Beauty is as beauty does

Do you remember the first time you saw the other woman? (Or if you are a man, the other man?) I do. By the time I saw the other woman, I had known about her and my husband’s sinful relationship for several weeks. At the time, my husband was running his business out of our home, and I was in the home office doing some work. There were photos in a pile and I began rifling through them. All of a sudden, I saw it. I saw her. I looked at my husband in bewilderment, and held up the photo. I was practically yelling at him when I asked him, “Is this her? Is this the woman you’ve been seeing?” He looked at me and nodded. I then responded in all honesty, “She’s a DOG!!!” I was angry, no doubt about that, but I meant what I said even though it was said in anger and disgust. You see, I already knew that she was ugly on the inside. No pretty person sleeps with a married man. Her continuing to see my husband after she knew he was married told me all I needed to know about her character (rather LACK OF), and it was not good! No good, respectable person–woman or man–sleeps with a married person, especially after that person finds out the other is married. A good person with a good heart just doesn’t do that! (Even if the OW would have been a model and had the perfect figure, her heart would have still been ugly. Sin is ugly. Lack of character and lack of morality is ugly. God looks at the heart, not at outward appearances.)

Now, my husband has since told me many times that if he had been in his right mind, he would have never found anything attractive about her. He would not have found her physically, emotionally, or intellectually attractive. She was just not the type of woman he was typically attracted to. (That’s not to say that other men would not have found her to be those things). But, lust and deception do those things to a person. Once the fog of deception that had been hanging over his mind lifted, he began to see things much more clearly. Just as he began to realize that what he had been calling “love” was not love at all.

Since my husband’s affair ended, he and I have talked a lot about how he ever got involved in such a sinful relationship with such a loose woman. It started with compromise, which I will address in a future post. Like most of you ladies who are sorting through the remnants of your marriage, I asked myself many times what was wrong with me. If you are honest, you have asked yourself the same question many times. I used to be a member of a couple of groups on Facebook that were for women and men who had been cheated on. At one point, people in the groups began posting pictures of the other woman or other man and asking the group what they thought about the other woman or other man. I never got involved in the discussion. It got to the point where people were beginning to express the same questions that I expressed: What’s wrong with me? I left both groups because the discussion got ridiculous and extreme, and that kind of stuff is not helpful, IMO. But, here’s my answer to you for that question: There is nothing wrong with you! THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HER! THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIM! It is not you!!! Do not beat yourself up about it. Don’t over analyze the months or years of your marriage preceding your husband’s affair, examining every thing you said or did to try to see where you went wrong, what you did wrong. It’s not about anything you have done. You have to realize that any man or woman who cheats on his/her spouse has a major problem. He is being completely selfish and self-centered and self-absorbed. Any woman or man who gets into or stays in a relationship with a married man/woman is also totally selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed. In contrast, unselfish, caring people do not do that kind of things to others. Selfless people think about how their actions will affect others, about how much pain or anguish they may cause someone. If a person has any shred of self-respect, any shred of respect for others, any compassion for others, they will make choices that are not so selfish. That’s how I see it. And I believe that’s how most rational people will see it. I think it’s how most of you will see it, if you haven’t come to that realization yet.

Many times since my husband ended that ungodly relationship, he has made it clear to me that there was nothing I did wrong. I was in no way inadequate, not good enough, not pretty enough, etc. I have been a great, loving, godly wife and mother. I have brought him much joy and pride. I admitted to him that I did used to wonder about those things, but I long since stopped, especially once he ended the affair and our marriage was restored. The Bible has a lot to say about immoral women and  godly  women and their hearts. In Proverbs chapters 2, 5, and 7, 22, and 23, men are warned about sexually immoral, loose, adulterous or promiscuous women (but it can just as easily apply to those types of men). And these passages are not an exhaustive list. Those types of women are called “cruel,” “wayward,” “wicked,” “lewd” and “evil” and “promiscuous” depending on the version of the Bible you are using. They are compared to a “trap” and a “snare” and a “robber.” Some versions refer to such a woman as a “harlot.” These same passages warn that such a woman (or man) will lead a man (or woman) to danger, ruin, destruction or to the grave, basically equating such a person with death (whether spiritual or physical). Many liken this woman to a “Jezebel.” I won’t say a couple of the other words used to describe such a woman, but I’m sure you can use your imagination and connect the dots. The Bible also states that this type of woman is looking for “prey,” trying to “allure,” “entice,” and “seduce” and “ensnare.” You can clearly see that the Bible does not say good things about this kind of woman or man. It also does not at any point let either the loose woman or the straying man off the hook.  In all of these passages, both people are guilty. Imagine that!!! God actually thinks both are guilty…

Here’s what the sexually immoral, loose woman or man and anyone who commits adultery  (or other types of sexual sin) need to know:

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4). The adulterer is the spouse who commits adultery and the sexually immoral applies to the woman or man who is having sex with someone else’s spouse (doesn’t matter if she/he knows the person is married). Fornication involves any sex or sexual activity with someone to whom one is not married. God will judge ALL the sexually immoral. There are no exceptions.  God is not a liar. God will do exactly as He said He will do: He will judge the adulterer AND the sexually immoral. He does not care about anyone’s reasons or excuses. He determines what  is sin–not us. If you think you did not sin, then you are the liar, not God or anyone else. If you are the other woman or the other man and you have not admitted that sleeping with a married person is a sin and have not been forgiven of it, then you will be judged by God. If you are that person, I pray that you will heed the warnings of scripture while you still have breath in your lungs. Because once you breathe your last breath, if you have not made things right with God (which requires confession–agreeing with God that what you did was sin– and repentance) and have not been forgiven of that sin, then you will spend an eternity in a Hell that is far worse than the hell your selfish, sinful choices caused someone who never wronged you to experience. 

Now, compare the sexually immoral or promiscuous woman to the Proverbs 31 woman (the virtuous woman), who is said to be beautiful because she fears the Lord. She is considered to be a crown to her husband, a prize, a treasure, a woman of great wisdom, understanding, and one worthy of respect and great honor. She is a woman who is praised by her husband and does her husband good all the days of his life.  She is a woman of true beauty!

Proverbs 31:10-31

Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

 

1 Peter 3:3-4

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (See the emphasis on the heart? How the heart of a woman of good character, a woman who loves God, contrasts to that of an immoral woman? Once again, it is not about the outward appearance but about the heart. What is in the heart determines one’s character. Character defines us. That’s why a good, pure heart is of such beauty and worth to God.)

1 Timothy 2:9-10 states that “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” A woman with the right heart, with a heart that is pure before God, will do good works out of her love for God. This type of woman will fear the Lord and hate evil. Her desire to please God will keep her from promiscuity and immorality. Her inner beauty will shine forth. It is this type of beauty that is precious to God, not the beauty that comes from outward adornment of any kind. God’s focus is on the heart. You show people your heart by the way you live your life, by the kind of character (or lack of) you have, by the kind of person you are (or are not).

So, for you Christian ladies who may feel that you are not beautiful or that you are not worthy because of what your husband and the other woman have done or are doing to you, take heart. God has you! Your worth and beauty are never determined by men but by God. If your heart is right before God, if you desire to please him, then he will take care of you. He will judge your husband and the other woman. It may  not happen in the time frame or in the way you would do things, but it will be the best, most perfect, most just way. God does not take it lightly when others abuse and mistreat those he calls his own. He will lift you up in due time.

Let your light shine, along with your true beauty!

 

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