Author Aimee Byrd is so pretty herself from the picture on her blog at http://www.housewifetheologian.com, and incidentally the picture on the book cover is not Aimee Byrd. Aimee herself likes beauty, and has a perspective on it that I appreciate. She writes:
Our culture has tried its hardest to monopolize our perception of what is beautiful and what is not. And many times we regrettably take something that really is attractive, and exploit it beyond recognition (p. 38).She notes that beauty is a biblical concept, not a concept spun by Hollywood. How can we so idly stand by and allow them [Hollywood] to exploit our wonderful youth--or forget the different kind of beauty that also comes with age? (p. 42) She lauds the gentle and quiet spirit mentioned in 1 Peter 3 and calls for contagious beauty that isn't prideful (p. 45) and points out that others are beholding this glory of the Lord through us (p. 49).
Here are the chapter two journaling questions in red from page 50 and several of my responses in black.
- Are you able to admire a beautiful woman, or does it evoke competition or jealousy. Do you see beauty in people around you, or are you harsh and critical? Yes, sometimes I humorously think it is "sinful" for someone to be so beautiful. But the sin comes in their flaunting their beauty. After becoming a senior citizen and aging, I realize I need to be content with how I look and just enjoy the youth of others. I feel pretty at my age, for my age. I do enjoy complementing other women.
- How is beauty connected to purity, truth, and originality? I think of Philippians 4:8--the things we are called to think about--whatever things are true. . . pure. . . lovely. . . think on these things. I have a board on Pinterest called "Think on These Things" which we are called to do in this verse. That Pinterest board is all Scripture. Originality is certainly part of beauty--I do not want to be a cookie cutter of someone's idea of beauty.
- Contrast true beauty with the cheap beauty in our culture today. Does beauty need to see itself to others? Discuss the tension between true beauty and exploitation. How boring is a beautiful woman who has nothing much to say or contribute! That beauty will not last. Proverbs 30:31 says Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing.
- What is beautiful about belonging to the right hour or season? How does this relate to submissiveness and God's will? That Proverbs verse continues a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
- In examining yourself, what kind of makeover might you need in order to show forth more beauty? I felt so vain when I had a cosmetic procedure done last summer. Maybe that was okay, and everyone has said it helps my appearance. I lost 25 pounds in 2012 and can loose more.
- Describe the ugliness of a rebellious disposition. I see ugliness in young women I substitute teach for. Pretty on the outside, sometimes they become trashy-looking by choice and their rebellious attitude shows this. Yes, that is so ugly and the males who are attracted are being led down a wrong path.
- In reflecting on Sarah Smith, what kind of fame are you seeking? In retrospect, do you feel as if you ever struggle with being prideful in your beauty? Nope. It has taken me A LOT OF YEARS to feel pretty enough and to really not obsess about beauty, but to enjoy it.
- How can you share your beauty with others? My creativity. I think Edith Shaeffer has written about beauty and creativity. Not sure I have kept her book or what the title is.
- Make a log for a week of the things you read, what you are watching on TV, the music you are listening to, and the conversations you are having with others. Take a look and evaluate; is the underling message congruent with truth and life? I rarely watch TV now. I listen to podcasts chosen to edify.
- How is the above list reflective of your thought world? What does this have to do with being a housewife theologian?
- Read Matthew 23:37 again. How does this rebuke contrast with Christ's beautifying us for our glorification?
- Think of one person in your life who stands to to you in splendor. Describe this person's beauty. Actually I can think of two young black women in our church; both have a unique beauty that I am enjoying each Sunday--you know who you are.
- What do you find beautiful about yourself now? They say I do not look my age, but I do hope I act like a mature senior citizen. I like wearing colors that look good on me. I like enhancing beauty in our home.
After describing her own beauty, Aimee concludes: Hopefully, all this points to the Creator of all beauty in whose image I was made (p. 52).