“Favor is deceitful, beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
As a young church girl, I thought this scripture meant that it was wrong to be beautiful, that I shouldn’t want the favor of anyone, and that I should be afraid of God.
Wow was I off!
Many other times in Proverbs it is said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The understanding of fear that I had as a child is not the kind of fear God desires of us. We should fear Him like we fear fire; a better word may be RESPECT. When we don’t understand God’s heart–or fire–we will run away from it instead of enjoying it.
When we are afraid of God we may work with all our might for His approval–that was me, I really had to wrestle with the meaning of this verse because I wanted to please God, but beauty was my passion.
I wanted to be beautiful, but with the false understanding that it was wrong, I tried to fulfill my own desires by making other women look beautiful instead. I loved being a cosmetologist, I didn’t mind standing in front of a mirror making others look prettier than me because I was numb to the disappointments of my own reflection.
Then I learned first hand that “favor is deceitful.”
Ten days after finding out I was pregnant, my (now ex) husband left me for other women, and I felt the pain of favor-turned-bad. Being betrayed by the man I loved dearly was a deep rejection, and it began a Beauty Battle within me. I began to compare myself to other women constantly. That’s when I began my experience with vanity…
vanity |ˈvanətē| noun ( pl. -ties) 1 excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements 2 the quality of being worthless or futile
I began to understand what God’s Word meant by “beauty is vain.” It can make us prideful, and it can blind us to the value we have as a creation of God. I think Proverbs 31:30 is really saying is that seeking after beauty is like chasing the wind: vain.
vain |vān| adjective 1 having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth 2 [ attrib. ] producing no result; useless • having no meaning or likelihood of fulfillment
I no longer think that the God who created so much beauty disapproves of it. Now I have no doubt that He not only loves beauty, He longs to be known for it. I also think He wants us women to stop putting so much hope in appearance. Just as a loved one’s favor may change, so does our beauty. Chasing after such things is futile, instead we should chase after the One who created us, enjoy His beauty and fear Him only.
Lord, Thank you for putting so much beauty in Your creation. Help me to be a reflection of your glory without becoming obsessed with my image or others’ opinions. It is You only that I fear, and your favor alone that I seek. You do not look at my outward appearance, but at my heart. Help me to do the same with others, and with myself. Amen
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul.
If you are interested in getting these books or in having Catrina come speak at your event, you can contact her at www.CatrinaWelch.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, or Goodreads
11 thoughts on “Favor is Deceitful and Beauty is Vain”
I never did understand what that meant but now I do. 🙂
I’m so pleased to hear this. A changed perspective can change our whole world! 🙂
Blessings to you girl…for reading the wise man’s book. And more blessings for seeking God ‘s way . The way of love. God love beautiful trees, skies, homes, birds, islands, and God love ugly things too.
He does indeed. I wonder if He anything He created as ugly?
I do know that accepting the Truth of His love changes us and sets us free! And that makes each of us BEAUTIFUL. 🙂
Men want more than Beauty, a Godly man wants a
Godly woman. What a beautiful thing…Godly love.
Appreciated. Yes, God does not see things the way we do. He looks at the heart and He makes all things beautiful in His time. Consider the Bird of Paradise… awkward and ugly or absolutely beautiful? 🙂
Most people want to be attractive men and or women but how do we stop caring if this world is so consumed with appearance. I personally have to connect to God asking Him to see me myself as He sees me, then I see my self for Who I truly am. Beautifully looking at God look right back at me in the mirror regardless of. I’m still learning to not care or hold in high regard the negativity thrown at us as women by sad to say a lot of time those we are close to.
Milly, You are right, it is not easy, our human heart longs for man’s approval, but the more we allow our spirit to be filled with the Word of God and understand His love, the more we will overcome that longing and find our satisfaction in Him.
What about the “Favour” part?
GREAT question! Perhaps a great topic for another blog… so often people “favor us” for selfish reasons. We become popular because people like us to be around them. Perhaps because we cheer them or accept them or make them look good. Sometimes we are disliked simply because we challenge or threaten others by our… you name it: success, cheer, beauty… We should be careful not to desire others’ favor because it can be deceptive.