This morning, I had a very short conversation with my fellow bloggers at P.S.A. and our chat came across the topic of someone being a “headturner”. A headturner, in my own definition, is someone who is attractive and appealing that people tend to look towards him/her.
As a woman, I have this secret, default tendency to appreciate people who notice me. It is flattering indeed to know that someone notices my hair, my dress or simply my smile. But this craving for attention can lead me into something dangerous in the end. Because when all these attention and appreciation of the physical is gone, how and where will I seek my beauty, identity and worth?
The Bible already warned us of this in Proverbs 6:25: Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes. There is nothing wrong with physical beauty itself. But we have to remember that our heart is deceitful above everything else. And our hearts feed on what it sees on the outside. So we must be cautious on where our eyes lust after. It is also a warning specifically for men. Since men are naturally visual people, they are more prone to be victims of this lust of the eyes.
How then should I seek my own beauty, identity and worth? It is a good thing that the Word of God does not leave us empty-handed when it comes to concepts as these. Let me encourage you through few, specific verses that might answer our question:
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:9-10 NIV)
Beauty is not only physical. Women who know their identity and worth in Jesus Christ are the most beautiful women I have ever met. They are the women who are freed from the craving to be noticed for their physical attributes. They are the women who are not so much bothered by the fashion trends or make up styles. I am not saying that these fashion styles are bad in itself but I am emphasizing the source of beauty. Fashion trends change. But the beauty that comes from a deeper source is eternal.
Beauty can be found in the folds of modesty. In 1 Corinthians 6, we see an exhortation about our physical bodies as the temples of the Holy Spirit. It spoke of how our bodies are one form of our spiritual worship when we honor God through our bodies. Thus, modesty in presenting ourselves, particularly ladies, is one way of honoring God. Also, we also have an obligation to our brothers in Christ by not allowing our clothing and appearance make them stumble or lust after us (1 Corintihians 10). The way we dress and present ourselves should not put anyone in a dire position to be tempted or sin.
Beauty is found in service. In 1 Timothy, we saw how it was told of us that good deeds are more proper adornment for women than jewelries. Truly, it is the women who find themselves in the service for God and for others are the most beautiful. They radiate in themselves a kind of deeper sense of identity and worth that far exudes beauty from the inside. These are the women who walk in the center of God’s will by submitting themselves for service as their worship to Jesus. Whenever I think of acts of service, I think of women such as Ruth, Martha and Priscilla. These women of the Bible served with the talents and gifts their hands have. And they exude beauty from the inside and became rewarded for it.
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. (1 Timothy 2:11 NIV)
Beauty can be seen in a gentle and quiet spirit. It is natural for women to talk and nag. It is also natural for women to express in not so positive ways their thoughts and worries. And so, we, women, are called to be gentle and quiet in our spirit. This is easier said than done, of course, but when we are walking with the Lord and pursuing the heart of Jesus, we cannot help but to rest in His love. A beautiful woman is rested in God’s Presence. A gentle and quiet spirit manifests in a heart that trusts God and seeks His will. They are the women who prays in times of joy and trouble. A gentle and quiet spirit also manifests in lips that is fully controlled by the Holy Spirit. From our lips should come praises to our Lord Jesus (Psalm 34:1; Hebrews 13:15) and not words that kill and destroy people, especially the men in our lives (Colossians 3:8).
Beauty can be found in godly submission. Submission is not only a call for action directed to wives but for all of us singles as well. In every season of our lives, we have every unique form of authority over us. It can be our parents, our church leaders, spiritual parents, employers and the government. The way we submit to these authorities on earth that can be seen reflect how we submit to our God in heaven who is unseen. Beauty is found in obedience.
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:10-29 NIV)
Beauty is found in being trustworthy. Nothing beats a woman on whom you can be confident to share your heart with. You know she is a keeper when she has integrity. Her beauty shines all the more in her being trustworthy enough. Her friends love and confide in her. Her man will not hesitate to pour his heart out with her.
Beauty is not found in idleness. Laziness makes one ugly. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she sets out to do whatever her hands find to do. She does things with all her might. She does not keep her mind idle on things that are futile and meaningless.
Beauty is found in the blooms of a woman’s talents that were planted. As a cliché saying goes, bloom where you are planted. Every one of us were given seeds (talents and gifts). It is up to us if we will choose to cultivate the soil of our hearts, dig a deep hole and plant these seeds. Beautiful women are passionate in what they do. Be it art, social works or being a good housewife, let your talents bloom into a beautiful garden to glorify God.
A beautiful woman is wise. She discerns what is the wise thing to do because of the Spit of God working in her life. She carefully plans her actions and do not immediately jump onto conclusions and decisions. She does not depend her decisions on the spur of emotions.
Beauty is found in strength. Strength is not only seen in the physical constraints of her body but is clearly magnified in her emotions. A beautiful woman is strong enough to express herself and strong enough to admit her own weaknesses. A beautiful woman is strong enough to extend help in her own possible way and strong enough to ask for help. A beautiful woman has her strength coming from the Lord (Philippians 4:13).
There is beauty in a compassionate heart. The softest hearts are the strongest hearts. Beautiful women have compassion for the lost and the poor. They give away their hearts through service and love. They point people to Jesus.
Beauty equates generosity. A generous heart is beautiful beyond compare. A woman who shares not only her heart but also her time and resources is beautiful. Her identity is rooted in Christ as the Giver of Life and everything that she has.
A beautiful woman is a good household manager. As women, we are called to manage our household well. We must try our best to learn at least how to cook for ourselves first (then for our future families), clean the house and do household chores. We must also be good stewards of our time and money.
A beautiful woman is respectful. She respects the people she is surrounded with, be it an authority figure, her co-equal or a someone subordinate to her. She knows that despite our differing ranks in society and in other aspects, we are all seen equal in God’s eyes. She respects through her speech and her actions. Her choices and decisions respect the boundaries set to her by God.
Beauty can be found in a resonating laughter and cheerful heart. As they say, smile is the cheapest accessory that a woman can wear. A woman’s cheerfulness and joy radiates in a room of gloomy people that everyone can’t help but be happy as well. Her joy is contagious. Her presence gives warmth to the people she loves.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)
I desire to be a desirable woman of God. I desire to be someone who will be more than a headturner.
I want to be a “heart turner.” I want to be the woman who can make people turn to Jesus because of what is inside my heart. I want my inner beauty to radiate Jesus full well. More than that, I wish to be pursued (if there is “The One” for me) by someone who took notice of me not only because of my physical attributes, but because of the beauty of my heart.
It is funny that when I ask God in prayer what I should look for in a man to marry someday, God seemed silent. But when I ask Him of how I should be a woman worth pursuing, the pages of Scripture suddenly come to life.
Be a heart turner, my dear ladies! You are beautiful! Cultivate it!
Hoping I turned your hearts,