In Defense of Lovely
Do you feel guilty for liking pretty things? Do you worry about people thinking less of you because you love decorating your house, wearing makeup, or drinking fancy tea? I want to look at the idea of lovely in light of the Bible.
So, let’s begin with the obvious. We live a culture obsessed with beauty and perfection. In spite of all our country’s financial woes, we still live in a land of privilege and entitlement. But I come from a different subculture and maybe you do, too. The church culture can swing the pendulum too far in the other direction. For instance, you can be pretty, but not too pretty. Your house can be decorated, but not too flamboyantly. You can look in the mirror, but not for too long. Sort of like the Abnegation sect from the Divergent book series, eh?
But what is lovely? Philippians 4:8 blends it with like traits such as true, noble, pure, and excellent. So does that mean that loveliness has nothing to do with creature comforts? Not at all! The Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t just clothe herself well but also her servants and household. And that, if applied, will look different on everyone. It could be clothes from a boutique or the local thrift store. I began buying some of my own clothes back in middle school and found that I could get a lot of bang for my buck if I bought second hand. As for makeup, I know truly lovely ladies of all ages that do or don’t wear it. They are lovely because their spirits radiate from the inside out.
If God made a beautiful earth and universe, surely He is concerned with lovely. And because He made people of different kinds, the idea of loveliness will vary. So, let’s give each other room to express ourselves uniquely because that is noble and excellent.
Dear Heavenly Father
I want to embrace the loveliness around me that You created. Help me to see it in all of its forms and not judge people. Thank You for all of the wonderful people in my life who radiate beauty because of their walk with You.
In Jesus Name
Listen to Deep Enough to Dream by Chris Rice. Respond.
Give examples of whatever is lovely, excellent, noble, pure…
How are these examples different from what the world portrays as lovely?