israel’s beauty with finery in Ezekiel 16.  However, an outwardly beautiful woman, who lacks unfading beauty, is only beautiful until she throws a temper tantrum or uses her beauty for her own gain. On the other hand, a plain woman is thought beautiful even if she only possess joy and unfading beauty. Any finery she might wear only goes to enhance her inner beauty and display the splendor of God.

So, what does God think is beautiful?

Displaying God’s splendor by cultivation unfading beauty and enhancing it through outward ornament is beautiful to God. It’s not the size of the person, height, color of our eyes, number of freckles, or even a good fashion sense.

God recognizes beauty when we commit our whole selves to Him and seek to show others His glory.

what does God think is beautiful

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