by Richard L. Burguet •
Who has not seen the advertisement in the comic books for X-Ray Specs? You know the sales pitch “See the bones in your hand, see through clothes!” Some versions of the advertisement featured an illustration of a young man using the X-Ray Specs to examine the bones in his hand while a voluptuous woman stood in the background, as though awaiting her turn to be “X-rayed”. There is the recent hit by Neal McCoy about a fellow named Billy who is busy chasing all the women in the bar after way too many beers:
He’s on the dance floor yelling Freebird.
Singing off pitch but he knows every word.
Grabs him a girl and he holds on tight.
He’s chasing everything in sight.
Life looks good, good, good.
Billy’s got his beer goggles….on.
I have one question to be answered: What does it take for a man to see beyond a woman’s looks, to see inner beauty?
I am the father of three beautiful young ladies. They are all three adults now, and possess beauty that is beyond just the external and physical. That is not to suggest that they are unattractive in any way either, just that there is something about them that radiates from the core of who they are that makes them beautiful. For decades we have implied to ourselves that physical beauty is an all important virtue. The advertisers spend billions on promoting their “beauty” products, and even promote medical procedures to improve external beauty. But what is it that actually makes someone attractive? I suspect that it is far more than just the external. How do we, especially as men, get beyond the “Barbie-doll” images to see what is true and lasting beauty? Maybe as we think about the other gender, we can think about cultivating the same attributes of inner beauty within our manly selves as well.
Inner beauty is something that radiates from the soul. It is not something that you can see, even with the $7.99 X-Ray Specs you bought years ago. Indwelling beauty is related to character, heart and faith. It is proverbial wisdom that teaches us that: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” So, to the fella who is looking for beauty, and for attractiveness that will not wrinkle, sag, or get age spots; I suggest that he find a woman whose words match the kind of heart that is full of genuine good.
The truth of the matter is, the inner beauty that draws lasting attention is the kind of attribute that reflects heart-felt character. Genuine character flows out of lives that are spent developing the depth of personality that values things like gentleness, and grace. Men are attracted to women who know what it means to show true kindness and patience, and who allow those qualities to grow and to spill out of their lives into those around them. Actually, a beautiful heart may be harder to attain than external attractiveness. To be attractive from within means that your persona isn’t something that you put on out of a jar, but it is developed in your life on a day to day basis. Self control, faithfulness, love and joy are not “natural products” in the human soul, but they are character traits that have to be cultivated, watered, weeded and tended to blossom. So, to my girls, as they have grown, we have tried to point them over and over again to genuineness of character as being more important that the latest fashion, or the newest beauty product, or the current trend that is the “latest and greatest”.
One thing I haven’t mentioned to you yet, is that not only do I have three daughters who we have sought to teach the truth of living out of a beautiful heart; but our oldest child is our son. He is married and has found a wife who displays a beautiful heart and whose physical beauty rivals her heart. Through the years, as he moved toward maturity, marriage and becoming a parent himself, he and I spoke often about the kind of character his future wife might have. More than that, my wife and I have prayed many times that he would find a woman who had the kind of attractiveness that would radiate out of who she is. Part of the truth of how we as men find “truly beautiful wives” and see inner beauty, is that we cultivate the very same values into our lives as they do.
The old saying is that “opposites attract”, but here is one time when that whole idea is absolutely wrong. You will see the inner beauty, the attractiveness of heart and soul that lasts, only as you and I develop that in ourselves. It takes much more effort than just going to the gym every day, and keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Developing heart beauty that radiates from your inner being involves working on the core values of your soul, so that your soul and life reflect the good the true and the beauty of the men God created us to be.
Published in Lake Healthy Living Magazine – July 2013