I am blessed to live in the Wairarapa. In our neck of the woods it is always sunny and warm and the summer goes on forever. What is especially distinctive about our lives here is the hills. Not only the view of the sunrise as it illuminates the peaks, nor is it just the sunset as the reddish glow plays on the various slopes and valleys. It is also the view from the tops. Looking down from those peaks is something I can’t help but say is beautiful. With views like that it’s always nice to have a psalm handy to whisper in praise of the creator.

While the Bible does give us words to speak in the face of immense beauty, does it speak about beauty itself? Is beauty something that God cares about, and is it something that we should look for in our Christian lives? That’s what we are going to explore.

Beautiful people

When we think of the way the Bible thinks about beauty, most of us probably will naturally gravitate to the ways that God speaks of external human beauty in a negative way. Perhaps we thought of Proverbs 31:30 which says “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” In this passage we have come to the end of the words of Lemuel’s mother to him about a woman who is to be sought. She gives a lengthy description of the woman of excellence (eg Ruth 3:11) and all the characteristics that will be found in such a woman.

What is notable in this passage, however, is that it is not a diatribe against beauty itself, as if the godly woman can’t be beautiful! Beauty here is described as something which can lead someone (Lemuel in this case) to choose a woman who is not godly, if beauty is the main or sole factor he looks for in a wife.

Paul speaks in a similar way in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestl