Faith

Have you ever felt that you aren’t beautiful? 

Jiamin Choo-Fong // November 26, 2021, 11:54 am

A praiseworthy fear

It hit me in January 2019.

Clumps of hair fell out whenever my fingers gently ran through my long black hair. Even when I didn’t touch my hair, strands fell off easily onto my clothes, my food, and wherever I was standing. 

I wrestled silently.

What’s happening? Haven’t I just recovered from a bout of dengue fever which bruised my body with purplish-red spots?

Now that the spots have healed, this hair loss issue comes up! I don’t even dare look at myself in the mirror anymore.

My soft and thick hair, the very feature that used to bring me pride and joy, was turning into limp, lifeless strands. 

One evening, as I sat on the floor in disbelief, staring at yet another clump of hair on the ground, my husband Minghui quietly came behind me, sat down, and hugged me close.

I blurted out: “At this rate of severe hair loss, I’m afraid I’ll become bald.” He said: “You’ll always be beautiful to me.”

It felt like a consolation prize to soothe my downcast spirit.

When I asked why, Minghui quoted from Proverbs 31:30:

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” 

In my mind, I knew that verse rang true, but my heart didn’t believe it fully. It felt like a consolation prize to soothe my downcast spirit.

Looking me in the eye, Minghui went on: “I didn’t marry you because of your head full of hair. I married you because of your heart full of gold. Because you are a child of God who fears Him, you are a reflection of who He is, and that is what matters most.”

It dawned on me that he wasn’t offering me a consolation prize, but a top prize which sparked affirmation and praise. 

Am I feminine enough?

As I reflected on the God-fearing woman in Proverbs 31:10–31, I realised that little is mentioned about her looks, but much is emphasised about the works of her hands and her heart behind her actions.

She is hardworking inside and outside the home (v.13–19), generous towards the needy (v. 20) and well-prepared for tough times (v. 21).

To have the description of the woman end with verse 30, praising her fear of the Lord above the transient nature of beauty, reminded me that the most important thing is to value my relationship with God above external appearances. 

It may seem strange that the fear of the Lord can be a good thing and even praiseworthy, because the word “fear” tends to be associated with negative emotions or dreadful experiences today.

However, in the Old Testament, the original language uses the same words for respecting someone who is worthy of reverence and for being afraid of someone who is formidable.

This concept of awe is also closely linked to one’s relationship with God — to know His sovereignty and to revere Him wholeheartedly. The praiseworthy woman knows who God is and has a right attitude toward Him.

… I realised that while I was fearing the loss of physical beauty, it was more important to fear the Lord.

My hair fall issue continued for a few months, but it healed naturally. New hair grew back as my hair growth cycle normalised, and I was relieved.

Looking back, I realised that while I was fearing the loss of physical beauty, it was more important to fear the Lord.

While it may be easy to compliment one another on external looks, talents or achievements unlocked, may we be challenged instead to praise one another for our fear of the Lord because that is the most attractive and everlasting quality.


This devotional was first published by Kallos in A Daughter’s Faith and is republished with permission. Liked it? The book will be sold at an exclusive pre-order price till November 30 on the Kallos website

You can also join the virtual launch of A Daughter’s Faith with Jiamin, as she shares some journalling tips and invites us to reflect on Christmas together. 

Book launch details:
Dec 1, 2021 (Wed, 8–9pm)
Register here: tinyurl.com/adfbooklaunch

THINK + TALK 

  1. Who comes to mind when you think about a woman who has reverence for God? Which of her attributes do you admire and why?
  2. What is one thing you can do to instil a greater sense of the awe of God?
  3. Read up on what it means to revere God here: Deuteronomy 10:12–22, Psalm 147:10–11, Luke 1:46–55
  4. Pray: Heavenly Father, I desire to worship You in reverent awe. Teach me Your way, that I may walk in Your truth. Grant me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your holy name. Amen.