Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Woman's Antidote to Aging

Given that we live in a world of continual physical decay, aging is something that all women eventually have to face, and something that many of them fear and fight to avoid. For a short period of time (from 16-26), a girl can enjoy looking her best, but from that point on, it's a downward trend. Even with an excellent diet and exercise routine, time is an unpreventable thief that steals her beauty continually. Five years later, she lacks the same beauty and luster that she once had. Fifteen years later, her body has deteriorated even further and her complexion has begun to lose its softness. Twenty-five years later, she already retains only a fraction of what beauty she may once have had. Time is never merciful. For those women who place much confidence in their physical appearance, aging is one of the very worst things that can possibly happen to them.

However, there is something that can make a woman more beautiful over time, even as her physical appearance fades with the passing years. This realization struck me just a few days ago. On Sunday morning, I arrived at church quite a bit early and seated myself in an empty row near the front. A few minutes later an elderly lady in her late 70's, accompanied by her husband, seated herself next to me. Physically, she wasn't much to look at. She wore a simple blue dress and a cute hat on her head. She didn't wear any makeup, and her face had plenty of wrinkles. But her face, wrinkled as it was, had a sort of sweetness and serenity written on it. Just to make small talk, I wished her a happy new year, and asked how she was enjoying 2010 so far. Her reply was one that was filled with so much gratitude, peace and joy. She told me how thankful she was that God had given her another glorious year of life. We just talked briefly, since the sermon began not long after, but I had the most unexpected realization as I was talking to her. While physically, there was nothing especially impressive about her, as I heard her speak, I began to see her as beautiful--she had such a sweet spirit, such a heart filled with love for God, such a graciousness of manner, and such a presense of mind. Old as she was, I could sense so much life and beauty in her soul.

This is the Biblical antidote to the aging process. In his first epistle, Peter writes to women, "Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel--rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (1 Peter 3:3-4) Peter speaks directly to the deep desire of women to be beautiful. Aging is inevitable and unavoidable. A woman will, without fail, become less physically beautiful over time. However, inner beauty is something that is not subject to physical decay. Inner beauty, stemming from the soul of a righteous, gentle and peaceable woman, is something that is thoroughly incorruptible. A physically beautiful woman is certainly glorious to behold. However, physical beauty is something that is primarily a matter of good genes--it's a tribute to God and to a woman's parents, but not to a woman herself. Inner beauty of the soul, contrarily, is something that is not innate and is not solely a matter of genes. A woman who has cultivated an inner beauty has something that will not fade, and that is a tribute both to her effort and to God's glorious work in her heart. That is something to be proud of!

As such, though it is certainly good for women to dress well and enjoy their physical beauty, especially when young, cultivating an inner beauty of the soul is a necessary pursuit for any woman who wishes to retain her beauty or become more beautiful over time. A heart that is full of love, compassion, care, generosity, peace, mercy, and gratefulness is a beautiful heart. Strangely enough, such a heart even noticably preserves physical beauty as well. And that is what I saw when I spoke with Edna on Sunday. Time had stolen all the beauty it could from her, and yet she was still beautiful. When the worship band played their songs, she raised her voice in song and raised her hands in love for God. Her love for God, her love for people, her love for music, and her appreciation of life were unmistakable. She was beautiful!


  1. What a beautiful post!

    I have noticed this myself.

  2. Beautiful.

    That indefinable quality of serenity and self-acceptance does not spring from a void. Its roots begin taking hold from a very young age when the woman is a young girl.

    Is that even possible now given today's consumerist, artificial culture?

  3. This post makes me sick. To say that for a woman's spirit to be beautiful means that she must be "gentle”,” peaceful" and "sweet" is ridiculous. A woman can be spontaneous, intelligent, and speak her mind when ever she wishes. She can be out going, and the life of the party. And from a past post on this site... forget that for most women to be happy they must be submissive to their husbands. Matriarchal societies existed before patriarchal societies did. Woman use to be buried in the center of the house with golds, and fine linen, while men were buried outside in the backyard with the children.
    The only reason why patriarchal societies grew was because, like in Mesopotamia where it is believed that patriarchal societies began and spread to other civilizations like Greece when conquered by Mesopotamia's soldiers), a few men decided that they needed to control woman to make sure that they knew if a child was born it was theirs and not another man's. But how do you do this? How does one control his wife you ask? We all know how. We see it everyday, in almost ever culture now. ...By men, re writing the laws, and making it so that woman's head's and bodies are covered in clothing while men and still stroll down the streets in nothing but shorts. Woman's bedrooms started being built upstairs and far away from the front doors where visitors (other men) would come through. You can still find many houses that were built like this in Mesopotamia. In ancient Greece, there were paintings of woman that were dressed in fine linen holding the position of authority more than their husband's painted beside them. In Greece, woman and men were equal or if anything, woman had a slightly higher status. Men just became insecure one day and decided things should be different. You can still find many scriptures stating that many men at the time when laws started to change women's roles in life, were against it. They did not want to make the person they loved change and down play who they are. Those men were killed or were died along with their families because the dictators that took over with violence made it so that whichever men and women that revolted against the movement, would loose any means of obtaining money, food, housing ect.
    It is so sad, that you, Silas Reinagel, believe that men are meant to be the dominators and the leaders in the world while women must remain submissive and just watchers of the men who are the doers..... RIDICULOUS! Expand your mind, and try to think past the things that you read in book that was written long after the human race EVOLVED into existence. A book that was made telling about one God who is a man, and a book that was written after many other stories telling of Gods and Goddesses which thousands believed with their whole being existed. Who is to say that your God in the bible is the right one, and all the other God's of other religions that even exist today are not? Isn't it funny how millions believe in one religion, why millions of others believe in a whole different religion? Doesn't that make you think, "Hm, maybe I'm wrong?" And second, how is it even LOGICAL to think that your God is the true one, and so everything written in a book called the bible (that please don't forget was written by men as well; HUMAN men.. human being key word not "this" God "him"self) is right. Don't be so foolish to believe that, well, just because the bible says so, it must be true. What a joke! What stupidity.
    You’re just falling into a norm that unfortunately has been around for thousands of years. You just believe in another religion that will come, and it will go like many before it, and many after it.
    The story of life is that NO ONE knows the answers to the eternal questions, "Why are we here? How did life itself begin? What is the meaning?"

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