The Lie Of Beauty

Judges 14:1, 3, “Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines… But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me, for she looks good to me.’

I’m glad I’m not a woman. Now please, hear me out before you start firing off those angry emails. I honestly don’t mean that in a sexist or misogynist way. If anything, I am trying to sympathize, trying to show some empathy. I’m not saying I am an expert on women. (No rational man would dare make such a statement ;)) But I have been married, happily married I might add, to a woman for over 20 years. In addition, I am also the proud father of two teenage girls. So, in my opinion, I do have a little experience in the field in question. Okay. I think that I’ve dug the hole deep enough now. Maybe I should just get on to my point for today. Yeah, might be a good idea…

I don’t envy today’s women because of the unceasing, blatant media push to define beauty. Liposuction. Heavy makeup. Plastic surgery. Enhancements. Tummy tucks. Body sculpting. Rigorous diets. Washboard abs. Airbrushed photographs. Clothes? Perfect. Hair? Perfect. Body shape? Perfect. Everywhere you look. On every channel. On the cover of every magazine. Women are bombarded with a constant stream of the world’s definition of beauty. It’s truly unbelievable to me (not to mention entirely unrealistic). The Barbie dolls that my girls played with in their younger years have seemingly come to life before our very eyes. I mean, seriously? Am I the only one who looks at some of today’s top models and most popular celebrities and thinks, “Somebody buy that girl a sandwich!”

I find in interesting that in the first 7 verses of Judges 14 we discover a definite emphasis on Samson’s basis for marriage. 4 times the text refers to Samson seeing a woman and communicating to his parents that, “she looked good.” The thing that makes it even more telling is that the same passage only mentions that he actually spoke with her once. But hey, I’m not telling you ladies anything you don’t already know to be true. Many men are driven by visual stimuli. A woman’s appearance has incredible impact upon a man. And that is what makes our current culture’s misguided conception of beauty so damaging.

First of all, ladies, you need to be aware that there will always be some men like Samson. Samson couldn’t care less that the woman was a Philistine, i.e. an enemy of the people of God. Her faith meant nothing to him. Their religious differences? He didn’t give them a second thought. He saw her. She looked good to him. End of discussion. For some men godly character means nothing. For that type of man breasts will always trump brains. Sadly, for such men it’s all about an appearance, one that ultimately is deceptive and fleeting. Ladies, if I could give you one word of counsel, it would be this… STOP WASTING YOUR TIME TRYING TO IMPRESS THAT TYPE OF GUY!!! I’m not saying it will be easy. But honestly? You deserve better. If his sole attraction to you is based on your appearance, the “love” that he professes will eventually be turned toward another.

Secondly, I want to tell any and every woman reading this today that you are beautiful. God created you. God lovingly designed you. You are His treasure. You are His unique masterpiece. And last time I checked, the Bible declares that all that He does is good. Stop measuring yourself with the broken standards that come from a lost and dying world. Stop believing the lies that Hollywood and Madison Avenue keep trying to stuff down your throats. Real beauty doesn’t come from a bottle. Real beauty isn’t applied with a brush. Want to see God’s idea of beautiful? Go look in the mirror. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!

Finally, I would like say to the men who are reading this note today, raise your standards and stop selling yourself short. Samson’s marriage to the that hot Philistine chick? Didn’t last. In fact, it turned out real bad for Samson. In time she ended up with one of Samson’s friends. (Hey, I’m not making this up. True story. Look at the rest of the chapter if you don’t believe.) Beauty can be a lie. It has a way of blinding you to a woman’s true nature and character. Samson saw only the woman’s looks and chose to overlook the real issues in her life. She was not a woman of faith. She was not a woman of character. By the end of the story Samson found himself angry and alone because he had bought the lie of beauty.

True beauty is something far different from what People magazine celebrates in its annual “50 Most Beautiful People” issue. True beauty comes from awareness. It’s a recognition that you are a daughter of God, that you were made in His image. Beauty is kindness. Beauty is grace. Beauty is purity. Beauty is godly character. Ladies, that’s the only standard you should seek to satisfy. And men? That’s the only woman you should really ever chase.