Friday, January 13, 2012

#1 Proverbs 31:30 "You Look Maaah-velous!"

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

Ah.....New Year's resolutions. I've made them, so have you. This year, 2012, Randy and I have made one together: to go on a "healthy" diet, exercise more, and lose some weight.

Heard that one before? Yes, so have I. Only this time, I am the one making the resolution. I need to lost weight for my health? Maybe....but I have to admit, for a person my age, I am doing pretty well. I am probably only about 10 lbs. above my ideal weight. I don't have diabetes, heart or lung problems, I take no prescription medication, and my blood pressure is normal, as is my cholesterol.

So why go on this diet and exercise program? Simple: vanity.

I want to fit into this nice dress I bought a couple years ago, but never had the occasion to wear, until now. I don't want the world to see me and my middle-aged belly at a formal event. I am chasing after beauty...or the world's idea of beauty.

I stepped on the scale today for the first time in over 20 years. I was appalled. I never realized just how much weight I had gained over the past 10 years.

Proverbs 31 reminds me, however, that the Woman after God's Own Heart is not the supermodel. She's not the one with perfect skin, or the most fashionably dressed.

Yes, Proverbs 31 sets a high standard for women of God. She is hard-worker. A faithful and loving wife and mother. A shrewd businesswoman. A woman of respect and wisdom. A gracious and generous person. All these traits God says are more valuable than rubies.

I find it interesting that, at the end of such a description of a praiseworthy female, God knows to address the issue of physical beauty. After all, that is the primary trait for which womankind has been judged and valued throughout human history.

God tells us that physical beauty is fleeting, as my middle years has shown me all too well. If you compare what else God said is fleeting, recall Matt. 6: 30, when Jesus calls the grass of the field "here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire." In other words, fleeting.

And, as in Prov. 31, Jesus tells us NOT to run after the things that are fleeting. Things like grass....and beauty.

What does He tell us to pursue? Matt. 6:33 says to first seek His kingdom and His righteousness. Prov. 31 tells us to fear the LORD.

This also exhorts me to seek after His word...and to try to reach my goal this year of blogging about 52 verses in 2012. Psalm 119:11 reminds me to hide God's word in my heart so that I might not sin against Him. I need the Word of God in my heart. I need to seek after Him. This year, and every year.

So, what about that diet and exercise plan? It's still on. After all, God's word also says that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). I am taking care of God's temple. the "beauty" thing will still pop up in my thinking. Can't help that. But I pray that, this year, my beauty will come from the Spirit within me.....

...and maybe a bit from losing a few excess pounds.

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