Beauty seems to have many different definitions. Depending on who you ask, it is described in many different ways. Even the definitions found in a dictionary can be rather varied. Magazine racks across the world all say that one’s beauty is a product of what people see on the outside. Some people think of it as a means of power or influence. No matter who you ask, wherever you go, you will find a wide variety of answers.
The media has made beauty a target for photos and gossip. It is recognized as nothing more than a passing phase that will be ‘outdone’ by another by morning. It is almost like a race, and a race that has no definite or lasting winner. The hidden answer to this phenomenon is found in the fact that beauty is no longer looked at in the way that it should have always been admired.
As we live in a fallen world, beauty has taken on a different form. It has been glorified and put up on a pedestal for all to look on as good and wholesome. It is the envy of all people, but especially women. To think that one is not, in fact, as beautiful as another has become a source of anxiety for so many. But what if that isn’t even what beauty is all about?
God designed beauty for much more than a pedestal or a race that can’t be won. He designed it in His omnipotent knowledge to show the good of the human person. Though we are fallen creatures still waiting for our forever home, he has a purpose for us while we are here. He created us in his own image and likeness, bestowing on us the greatest of privileges; to be called his children.
His plan for our true beauty, aside from what can be seen on the outside, is the beauty of the human and immortal soul. The beauty of the immortal soul is one that never grows old and never dies. It is meant for so much more than just this life. Truly, it shows us that we, like our souls, are not made for this world, but for the next. By our souls, we know that the face value beauty of this life is not all we have to live for. No, there is so much more.
St. Augustine of Hippo, a man once caught in the claws of a secular culture, shows us a wonderful parallel to the beauty that we all long for. He says; “As love grows in you, beauty grows too. For love is the beauty of the soul.” The more we fall in love with God, the more the beauty of our soul will grow. For by falling in love with Ultimate Love, we become part of that same love and beauty. By becoming more like the God whose image we bare, we grow in love for Him and understand more the love that He has for us. Also, as the love that we share with our neighbors grows, beauty grows as well. For by loving our friends and family in the same ways that God has loved us, we show them some of the love of God. It is one full circle of the love of God.
God’s love for us is truly the greatest beauty we will ever know. As we share this love with others, they will see that beauty shining through us and understand better God’s love for them. So don’t settle for the world’s definition of what your beauty looks like. God has already called you to so much more!