“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)
I’m terrible at video games but I can appreciate the creative challenges they present. For instance, I recently watched over my daughter’s shoulder as she played a game called Crossy Road on our iPad. If you’re a child of the Eighties, this game is a lot like Frogger. The object of the game is to get the proverbial chicken across the road – but the “road” is a series of traffic-laden highways and railroad tracks with fast trains speeding by every few seconds. As soon as you get the chicken across one road or track, the chicken faces danger on the next road or track, making it very difficult to get safely to the other side.
While my daughter is getting pretty good at Crossy Road, there is one place she seems to get trapped every time. She can’t get past the trap of two trucks on a particular road even when she knows they are coming. Like this obstacle, there are traps in our lives that we find ourselves in, time and time again, even though we know they are there. I would venture to say that most women have heard Proverbs 31:30 multiple times. But, how many of them actually avoid the two traps listed in this verse?
The first trap is charm, which Solomon tells us is deceptive. Charm is defined as “the quality of giving delight,” and the Hebrew word for it is chen, meaning to find favor or acceptance in the eyes of another. This is the trap of needing approval of man. How often do we do things to be accepted or admired by others? God tells us we are to please him, rather than men (Galatians 1:10). And isn’t it easier to please our heavenly Father, instead of people who are not consistent (Numbers 23:19)?
The second trap is beauty, which Solomon tells us is fleeting. Of course, most of us know that our youthful features will change over time. But, even before that happens, we find we look better some days more than others. Who hasn’t ever had a bad hair day?
Just a few days ago, I decided that it was not a good hair or makeup day for me, but I was going to just smile – that’s the best accessory I could wear and probably the only thing anyone I saw would care about anyway.
I’m sad to say that I’ve been guilty of falling into the traps of charm and beauty. But, I am just now coming out of that and have decided that what is most important are the things I’ve used to dress my heart, rather than my outward appearance. In order to dress my heart beautifully, I must reject the lies that outward appearance and the approval of others are the most important things and instead place my trust in the God who offers me an unconditional love and acceptance that never changes.