How to be Beautiful

How to be Beautiful

What is your beauty regime each morning? In ancient times, people would crouch over an incense burner, whilst holding a sheet over themselves like a tent. (I don’t know about you but this makes me very grateful for eau de toilette.)


This was among the number of beautifying techniques it is likely that Esther would have used while preparing herself for the King. And beautiful she was. She was chosen as Queen – the most beautiful woman in the Persian empire.


And yet in Esther 4:11 we read the King did not call for her for a whole month. As beautiful as she may have been, he lost interest. Perhaps he’d found a new, younger concubine to spend his time with. Maybe he just had ‘more important’ things to think about.


Esther’s beauty was forgotten. Which reminds us that all beauty is fleeting, like a flower that withers and fades. Yet we can become obsessed with holding on to it for as long as possible. 


Apparently our faces start ageing in our 20s – i.e. when we stop producing as much collagen. So people buy the stuff in bottles and apply it to their faces, trying to hold on to that youthful look as long as possible.


We go on diets. We exercise. We dye our hair. All in the name of beauty. But even if we could go through such regimes as would would make us the most beautiful thing in all the land, still we may end up ignored, and our beauty forgotten – just like Esther.


While we may be forgotten or ignored by those around us, we are never forgotten by God. When we make him the priority in our lives, he calls us precious (1 Peter 3:3-4) and praiseworthy (Proverbs 31:30).


Back in the time of Moses, the tabernacle was the place where God ‘resided’ on Earth. When the tabernacle was being built, many of the Israelites brought various valuable materials as an offering to be used for the building of it. The most dedicated women who spent a great deal of time at the tabernacle, brought their mirrors (Exodus 38:8). Mirrors in those days were very valuable and made of highly polished bronze. These women chose the service and worship of God over preserving their outward appearance.  


Of all the many Israelites who brought gold, silver, gems, linen, animal skin etc, these women who brought their mirrors are one of the few specifically mentioned groups of people in the chapter. They were praised for their actions and immortalised for the benefit of generations to come.


Its not necessarily wrong to spend some time on our appearance. But there is a lot of truth in the saying “it is what is on the inside that counts”. As the Bible puts it: “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). 


Exercise regime


Whilst the state of hearts is what’s most important, the Bible also acknowledges the value of physical exercise (1 Timothy 4:8).


I have found that keeping fit has helped greatly with parenting. It has given me the stamina to take the kids out regularly on trips (a must for homeschooling families), while keeping up with household chores. Also, the less tired I am physically, the easier I find it to be patient with my children (and others).


Keeping exercise interesting is half the battle. Going to a gym is great but it uses a lot of resources (money and time). However, my tip is YouTube, which has endless free exercise videos. 


You can search for all different types of exercises depending on what you’re after. I enjoy the HIIT and all over body strength workouts. Personally I really like Fitness Blender videos, the combination workouts strengthen lots of muscles at the same time, which reduces the amount of time you need to spend exercising and there is loads of variety.

 

Dance videos can be a lot of fun too and often my children want to join in with these. For fitness videos more specifically aimed at children GoNoodle is a great resource.

 

*For more blog posts on the book of Esther click here

 

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