Like a swine with a golden jewel in its snout!

(George Lawson, "A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs" 1821)

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30

Why is not beauty included in the character of the virtuous woman? Is not beauty a bright ornament to her virtue? But there is no mention made of it in this description, because it is a lowly quality in comparison of those which are here enumerated. It is but a flower that fades in a day; and the love produced by it is but a transient passion.

When beauty is not sweetened by godly virtue, the woman who possesses it is but like a swine with a golden jewel in its snout, as Solomon tells us. At the best, beauty cannot secure that love which it raises, for when it becomes familiar to the lover, it palls upon his sight; and sometimes tempts him to curse that enchanting influence which blinded his eyes to more solid virtues.

But a woman who fears the Lord, whether she has beauty or not—shall be praised. For true piety is the beauty of the soul, and excels that which lies in complexion and features, as much as Heaven is higher than the earth, or eternity is longer than time.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the most essential part of the virtuous woman's character. It is this which sanctifies every other part of it, and makes her all glorious within. The pleasant effects of the fear of the Lord spread themselves into every part of her behavior, and cannot but excite the admiration of all beholders.

Beauty is indeed a lovely trait when it is joined with piety and humility—but without them it is a snare and a trap! In choosing a wife, fools will follow their imagination—and the wise will act according to reason and the Word of God.