Struggling with a low body image and low self-confidence about your looks? Use these Bible verses on beauty to see what God has to say.
The definition of beauty is constantly evolving. For the most part, beauty has been limited to our outward appearance. When we are all dolled up, we might feel beautiful or receive compliments that don’t come as frequently as when we first wake up in the morning with bed head, or when we’ve spent the day in our sweat pants and t-shirt.
The media, in particular, has created an enviable image of what beauty is. In America, that often means thin and tall with all the right curves in all the right places, free of stretch marks, muffin tops, and other blemishes. It has even gone as far as making certain body types, nose shapes, eye colors, or features “trends.”
In the pursuit of reaching these beauty standards, many women have fallen prey to the lie that who they are, and how God has made them, doesn’t live up to the ever-changing beauty standards around us (if you want to fight those lies, make sure to learn how to take your thoughts captive).
This has led many to alter their body and face, whether temporarily through makeup and accessories or permanently through surgery and exercise, to achieve these particular ideas of beauty.
Unfortunately, the beauty epidemic we live in is quickly creating discontentment, low self-esteem, comparison, envy, division, and resentment in the hearts of many who feel that they fall short of this unreachable, and unrealistic standard.
The world’s definition of beauty creates such an unrealistic expectation that it destroys so many women’s body image.
These are just a few symptoms that we read in Scripture that are evidence of the flesh and not the works of the Spirit.
In many ways, the fruit that has grown from the world’s beauty platform and standards move us, not only away from living godly lives, rooted in the Spirit, but also leads us away from what true beauty really looks like.
On the one hand, it’s important for us, especially as Christians to know that what God creates is good, and that He created us. He shaped each one of us, and He made us in His wisdom, and love.
We are first and foremost made in God’s image, which means that we all have inherent value that no one can take away from us, and it does not change whenever we don’t fit the bill for the next popular beauty trend.
On the other hand, it is also important to realize that much of the world’s obsession with outward beauty is really an obsession with self (I’m sure you’ve seen the big push toward self-love, especially when it comes to our bodies). The world looks inward, and fixes its eyes on itself.
In the world, what you look like on the outside is meant to give you validation, and is what is focused on as a way to boost your confidence and self-esteem. Essentially, it’s how you earn your worth.
But Scripture teaches us a different kind of beauty.
That beauty is not fixated on outward appearances and is not obsessed with self. As Christians, our worth comes from Christ and is unshakable.
We should absolutely take care of ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with enjoying nice clothing or wearing makeup. But we should always be on-guard against making beauty an idol.
- How do those things possess us?
- Do we feel like we can’t live without it?
- Are we dependent on it to feel beautiful?
- Do you know that, regardless of what you’re wearing or the number of likes on a picture on Instagram, that you are still just as worthy?
If you ever need a reminder of God’s view of you, and what He sees as beautiful, here are a few Bible verses for you to turn to.
Bible Verses on Beauty
1. 1 Samuel 16:7
“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”
I think it’s important to start with this verse, because we get to see what truly matters. As Christians, our first priority is to fear the Lord. In scripture, there are many instances where scripture talks about what a snare it is to fear man. A different phrase we might use for this is “people pleasing.”
But if our first priority is to fear God, rather than to fear man, we have to ask ourselves what it is that God looks like. In this verse the next king of Israel is being chosen, and one of Samuel’s first instincts is to judge by appearance. But God’s response is, “don’t consider his appearance.”
It’s not about how tall he is, or how handsome he might be. God hadn’t chosen him for that particular position, and his outward appearance didn’t influence it at all. Instead, God looked at the heart, and it was David’s heart that He looked at, and who He chose as king.
In a world that focuses on outward appearances, we have a God who looks at our hearts, and that is where we should place our focus too.
2. Psalm 139:14
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Have you ever looked in the mirror and taken a moment to give God praise for how He has created you? I know it is often easier to look in the mirror and pick out all the things that you might be dissatisfied about.
But how would our mindset change towards ourselves, others and God when we, just like the Psalmist, give God praise for how He created us?
Whether we don’t feel beautiful, or we don’t live up to the world’s standard, or perhaps we do live up to the world’s standard, our beauty is not measured by those opinions or even our own opinion. It is based on the fact that we have been created by God. What he creates is good.
I love the words that David used here, “fearfully and wonderfully.” For God to create us fearfully and wonderfully speaks of the careful, and masterful intent when He made us.
He didn’t create us in a careless manner, but He made us with intention, He created us with a purpose, to know and revere Him. He made us uniquely and crafted us beautifully.
3. Proverbs 31:30
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Most of us have heard of, or read Proverbs 31 at some point in our lives. Whenever we hear of that scripture our minds may quickly just turn to ” The Proverbs 31 woman.” You can often find this passage discussed and studied in women’s groups and Bible studies.
For the most part, it has served as a guideline to us of what a godly woman looks like, and the kind of wife Solomon is instructing his son to look for.
It’s amazing that admits all of the qualities that are noted down in the passage of what this woman is like, the writer includes this bit about appearance. He tells his son to be wise, to remember that charm can be deceptive. It may appear to be something that it’s not, it may look like it will lead to life but might steer you into the claws of death.
But then he talks about beauty, the outward aspect of beauty, and he says beauty is fleeting. In other words, it’s one of the things that change, it can’t be the only or most important part of finding a wife, or of being a wife.
There’s something that far outlasts our physical beauty, and that is our hearts. A heart whose posture towards God is one of reverence and awe. That is the kind of beauty that should be valued and praised.
4. 1 Peter 3:3-4
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
Sometimes this verse can easily be taken out of context, so before we talk about what it means, it’s necessary to talk about what it doesn’t mean. When Peter refers to these outward adornments and accessories, he is not telling women that they’re not allowed to braid their hair, wear gold jewelry or fine clothing.
Instead, he says that the beauty of a woman should not come from these things. In other words, it should not be our sole focus, and what we depend on for our beauty. We can do our hair, and wear beautiful clothing, but that isn’t what our main focus is or what gives us value.
He reminds us that what is going on inside of us is what we often overlook in order to focus on what’s on the outside. But we have it all twisted.
It is the inner self, the heart that is after Christ, and submits to His reign in her life that truly begins to radiate the only beauty that lives on forever.
In the world, everything is often put together perfectly on the outside, while the inside is neglected. Though the world places a lot of value on the outward appearance, this is not what moves the heart of God.
It is a gentle and quiet spirit, one that doesn’t need the attention or approval of the world, but seeks only to live for her Lord. This heart, this inward position, rather than the outward appearance, is precious in God’s sight.