Truth Matters: Fleeting Beauty

By Ken Askew

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

ESV Proverbs 31:30

Think with me for a moment about the bridal section of the newspaper.  Typically, there is an engagement announcement along with a picture of a happy, vibrant young couple in eager anticipation of marriage.  Just a few days after the wedding, we get an announcement describing the event along with a picture of the bride, alone, in a gorgeous dress. And that’s about all we’ll see about them in the news until they have a 30th or 50th anniversary — both are rare.

If they get that far, their love and affection for one another will have no doubt grown, but their youthful beauty will have long since faded. Beauty is vain.

Our society is obsessed with physical beauty.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with natural beauty.  As a matter of fact, I think natural beauty is a wonderful thing, but it is only surface deep.  So, why do we obsess over it?  Why do we allow our children to exploit it?

Why do we twist and pervert God-given beauty into sensual temptations?  Be honest—our society manipulates and exploits beauty.

I heard a pastor exhort a group of people once regarding beauty.  He told them that if they lived long enough, they would all eventually be ugly!  Now, he wasn’t being uncharitable to elderly people.  Instead, he was highlighting the fact that youthful beauty is vain.

No matter how hard we try and hang on to youth, age is gaining ground.

How foolish for a young man or young woman to marry based on youthful beauty alone.  How silly for young women to buy into society’s lie and wear revealing and/or too tight clothing that tempts heads to turn as she passes.  How silly for a young man to fall for the temptation.

Beauty is vain.

How much more profitable would it be for women to pursue the Lord?  How much more profitable would it be for men to desire a bride who fears the Lord?  How wonderful is it to find a beautiful, yet biblically modest, spouse who loves the Lord?

There are so many temptations to fall into society’s mindset regarding beauty that I’d like to offer at least two resources that offer biblical insight for men and women.  The first — women only — can be found at  This is a wonderful website full of good advice for young women.  If you go there, search for a document called “modesty heart check;” it’s great.

The other is, which is the website for The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.  While not as much “fun” as girltalk, this site offers serious advice to both men and women of all ages regarding biblical manhood and biblical womanhood.

Beauty is vain and fleeting, but fear of the Lord is praiseworthy and enduring.

Which will you desire?

Ken worships at Tharptown Baptist Church in Russellville.  Truth Matters articles are available online at  Comments are welcome and may be sent to