I’m glad to see this request, for in our culture today we are bombarded with advertisements, TV shows, movies and other forms of media that give one the impression that “outside beauty” is what matters. According to 2 Corinthians 4:4 Satan is the, “god of this world,” and he uses this to cause people to concentrate on their “physical” looks instead of on their “spiritual” needs. We are told in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The world wants to “squeeze us into their mold” so that we all look and act the same. The Lord is more concerned with our minds and hearts; His desire is for us to be, as we see in Romans 8:29, “conformed to the image of His Son.”

In 1 Peter 3:1-4 the Apostle Peter is seeking to encourage believing wives with unsaved husbands. Does he tell them to go to a beauty salon and then buy a provocative dress in order to attract their husbands and hopefully win them to the Lord? No, he exhorts them, in verses 1-2, to “be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” It is NOT a women’s OUTWARD BEAUTY that will attract their unsaved husbands, but godly behavior that comes from INWARD BEAUTY! Verses 3-4 confirm this, for they say “Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (NASB). It is most precious when a woman displays the “quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,” for it is not only “precious in the sight of God,” but her husband will also be attracted to these virtues that reveal “the hidden person of the heart.” A woman with this inner beauty may well be praised, as Solomon declared in Proverbs 31:30, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”

This truth also applies to men, for they too can become obsessed with “outward beauty” instead of a godly character that comes from a heart that is in subjection to God. A striking example of this is found in 1 Samuel. You may recall that when the nation of Israel desired a king they chose a man named Saul. What qualities did Saul have that led the people to choose him to be their king? We have the answer in 1 Samuel 9:2, “And he had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people” (NASB). It seems Saul was chosen based solely on his “outward beauty.” How sad and tragic! It was sad that they would base their choice of one to occupy the throne on mere looks instead of character. And it was tragic because Saul’s character was ungodly and he proved to be unfit to rule and a tyrant to his people. Because of this God rejected Saul and removed him from the throne.

Later, when God sent Samuel to anoint a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, Samuel initially made the same mistake of looking on the outward beauty to determine which son he should anoint. The Lord quickly reproved him with these words in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” We learn the same lesson here that we did from 1 Peter 3; it is the “hidden person of the heart” that matters to God. If one has a godly heart, it is “precious in the sight of God.” We know that God’s choice was David. Listen to what is said of him in Acts 13:22, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” May we all take to heart this all-important lesson; it is the “inward beauty” that truly matters. If we are saved may it be our chief desire to be like David, to be a “man” or a “women” after God’s own heart. This is TRUE BEAUTY! (164.4) (DO)