Physical beauty is a glorious thing; the global cosmetics industry literally thrives on that understanding.
But glorious things can also be dangerous things, and that’s what the writer of Proverbs would like us to discern.
“That charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears The Lord is to be praised.” (Prov 31:30). So why exactly praise a woman who fears The Lord? Well,
He wants young men to have an understanding of beauty that goes beyond dimples, accent and complexion. (this can be an endless list) He wants them to realize what matters most when wrinkles eventually pop and a tooth goes missing.
If fleeting by definition means, “lasting for a very short time,” he wants young men to realize how you can be lied to, at face value, literally.
He also wants you to listen to the stories of women who were solely drawn in by the flirting guy only to realize years later, there was a lot worse about him, that his eloquence and pleasantness hid.
Alternatively, he wants you to listen to the stories of men who considered the mirror above the mind, and chemistry above character.
He also wants the young Christian women to ponder attraction beyond jewelry and braids, and consider the unfading beauty, “by which the women of old used to adorn themselves.” (1 Peter 3:5)
He wants Christian male conversations to focus on celebrating what remains after female bodies inevitably change. Similarly, He wants believing husbands to appreciate the one they chose rather than the one in the Instagram pose.
Charm and Beauty, according to the one who lives outside time, cannot only be taken at face value.
God wants us to realize how fleeting and deceptive both female and male posturing can turn out. And after we have done so, he wants us to consider heaping praising on a woman who fears the Lord, Instead.
We are already told how this “fear of The Lord” is the beginning of wisdom in Proverbs chapter 9:10, and now we have a choice to make, 9 chapters later.
It’s easy to take a beautiful woman for granted. What kind of woman will you praise?