"His wife's name was Abigail. The woman was intelligent and good-looking."
I Samuel 25; 3, The Message
EXPLORATION "The Characteristics of Brains and Beauty"
All of Creation
"Lord, may I learn to be just as pleased with me, Your creation, as You are.
Help me to love my body and to cherish each part as the lovingly fashioned gift from You that it is. Let me not look with disdain or hate on that-part-that-would-be-so-much-better-if-only-it-were smaller, curvier, more toned, less sagging, larger, firmer, longer, shorter, straighter, or wavier. Let me not continually seek out faults in Your work; instead, let me wonder in the perfection of Your craftsmanship, declaring with You that yes, what You have created is indeed very good."
If someone were describing me, what words do I believe they would use?
If I were describing myself, what words would I use?
If my Creator, God, were describing me, how would He refer to His daughter?
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: It's loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness; but still will keep a bower quiet for us, and a sleep full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing."
The much admired romantic poet, John Keats, who penned the famous words I just quoted above, died in his early twenties of what is thought now to be tuberculosis. Having taken care of both his sickly brothers, it appears likely he contracted the disease from them. During his short life, John Keats drew great comfort from the beauty of nature but also from several female friends whom he deeply cared for. Energized by beauty and brains, some biographers believe his poetry improved because of the inspiration he received from his female friendships.
It certainly wouldn't be the first time in history when a woman's beauty and brains have inspired, challenged or empowered a man.
I find it rather unique that in the Bible, there are repeated times when beauty as well as the intellect of a woman is noted.
Beginning with Eve, the first woman in the Bible, we find that it wasn't only Eve's beauty that captivated the man in her life, Adam. We often overlook the fact that when Eve was having a conversation with a talking serpent in the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they weren't chatting about the latest designer outfit or cosmetic line, they were talking about a way in which, according to the serpent, Eve could become even smarter and more enlightened.
And there you have it - a powerful combination that God placed as Creator in His daughters - brains and beauty. Too frequently, we as women allow a materialistic world to focus on the externals of beauty by trying to promote ways for us to feel unsatisfied with our outside selves. What a tragedy for this type of commercial hype completely misses God's mark. His girls aren't universal Barbie dolls made into plastic models that resemble one another. Rather we are multi-faceted gems that have not only a beauty that radiates the external qualities of women but also the brains to reflect on and understand the "deep things of God."
I appreciate the fact that the author of I Samuel 25 not only took note of Abigail's external beauty, but also noted the refined intelligence which radiated from God's daughter. But there's even more. For although the qualities of beauty and intelligence are identified in Abigail, she was also a woman whose life displayed many other grand characteristics as well. It would do us well as women to never forget we aren't just one or two qualities. God has made us so much deeper. This is why we should never pigeon-hole each other by the way we look or act. For when we do, we may hinder ourselves from uncovering those precious layers that have been placed in our lives by our Creator.
Our text today defines Abigail as a woman of beauty who had brains. But as we will see, she had a lot more - empowered by her Father in heaven, just like you and I.
Litany for God's Daughters
"God, who created women,
Hear our prayer.
God, who blesses Your daughters,
Hear our prayer.
Help Your daughters know that whether they have
curly hair or straight, a body like a basketball
player or like a teddy bear, they are beautiful
and worthy of love just the way they are.
Creator God, hear our prayer.
Give grace in abundance to mothers, fathers,
sisters, brothers, teachers, clergy, neighbors,
and all who touch the lives of Your daughters.
Help us not to set standards determined by
television and magazine ads, not by manufacturers
of cosmetics and diet plans, but what is right and
good for each of Your girls.
Creator God, hear our prayer.
You who created us all in Your image, remind us,
when You see us frowning into our mirrors,
that all each of us needs to be is the "me" that
O God, hear our prayer. We praise You and we
Lois Oller Nasdos
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.