I remember when I was about 17 years old, we had a youth group come and sing in our church for a special program. Of course, all the guys were checking out the girls on stage and I saw one that was beautiful. Afterward we took them out to eat at a local pizza place and they let some of their youth ride in cars with some of our youth. I made a beeline for the girl I had been eyeing, only to find out she was a Miss Teen Tennessee. (no wonder she was beautiful) She and two of her friends rode in my car and I was thinking, “she is so good looking.” And she was really pretty until she started talking….. The girl I had been so wanting to get to know turned from a lovely young lady into an egotistical, self centered, snob. In the ten minute drive from our church to the pizza place, she went from a 10 to a 2(maybe). It was all because of who she was and not how she looked anymore. When we came in the door of the pizza place all my buds gave me a big thumbs up and I just nodded. I let the girls get their place at a table and turned and walked off. One of them said, “aren’t you going to sit with us?” I just ignored her went to my friends table and put my head in my hands. One of my friends said, “you better get over there before someone else moves in.” My reply, “knock yourself out.” The outside beauty was great, but it was nothing compared to the disastrous inside of the beauty queen. I learned a lot about life that night and it jarred me into reality. Reality that came up with the quote, “beauty is only skin deep.” Boy, was that ever true.
Which brings to mind the scripture in 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Wow, we like to avoid these verses if at all possible to keep the peace with each other. But, here goes. Paul specifically says two very important things in these verses. Number one. Beauty is only skin deep! Yep, there it is right there in scripture in verse 9. True beauty is seen in godliness, not trendiness. True beauty is seen through modesty, not gaudiness. True beauty is seen through being secure in who you are, not who you hope to look like. I am fortunate to be married to a woman whose rare beauty is on the inside and only compliments her outside beauty. I dated quite a few girls in my day and really fell head over heels for some of them, but those relationships pale in comparison to the relationship I have with my wife, Andra. Her inner qualities are a strength that God uses to bless everyone who comes in contact with her. But remember, it’s not about her, it’s about whose she is and how that is seen in her actions.
The second thing Paul says it that women should not be over men in teaching and authority. They should remain quiet as is their role. Boy, if Paul was preaching today our modern media would have a field day by trying to tear him apart. They would call him a curse for all womankind! I beg to differ…I believe Paul is making a relevant point about the scope of things and how they line up. I think we will all agree that women have a special kind of discernment that is settling and helpful. Most people who have that gift and use it are thinkers, not talkers. If talking and action were to have a fight for credibility, action would win every time. The great strength of women is not in what they say, but in what they do. Their constant example of strength and wisdom is more seen than heard. If a lady thinks she is less than a man because she lets him talk, then she has lost sight of the very strength she has been given by God. That strength is completion. From the beginning of time God enabled women to complete the picture he has for life and happiness. They are the piece of the puzzle that men cannot live without. When I say live, I mean LIVE!! I am alive because my mother gave birth to me. I am complete in my course of life because my wife gave herself to me. I am the best I can be because of the women in my life. Enough said.
Paul’s challenge to all women was to continue in faith and love as examples we all draw strength from as believers. Women set the standard for loving hearts and faithful companions again and again. To lessen that role is to take a big chunk out of God’s plan for true happiness.
Tough scripture, but a very helpful one to remind all of us that a woman’s role in any area of life is one of foundational faith and strong love. May we all give them their due and may all women never back away from the strong place God has put them in life itself. Is it about the outward appearance? That fades! Is it about what someone says? We forget those words! Is it about who a person is? The depth of character is always proven through action and there are no better examples than the women of our lives. That is where true beauty is found.
The Pilgrimage continues…..