Monday, August 15, 2011

Do you really want to be beautiful, sister?

I got to wondering the other day about all the women in the Bible who are noted for their beauty. (This thought was triggered by a statement Tim made while preaching about Ruth, that the text never tells us anything about her looks and that she might have been quite frumpy.)

My wondering was along the lines of this: is it really a good thing to be a “looker?”  A quick think through my Bible revealed that other than the daughters of Job, and the bride of Song of Solomon, good looks can get you into more trouble than triumph.

Consider these beautiful women. In each case, their beauty is in some way linked to the unfortunate things that happened to them.

Sarah – sent off by her husband to a foreigner’s harem (twice!)
Rebekah – sent off to another harem then lived in a dysfunctional family
Rachel – spent many years barren
Philisitine woman of Timnah married to Samson – 30 men were killed in her town and fields burned outside of it and then she was murdered by her own people
Abigail – her husband dropped dead
Bathsheba – she was lured into adultery, became pregnant, got her husband murdered and lost her illegitmate child
Tamar the daughter of David – raped by her half-brother
Abishag the Shunamite – was chosen to lie in bed with an old and dying King David to keep him warm
Esther – trotted off to a harem and then made queen to something of a crazed despot

All that to say, the Bible does not suggest that beautiful women get an easier life. If being esteemed as gorgeous or desirable or pretty is what you are seeking, you may want to give that goal a second look!

1. Obviously, being ugly or unkempt is not a virtue.
2. Including Abigail in my list is likely the most tenuous.
3. I am not trying to say that being pretty is a sin. I just found it interesting to think through that list of names and see that being attractive in the eyes of the world may lead to more problems than it solves.
4. None of us are truly beautiful when it comes right down to it. Sin is ugly and before the only eyes that matter we are dead and lost. Jesus died for sinners though, and that makes all of us who have repented and believed on Him attractive (male and female) to the Lord. And that is what really matters.