Friday, November 2, 2012

Beauty On The Inside

'The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness....
that they may teach the young women
to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children..."
Titus 3:3,4
(KJV)

A Virtuous Woman Series - Part 5 of 8

(If you wish, to better understand this study, please read
Part 1,
Part 2,
Part 3, &
Part 4
of the Virtuous Woman series first.)


Is there an older woman whom you truly admire?
Someone you respect and look up to and long to emulate?
Think hard.
I hope there is someone coming to your mind
who would fill this description.
A lady...
who has lived much longer than you....
someone you have studied...
and decided after observation that you would really
like to replicate.

Have you thought of someone yet?

Now, I'd like to ask you a question.
Why do you respect her so much?
What is it about her that creates a yearning
within you to be like her?

Is it the wrinkles....
the lines of age that now run deep
across her once-smooth, flawless complexion?
Is it the dull gray that has replaced the vibrancy in her hair?
Is it the stoop you see in her shoulders?
The sagging of her skin?
The age spots that are so prevalent...
on her face, her arms, her neck?
Is it the drooping posture of her spine
that once stood stick-straight?
Is it the extra weight she carries...
or the lack of....
on what was formerly an hourglass figure?

More than likely,
the answer you would give to all of the above
would be an unhesitating "no".
Chances are your reasons for respecting,
looking up to,
and admiring the woman you thought of...
is not due to her outward appearance at all.

Without question, the reason for your admiration,
goes so much deeper than that.

There is a little 82 year old woman whom I admire and respect
beyond my ability to put into words.
Her outward body is becoming increasingly frail.
Each time I see her, the deep-seated anxiety I harbor over losing her
becomes more and more pronounced.
I have known her for over 26 years,
and during that time,
my respect for her has steadily and consistently grown....
and deepened.

I love her so dearly,
and I owe her so much.

She is the one who bore and raised the man I love more than life.
Without her kind, gentle, caring touch...
without her heart....
being poured into his life,
he would not be the man who fulfills my dreams...
and makes my life complete.

She is the one who calls me "daughter",
and chooses to discard "in-law".
She is virtuous...
to the core of her being.
I have no doubt.


I admire her inner fortitude more than words could ever express.

She has earned every, single line upon her sweet face.
She still cries when she tells me about
the day her 10 month old baby girl
left this world to be with Jesus.
She has literally lived through fire and flood,
losing beloved, precious possessions in both.
She suffered greatly in her first marriage
 from the hands of an alcoholic, abusive husband.
She said good-bye to both parents,
her baby girl,
siblings,
and many other loved ones and dear friends.

Her frail, little body endures indescribable pain...
every day of her life.
Yet, she pushes on...
cares for a husband who is becoming steadily less capable of caring for himself,
constantly reaches her hands to help all who need it,
cooks innumerable meals for those who are hungry,
gives of herself, literally,
until she is completely worn out and can give no more.

Through all of life's heartaches,
her love for Jesus has never wavered.
She has never allowed herself
the luxury of bitterness towards God, her Maker.

The other day,
we looked at pictures together....
taken back when she was young.

Kevin and I told her how beautiful she was in the pictures....
and we reminded her how beautiful she is today.
For though her appearance now is vastly different from the
pictures of the lovely, young, vibrant woman with the charming smile,
her heart....
her spirit....
is forever the same.
She has become more gracious...
more virtuous....
more beautiful....
 with age.


She is humble and giving and kind and selfless,
 and she has the heart of a servant.
If I had to choose,
those are probably the attributes...
 among so many....
that I admire about her the most.

There is so much more to a person than what we see on the outside.
There is a spirit deep inside...
that is governed by one of two compelling forces....
either good or evil.

We are multi-layered beings.
It is what lies within our inner core....
our spirit....
that matters most to God.

If a woman is virtuous...
in her heart....
her life will prove it.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:34,
"...out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

Eyes are the windows to one's soul.
So much is conveyed through them.
Whatever is inside will shine through.
It will be communicated through our actions,
our speech,
our demeanor,
our body language,
and the way we carry ourselves.
It is automatic.

As women, we are under so much pressure.
To look a certain way...
to weigh a certain weight...
to conform to standards set by those of a worldly mindset.
But, such little emphasis is placed upon how we look to God...
upon the Biblical standards of beauty...
upon being beautiful in His sight...
on the inside.

None of us like or look forward to the outward signs of age.
We fight them off as long as possible.
We crave a youthful appearance,
and we do so much to maintain it.
We put so much emphasis upon
and money into preserving it.

I have known women who were far above average
as far as being outwardly beautiful,
but from whom no inward beauty flowed.

And I have known women who were far below average
as far as being outwardly beautiful,
but from whom radiant beauty continually streamed.

Beauty is as beauty does.
We can be ever so careful to create attraction on the outside,
but if our inward spirit is mean and ugly,
we will repel, not attract.
We can sink our every effort into staying pretty on the outside,
but we can only go so far...
do so much.
One day our outward beauty will take wings,
and we will stand powerless as it flies away.
Old age has a way of stealing it,
no matter how we try to fend off its unwelcome intrusion.

Do any of us have the power to perpetuate the beauty of youth...forever?
Wouldn't we be wiser to invest in the beauty that matters most?

I Peter 3:4 paints a clear picture of what God seeks in
the heart of a woman.
"even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,
which is in the sight of God of great price."

This is the quality...
the virtue...
that God seeks....
in you and in me.

The Proverbs 31 virtuous woman is truly beautiful...
on the inside.
Isn't that what true beauty is?
Isn't that the place from which it springs forth?

"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."
Verse 25

She has an inward strength that shines through...
all of her layers,
and is displayed on the outside.
It comes from a deep-grounded faith in Almighty God....
in recognizing that He is the source of her courage...
her fortitude....
her strength.
She is honorable...
and honest....
and to be counted upon.
She knows that life is full of hardships.
That all is not rosy.
That strength gets tested.
And she realizes that weeping endures for the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
She looks at difficulties as passing,
not permanent.
She keeps a positive outlook
and reminds herself that hard times do not come to stay...
they come to pass.
If she cries today,
she knows the tears will dry,
and joy will follow sorrow.

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
Verse 26

She thinks before she speaks.
She doesn't find it imperative to spew every thought that enters her mind.
She considers her words...
and their timing...
before uttering them.
When tempted to lash out,
she waits...
until the heat of the moment is past...
and she is capable of redirecting her tone
to the path of kindness.
She reminds herself that life and death are in the power of her tongue;
hence, she speaks life...
and blessing...
and peace...
upon those who hear her words.

"Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."
Verse 29

She isn't content with fitting the mold of those who walk the path of least resistance.
She is driven by a relentless desire to be the best woman she can possibly be.
Though others have walked virtuously before her,
she is fully aware that their faithfulness does nothing
to release her from personal responsibility.
She is accountable for her own actions
and gives every endeavor her best effort.

"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain:  but a woman that feareth the Lord, 
she shall be praised.  
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
Verse 30, 31

She realizes that the accolades of others is unstable and undependable.
She can't afford to base her life on the fickle opinion of those who judge her.
She knows that outward beauty eventually fades
and is replaced by something far less desirable.
The fear of God is of utmost significance to her.
She has a vision of God's design,
and her constant goal is to achieve it.
His approval is the praise she seeks.
No matter what is said or done by those around her,
she knows God looks past the layers...
deep inside....
straight to the core of her heart...
and knowing that He is pleased with her
is the only affirmation she needs.

For truly, that spot, 
deep inside the heart of a Godly, virtuous woman,
is the well from which all true beauty flows.


6 comments:

  1. Enjoyed getting to 'know' you through your sweet blog...Your mom is a wonderful example. I want to be like her; because she is like our Savior! (Bless your dear Zach and hubby too) D.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving encouragement behind! I so appreciated your kind words! May the dear Lord bless you and your loved ones, also. Love, Cheryl

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  2. Thanks, this is so beautiful! I love it!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Rita! Your words warmed my heart. Have a blessed day in Him! Love, Cheryl

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  3. What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing at Tales of a Pee Dee Mama!

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    1. Thank you so much, Tamara! And thanks for the link-up allowing others to share their thoughts. God's peace be with you always. Love, Cheryl

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