I remember certain dates reasonably well. Notable birthdays and anniversaries don’t often escape memory. Such is the case on this particular day, as it marks the observance of my first evening with a golden-haired beauty from the not-so-distant past -- for whom I was 15 minutes late picking her up -- and it is in Sarah’s honor that I write the following post (because I’m largely responsible for dropping the proverbial ball).
Christians often cite the qualities of a "Proverbs 31 woman," but we frequently overlook the concurrent virtues listed in 1 Peter 3:3-4 [NIV], which reads as follows: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."
Indeed, and purely for the record, there is a certain raven-haired (and recently engaged) beauty for whom I will always be reminded each time the above-mentioned verse is referenced. That special, almost undefinable feeling she so effortlessly sent through me just by entering the room is something I won't experience again anytime soon.
In essence, I never liked this peerless lady (whom I’ve purposely not identified) because she’s pretty; I relished this lovely woman because of her heart. The mere sound of her voice is poetry and I may never encounter her equal. For all the women I've come across over the years, her impact upon me is altogether unmatched.
On an equally personal note, I’ve never been with someone just for the sake of "being" with someone. If it doesn’t mean something, it basically means nothing, and too many people I know are hellbent on finding some unsuspecting soul who might unwittingly take on the sizable responsibility of mending a broken heart and mind.
Thus, because I prefer to mope on my own instead of dumping on someone I might genuinely care for, I endeavor instead to avoid dysfunctional co-dependence. No matter how attractive she is, I just don't have it in me to let her in if she doesn't speak to my heart.
Socially, I have witnessed a tragic and growing overemphasis on external appeal over the years and an almost complete lack of emphasis on the inner kind of beauty that doesn’t evanesce with time. It is one of the most neglected personal issues one can face without fully realizing it.
I'm still learning how to be a man, but if I could offer a suggestion to any young woman who reads this, I implore the following: You can attract a man with your looks, but it’s better to make him love you because of your heart. It is the best kind of beauty you have.