A few years ago I went to a church in Menlo Park to hear one of my favorite authors speak (Donald Miller).  One of the words he used more than once was the word, “Beautiful.” It began me thinking, what a wonderful word Beautiful is.  It is often misused and overused as well.  It is a very diverse word that has a tremendous amount of flexibility and adaptability.

When I think of the wonderful parts of the word beautiful, the LAST thing that comes to my mind is physical beauty.  I think one of the worst uses of the word beautiful is the way People Magazine and the like use it to define the 50 Most Beautiful people in the world. The problem with that is that they define beauty as an outward characteristic. I don’t think God really cares much about one’s outward appearance. The thing that I really get excited about when I think of Amy aren’t her outward characteristics. The things that rank high on my list of what makes Amy beautiful are as follows:

  • Her love and devotion to her faith—Amy has always been someone who has challenged me in my faith through her example and her careful encouragement and confrontation when I have done or said something that just wasn’t in line with Christianity.
  • Her care and concern for our marriage—Amy is always thinking about what could make our relationship better and what are those things we should do to bring us closer together. She is also respectful of what makes me unique and my differences and has adapted to that by allowing me times to “be myself.”
  • Her love and nurturing of our children—I am more of a “pull yourself up by the bootstraps” kind of parent where Amy is right there by Abby and Madeline’s side to help them when they need it. I think there are places for both kinds of parenting that help to develop a child. I am so glad she is there to balance that part of my personality.
  • Her compassion to those less fortunate than her—I may be the one who touts a lot of social justice causes and concern for those who are poor and needy, but Amy is the one who really helped push my heart in that direction.
  • Her sense of morality and justice—Amy knows what is right and wrong. She is one of the nest counselors I have to bounce ideas off of to know whether I am doing the right thing or not.

These are the kinds of qualities that make someone really, really beautiful. Not the mascara, fancy clothes, and fine perfume. Frankly, I have met a lot of physically beautiful people who are some of the ugliest people I have ever met. Those with great looks many times have been some of the most selfish, self-centered, greedy, shallow people I have ever met. I wonder why that is? Anyways, I think that is why Paul tells women to, “dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” I don’t think that this is only for women. I think we all should define beauty and handsomeness from the INSIDE-OUT.