“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” - Proverbs 31:30
Does this mean that we should be ashamed of having “the woman’s touch/influence,” develop negative personalities, and totally neglect our outward appearance because it doesn’t matter anyway?
Not at all.
What I believe the writer was saying is that while these attributes are nice to have, and while they often appear to get a woman whatever or whoever she wants, lasting satisfaction cannot be found in either charm or beauty.
In other words, it’s not so much an issue of “charm and beauty vs. fear of the Lord” as it is where our priority and foundation are.
We can have “the charm,” the ability to win someone over or “keep ‘em coming back,” as the popular saying goes. However, because of the fallen world we live in, charm and beauty can change at any moment. What we thought would always work may stop working. And honestly, when we depend on our charm and beauty, we’re actually placing ourselves on the throne of our lives instead of God. We are saying, “I can do this by myself.” How do I know? Because after reading various definitions of “charm,” I found that what makes charm different from grace, divine favor, and gifting is that the one who is said to possess charm is known for his/her ability to obtain what he/she desires by his/her own self.
This is why we have to, as the writer of Proverbs suggests, fear the Lord. When we fear the Lord, we are led by and fully yielded to Him no matter what season we are in. We are not led by our flesh, but are careful to consult God first to find out what His will is. We don’t move without His “okay,” without His blessing, without His grace... Because He’s Lord over our lives — not someone we worship on Sunday but don’t seek concerning our personal matters throughout the week. Instead, He’s the One we actively trust with our courtship, marriage, and if single, our desire for a relationship. He’s the One we reverence and esteem highly because we cannot do it by ourselves.
And guess what — there’s benefit in that! Women who fear the Lord are greatly praised. One commentator explains it well: “Such a woman is taken notice of and highly valued by the Lord; His eye is upon her; His hand communicates to her much grace; many benefits are bestowed upon her, great honour is conferred upon her, and great goodness is laid up for her.” Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that make you feel special and desire even more to grow in fear/reverence of the Lord?
Proverbs 31:30 is a necessary reminder that we cannot depend on a charming personality or beauty to gain, sustain, and/or find favor in a relationship. Although we may look good or be admired for our charm, it is our reverence for the Lord that commands long-lasting pursuit, respect, and affection.