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When It Feels Like Beauty Fades


I can still remember the conversation with my hairdresser as I told her I wanted to let my hair go gray. Every four weeks I sat with dye dripping down my face as I attempted to keep the gray at bay. I was tired of covering up.

To be honest, I can find myself staring into the mirror wondering if my husband still thinks I’m beautiful now that I’ve chosen to let the years show their true colors. Deep in my heart I wonder if he still sees beauty in me after all this time, when it feels like it’s fading.

He tells me it doesn’t matter and that he likes my gray hair. But somewhere along the way I’ve told myself (and have been told) that beauty is of great importance to a man. After all, men are visual. I conclude that if this is true, then things really look bleak. I mean, I am gray after all.

Just when it seems like these fears of fading beauty are going to cripple me with insecurity and swallow me whole, I remember that I don’t have to give way to them. There is a choice to be made in moments like these. 

There is a different truth to believe.

God is so kind to provide words that speak straight to the heart of a woman. He knows that we long for beauty. This is evident in so many facets of a woman’s life, from the clothing styles she chooses to the way she decorates her home. We were made to create and evoke beauty.

First Peter 3: 3-4 (CSB) reads like this, “Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry, but rather what is inside the heart–the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit.” Do you hear these words? There is a beauty that will not fade. Ever!

Let’s take a closer look at a few of these words. The word gentle here can be translated meek or mild. The word quiet here is thought of as still.

You may be thinking, “WHAT? You mean to tell me that the good news to be had here is that I can be meek and still as I let my hair grow gray?” Not exactly.

The good news I read here is I can stop striving. The beauty in me (and in you) that will never fade is the beauty that comes when we gain comfort in who God is and seek him to inform us about who we are to be as wives and as women. 

Beauty comes from knowing him, and knowing who we are in him.

I’ve also heard this phrase “gentle and quiet spirit” referred to as strength under control. We can’t control the way that the hands of time add smile lines to our faces or gray hairs to our heads. 

However, we can seek the face of a good and gracious God. He will remind us of a beauty we have to offer our husbands (and the world around us) which has nothing to do with things that will eventually fade away.

It may also be helpful to point out that imperishable means exactly that: imperishable. The kind of beauty that comes when we choose to humble ourselves and soften our hearts before the Lord will never go away. Not ever!

Friends, what could it mean for us if we held tight to this truth? Will we still curl our hair (and even dye it) and wear fun earrings? I sure hope so! Perhaps the stakes won’t seem so high when we refuse to question if our efforts are enough. 

We can still express our beauty to our husbands, but we can stop being defined by it.

Wife Step: Take a little time to read this passage for yourself. Pray about these words: gentle and quiet. Be honest before the Lord if you put more stock in your outward adornment rather than your inner life.

Amy Walkup is in the final stages of completing her degree as a professional counselor. She is passionate about sitting with others in the midst of their pain and difficulties in order to find the place where God is working to bring restoration and transformation. Amy desires to see women, men, and families transformed by the grace of God. Living in rural Minnesota with her farming husband and two sets of twins, she continues to learn more about the grace of God and how this grace allows God’s children to be made new.

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth O.

    Amy!! This is beautifully written and speaks to my heart!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and strength! Also I’d kill for that grey hair and you rock it so well!!

    Reply

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