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Redefining Beautiful: What A Beautiful Woman Is Not (Excerpt)


A Devotional Bible Study

A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout.

Proverbs 11:22

God’s Word has much to say about what makes a woman beautiful. His Word helps us to understand what a beautiful woman is by teaching us what a beautiful woman is not. Out of his love for us, God addresses the unattractive qualities that can ruin or diminish our beautiful as women who profess Christ.

Beautiful is more than our outward appearance. It is the character of a woman—like discretion—that make a woman truly beautiful.

The startling and unfiltered analogy of Proverbs 11:22 in comparing incompatible things gives us a picture that we will not soon forget no matter the Bible version we read.

Whether it is—the New International Version (NIV): Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

Or the New Century Version (NCV): A beautiful woman without good sense is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.

Or the English Standard Version (ESV): Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.

Or the Message Translation (MSG): Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful face on an empty head.

…The point is clear that just as a gold ring will never beautify a pig and has no place in a pig’s snout, indiscretion has no place in a beautiful woman.

To be without discretion, or to be one who “rejects good sense” (the Christian Standard Bible Translation)—is a good example of what happens when beautiful is being wasted.

Proverbs 11:22 is a call to women (and men) to examine the areas in our own lives where we need to exercise discretion and the many passages in the Bible that speak favorably of discretion and being discreet.

Without a doubt, we are living in a time where indiscretion—a behavior or speech that is indiscreet or displays a lack of good judgment—is adorned as a counterfeit pretending to be life-giving. But Solomon teaches his son (and us all) in Proverbs 3:21-22:

My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion,

and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.

How can a beautiful woman show discretion? What area in your life would improve with more discretion? What are the most obvious areas women need to exercise discretion in our culture? Would the choice of our words and our clothing be at the top of our list to exercise and model discretion?

Prayer: Jesus, help me to gaze daily into the mirror of God’s Word and not the mirror of this world. Help me to be careful and circumspect in my speech and my actions. Let discretion be an adornment that your Word beautifully says will be life for my soul, and will watch over and protect me.

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Journal Part 1 Redefining Beautiful
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