What the Proverbs 31 Woman Taught Me About Beauty
Beauty can sometimes be an odd subject to talk about because it is said to be carnal and vain. But women are beautiful and biblical women seemed to care about their appearance. They seemed to enjoy making themselves look nice just like women do today.
In Proverbs 31 we see an incredibly strong and amazing woman. We all look up to her; We aspire to be like her.
In verse 22, we see that this woman does not neglect her appearance, but instead adorns herself in fine, beautiful clothing.
“She makes herself coverings of tapestry and her clothing is silk and purple.”
Silk and purple were fine materials.
In my last post about modesty, we discussed the message our clothing can send. The message the Proverbs 31 woman was sending was that she was a daughter of the Most High King. She looked good.
Isaiah 61:10 tells us that brides beautified themselves with jewelry. “…as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
A bride wants to look gorgeous for her groom on the wedding day and that’s a good thing. The desire to beautify oneself doesn’t have to die as soon as a couple ties the knot. Attraction is a big part of a healthy marriage. So often, men and women make an effort to look nice before marriage. Then once a partner is secured, give up.
In Ezekiel 16, there is description of how Yahweh cared for and loved Israel. He gave His bride beautiful things.
“I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. …” Ezekiel 16:10-12
It’s clear that biblical women were somewhat similar to modern women, accessorizing and beautifying themselves. But what about the verses that seem to condemn concern for outward appearance? Proverbs 31:30 and Timothy 2, for example. The scripture isn’t contradicting itself. There must be balance.
Going back to the Proverbs 31 wife, it says she clothed herself in beautiful silks but also in “strength and honor”. She made lovely things, but she also reached out to the poor. She was kind, wise, hardworking, and God-fearing.
Being beautiful is pointless and vain if it is all you aim to be. Back in Ezekiel 16, Israel became prideful about her beauty and her possessions. She trusted in them and loved them more than Yahweh. Pride and vanity led her to ruin.
As humans we judge the outward appearance. We say “she beautifies herself, therefore she is vain.” But God sees the inward. The Proverbs 31 wife is beautiful and elegant yes, but she is also compassionate and merciful.
Outward beauty is not bad. The women of the Bible did not neglect their appearance. The Proverbs 31 wife didn’t clothe herself with scraps and leftovers to prove that she was humble. She dressed like royalty because she was royalty.
We are daughters of the King.