Several years ago, during my first visit to Rome, I discovered the great American actress, Audrey Hepburn. Her classic movie, “Roman Holiday”, in which she won an Academy Award for best actress in 1954, was filmed on location in this picturesque city. Our Italian tour guides were eager to point out where many of the movie’s classic scenes were filmed. Photographs and posters of Hepburn were ubiquitous in every gift shop. Inspired by the adoration the Italians exuded, I later watched the movie and like generations of cinema fans, fell in love with it and Audrey Hepburn.
After returning from Rome and sharing my experiences and newfound love of Audrey Hepburn, many of my colleagues also joined me in agreement. On my birthday that year, one of them gifted me with an Audrey Hepburn poster, one that still hangs in my office. In time, I watched all of Hepburn’s movies and was amazed and delighted to see that even up to her untimely passing at the age of 65 years, she still exuded a radiant and timeless beauty. Her humanitarian efforts equaled her physical beauty and she is remembered and celebrated for both.
When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife, Sarai, “Look, I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.”
Genesis 12:11-13 (CSB)
I have always been fascinated by this description of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. At this time when they were both entering Egypt, she was about 65 years old. Nonetheless, her beauty caught the eye of the Egyptian Pharaoh who brought her into his household. The same thing happened again nearly twenty years later. By then Sarah was 85 years old and she and Abraham were travelling through a region called Gerar. The King of Gerar, Abimelech, also noticed her beauty and sought to make her his wife. Sarah was indeed a timeless beauty!
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD will be praised.
Proverbs 31:30 (CSB)
Don’t let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry or fine clothes, but rather what is inside the heart —the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4 (CSB)
Audrey Hepburn. Sarah. I am sure many of us can add to this list with names that many of us would not recognize, perhaps a mother, wife, or daughter. God does recognize physical beauty, regardless of sex or age. If God has blessed someone with physical beauty, it should be celebrated and the recipient should be thankful. Yet, God also recognizes that physical beauty is fleeting and true beauty lies within one’s character. A truly beautiful woman is one who loves and honors God above all else.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.