Short, Bald Men Need Love, Too!

“Short, bald men need love too!”

These are my mother’s words of wisdom to my tall teen-age daughter when she shares her height standards for any young man she would consider a potential romantic interest.

It was wonderful last week-end to find a movie that celebrates that sentiment!

In Julie and Julia, Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci portray the engagingly, real-life, romantic marriage of Julia Childs and her husband, Paul. These were not conventionally attractive people. And yet, contrary to what popular culture would have us believe, they prove that homely people can and do enjoy love, passion, joy and marital bliss.

How counter-cultural to portray two middle-aged physically plain mismatched individuals who enjoy one another emotionally and physically within the context of a monogamous marriage! How did this one get past the censors? If Julia and Paul were fictional characters, they would be relegated to supporting roles but in real life, no one told them they couldn’t star in their own show.

We waste inordinate amounts of time, energy and emotional resources pursuing and agonizing over physical appearance. Move on, people! While we’re busy gazing at our reflections, life is rolling by outside our windows. And personally, I think Christians should be leading the charge in this area.

In 1 Samuel 16, Samuel is looking for the man God would anoint King of Israel. When Samuel encounters the first of Jesse’s sons, apparently he was tall and quite a looker and Samuel thinks “Well, this MUST be the guy!” But God instructs the prophet with these words: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Apparently, short men can also be kings.

I think a lot of people miss out on love and many of life’s adventures because they buy the lies of this world that physical perfection is required for happiness. How sad! I am blessed that my husband was not put off by the extra pounds I carried when we met. And, I dare say he feels he’s made out well in the deal, despite my imperfections.

Isn’t it interesting that when God chose to grace us with His incarnation, He chose to come in a plain package? Isaiah 53:2 says of the coming Messiah: “He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” What better way to communicate to all of us that our looks are not what life is about?

Here’s a possibly shocking truth that we moderns should embrace – homely, plain people are capable of giving and receiving love! In fact, downright ugly people can find passion, love, great sex, marital bliss and deep satisfaction in life. It’s true!

I work as a wellness coordinator at the local Y. I spend my days with some people who are in tremendous physical condition and others who are horrendously deconditioned. I can assure you that being in optimal physical shape does not guarantee a beauty that penetrates any deeper than the first layer of Spandex! Some of the most beautiful people I’ve met at my job are overweight, middle-aged and going bald or gray!

Now, I don’t recommend that Christians revert to the days of intentionally downplaying our outward appearance as a method of conveying pious modesty and freedom from vanity. If you’ve got game in the looks department, by all means, let it shine!

But if you’re more likely to grace the cover of Field and Stream than Glamour magazine, go with the flow baby! Stop cowering in the dark, press in to God and venture out into life! And look forward to the day when you’re walking the streets of heaven and hear someone say, “Hey, you remind me of someone! Has anyone ever told you, you look like Jesus?”

Beauty does NOT lie in the eye of the beholder. Beauty lies deep within the heart of God. Travel there and take a long, soul-renewing drink from the fountain of truth. Stop living from the outside in! Live from your heart.

Bon Appétit, people! Bon Appétit!


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    The Conversation

  1. Phoenix says:

    Guilty.. Guilty.. guilty.. aghh! okay I confess. I have gined 20 pounds in the last 2 years and actually have this little thing emerging.. I think it is a belly. Middle age! Yes.
    Me and the LORD had a BIG discussion tonight about my weakness, His strength. We talked about my issues with it for a good hour and I even shed a few tears just to put an exclamation point on my point!
    After I was done.. silence. I waited to see if the heavens would part and the sky would open up!
    I was poised, positioned and ready for the blessing to fall..Wahoo!
    Then 2 little words came out of the silence. The same ones I have heard for 2 years. TRUST ME.
    I fell on the floor exhausted.
    Shake it off and move on!

  2. I wrestle with the same issue, Phoenix, but I reach for a time when I can just let go of the foolish obsession with the woman in the mirror and live with the freedom from self-consciousness God provides me if I just avail myself of His heart.