“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion” – Proverbs 11:22
You put a ring an a pig’s honker to keep him from rooting up the ground. Any old metal ring will do and that’s why there’s no point in spending $500 when you could spend $1. The wise godly sage is not saying that nose rings in hogs are bad and he’s not saying that it is bad for a woman to be beautiful. He’s saying that it’s a shame to see beauty wasted on a foolish woman like gold is wasted on a hog’s ring.
The beauty industry exalts the outward appearance while mostly ignoring the inner character. This is unfortunate because it communicates the wrong thing: that the true value of a woman is in her outward beauty. But the answer is not to be as homely and disheveled as you can, rather, a woman is to concern herself first with the cosmetic of her character.
The power and influence of a beautiful woman can get a job, get someone fired, get a loan, get a man, get a discount, get out of a speeding ticket, get put to the front of the line, get a promotion, get a larger dip of ice-cream, get a parking spot, get a better grade – basically, get just about anything she wants if she’s beautiful enough. It’s just the way things work. “Lyin’ Eyes” was a song written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles and recorded in 1975. One of the lines goes, “City girls just seem to find out early. How to open doors with just a smile.” So true. But let’s not come down too hard on beauty and its power – this is not inherently evil. By its very nature, Beauty is supposed to affect and attract and bring a smile.
Have you ever been to Chicago on a summer day and hear some great outdoor, live, impromptu saxophone coming from somewhere? You follow the sound – you want to get closer, you want to hear better and see the action. Or smell some awesome BBQ? You follow your nose. You want to see and taste. Or your favorite artist – you buy the ticket to the show and you want to afford a seat as close as possible. We were made to seek after and enjoy Beauty. God made Beauty. He made women beautiful. Some, he made drop-dead gorgeous. Like Esther.
In the bible, Queen Esther “had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at” (Esther 2:7), which is why the King selected her. But Esther also had discretion. She did not allow her beauty to misguide her judgment of men, money, prestige, and power. Her beauty was not a waste because her discretion of life was guided by her love for the Lord, to the degree that she did not value her own life over courageous truth-telling and godly living. She approached the King uninvited to inform him of treachery in the kingdom (you could lose your life to approach uninvited). Her own family pleaded with her to not intrude and impose upon the King, but she said, “if I perish, I perish” (4:16). She did not perish. The King listened and admired her beautiful character. She saved her family and the Jewish people.
Here is godly wisdom. If you are a beautiful young girl/woman, do not waste your beauty by being foolish with your beauty. Just because you can open many doors with just a smile doesn’t mean you should. Not every door is for your good and not everyone who opens the door for you has your best interest in mind. Your beauty is a gift by God, to be used to show off a beautiful God. But you can’t do that if you’re acting like a fool in life. No one will see the one who made you. Your “in-discretionary” lifestyle is a distraction not only from the one who made you, but you too. Wisdom says, “Be Beautiful and Wise,” then your beauty will not be a shameful waste.