FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Beauty Enhancements: Luxury or Necessity

with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Nancy Stafford, Sharon Jaynes | August 6, 2010
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Are makeup, earrings, and tattoos the mark of real beauty, or is there more? On today's broadcast, Sharon Jaynes, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Nancy Stafford give a biblical view of beauty enhancements.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Are makeup, earrings, and tattoos the mark of real beauty, or is there more? On today's broadcast, Sharon Jaynes, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Nancy Stafford give a biblical view of beauty enhancements.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

Are makeup, earrings, and tattoos the mark of real beauty, or is there more?

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Beauty Enhancements: Luxury or Necessity

With Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Nanc...more
August 06, 2010
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Bob:  What does God think about makeup?  Well, according to Nancy Leigh DeMoss, He is a painter.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  When God puts a rainbow in the sky, He's painting something. He's making a beautiful painting and I think part of our God-given role as women is to bring beauty to our circumstances, to our settings, to our homes, to our world, and to display even in our physical appearance the reflection of a beautiful God that starts in our heart and then is manifested in our outward appearance.

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, August 6th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  We'll talk today about makeup and other forms of external adornment.  We’ll talk about what's appropriate and what's not. 

And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Friday edition.  This has just been a beautiful week, hasn't it?

Dennis:  It has been a beautiful week, and we're going to end on an edgy side of the week.

Bob:  Oh, are we?

Dennis:  We're going to talk about makeup, jewelry, body piercing, and tattoos today.  How's that for a topic?

Bob:  We're rolling it out here, aren't we?

Dennis:  We've been talking all this week with three delightful ladies–Sharon Jaynes joins us, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Nancy Stafford.  Nancy is the author of Beauty by the Book, and Sharon Jaynes has written a book called The Ultimate Makeover, and we've been talking about beauty.

Bob:  Did you ever watch Matlock?  Have you ever seen an episode of Matlock?  You haven't, have you?

Dennis:  We're going to offend the guest–Nancy–I've already done that once this week–maybe twice.

Bob:  Nancy Stafford, she was on for five seasons on Matlock.  You've never seen one episode of Matlock, have you?

Dennis:  I'm sorry, Nancy.

Nancy Stafford:  That's okay.

Dennis:  I'm sorry.  You were on Magnum, P.I., though, weren't you?

Nancy Stafford:  Once.

Dennis:  Once.

Bob:  Yeah, you didn't see that, though, either.  You just heard her tell the story.

Dennis:  I want to tell a story as we start this broadcast, and I'm going to start way out on the edge, because we've been dealing with issues like modesty and plastic surgery and beauty, and if you haven't heard the previous four days broadcasts, you need to get all the CDs and get these books, because you really need to have a biblical perspective of beauty today. 

But I was at an event, a Christian event, where there were a pair of Christian entertainers on the stage who publicly were talking about just a little–a teeny, little tattoo…

Bob:  …on the ankle, right?

Dennis:  On the ankle, and…

Bob:  …she had gotten one, and then he got one after it.

Dennis:  That's right, and I was seated next to the wife of the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.  Shortly after Bill Bright's death I was seated right next to Vonette Bright on the front row listening to this couple talk about the tattoos they have on their ankle, is that right?  And I was wondering what Vonette Bright was thinking about this tattoo. 

And she leans over next to me, and she says, "Honey, when we first got married, Bill Bright did not want me to get my ears pierced, but I did it, anyway, and he was wounded.  He was wounded." 

And I laughed, and I thought, isn't it interesting how times have changed?  You could start with something that is seemingly as harmless as getting your ears pierced, and I know we have some of our listeners who would probably …

Bob:  … say that's a problem.  So are you saying, to start us off here, you're saying, "Hey, just relax on this tattoo thing.  It's nothing worse than getting your ears pierced?"

Dennis:  I didn't say that.

Bob:  Well, that's sure what it sounds like with your illustration here.  You're saying, you know, "Hey, back in the old days she didn't like ear piercing.  Now they're getting tattoos, just relax," right?

Dennis:  I think what we need to do is make sure wherever we stand, we need to go back to the Scriptures, and to do that we have these three ladies to help us anchor.

Bob:  Because you don't have the answers, right?

Dennis:  Well, it depends on what Old Testament passage you want to go to on the answers on tattoos.

Bob:  That's right.

Dennis:  Now, I want to back all the way up—we’ll talk about tattoos before the broadcast is over today—but I want to go all the way back to makeup.  Now, here is an industry that's billions.  How is a Christian woman to view the subject of makeup?  Nancy Stafford?

Nancy Stafford:  Well, like they always say, if the barn door needs paintin'.


Dennis:  That thought crossed my mind.  I wasn't dare going to say it with you three ladies here in the studio, though.

Nancy Stafford:  Well, I think like anything, we can take everything to extremes.  I think that part of what God has called us to be is to be our best, and if we feel better about ourselves by dressing nicely and caring about our appearance and wearing makeup, I think that honors God, if it's done with the right motivation of heart.

Bob:  How old were you when you first were able to start wearing makeup?

Nancy Stafford:  Now, I grew up as a Southern Baptist girl in Florida in a very conservative little family, and I didn't start wearing makeup until I was about 16 years old.  It was funny because I started in the Miss America Pageant, and when I won my local pageant in Fort Lauderdale, I went to Miss Florida, and my whole makeup kit was Cornsilk powder and Maybelline lipstick.  That's all I had.  So they had to kind of take me through the ropes.  I had to learn all about that stuff when I was in my 20s.

Bob:  All right, Sharon, how old were you when you first started wearing makeup?

Sharon Jaynes:  Oh, my goodness, I think I was about three.  I'm having visions of myself when I was small, sneaking into my mother's bathroom drawer and opening up the drawer and sneaking on lipstick.  Of course, that was just playing and pretending, and I'd smear it all over my face.  Actually, I think, though I was probably 7th grade.  So that would make you 13.

Bob:  That was okay with your parents?

Sharon Jaynes:  That was okay.  There were a lot of things, it seemed like, when I was 13, I could do several things when I was 13.  I was allowed to get my ears pierced when I was 13.  I could wear some makeup when I was 13 and actually nylons, that was a big thing–we could stop wearing our knee socks and start wearing nylons when we were 13.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  Can you imagine that we dreamed of a day we could do that?

Sharon Jaynes:  I know, I know.

Nancy Stafford:  Take them off, take them off.

Sharon Jaynes:  What were we thinking?  And so probably, you know, 7th grade, I think, is when that whole thing started opening up.

Dennis:  Nancy Leigh, how old were you when you started wearing makeup?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  You know, honestly, I can't remember, but it was probably my mid late teens.  And I'm thankful that, again, in our home it wasn't any big issue, but what had been modeled by my mother and by the way my parents approached this kind of thing was that it was okay, it just should not be an extreme.  It should be in moderation.  So I don't think it was any big issue.

Bob:  Would there ever be a situation where you would feel that perhaps you ought to sit down with a sister in Christ and say, "What you're doing with makeup is not glorifying to the Lord."  Can you imagine something like that, and what would it be?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  Well, I think that a lot of girls, as I look at them today, with a very painted look.  What troubles me, for their sakes is that I think they are saying, all over their face, "I am insecure.  I am not comfortable with who I am.  I need to cover it up," and I feel sorry for those girls.

I think someone needs to come around them and love them enough to deal with the issues of the heart.  I wouldn't start with the makeup. I wouldn't start with immodest clothing.  I think these things are issues that start in the heart–where is your confidence?  Whose approval are you seeking?  Have you accepted yourself as God made you?  And as we deal with those heart issues, then I think it gets a whole lot easier to educate and train some of these more external issues.

Nancy Stafford:  I agree, because I think God looks straight through the makeup on our face.  He looks straight through the clothes on our back or the skin on our bones or the fat on our bones, and He looks right into our heart, and He is the only one that can tell us if we're beautiful or not.

Bob:  We can't just presume that our listeners know this but, actually, the Scriptures say exactly that.  They say, back in the Old Testament, when Samuel was setting aside David to be the king, and everybody looked around and said, "David, are you sure?"  And Samuel said that people look on the outward appearance of a man, but the Lord looks at the heart, and that's why David was going to be the king, not because of his outward appearance but because of his heart.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  There is actually a verse more to the point, but what I think is a fascinating word picture – Proverbs, chapter 11, verse 22 says, "Like a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair or beautiful woman who is without discretion."  Now, you think about it for a minute – a pig is a pig is a pig, and you could dress it up, you could put designer clothes on it, you could put expensive jewelry on it …

Bob:  …a lot of makeup…

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  …a lot of makeup, but it's still a pig.  And I think the Scripture is saying there that, for a woman to be externally made up, beautiful, beautifully decked out, but inside to have no discretion, to have the heart of a pig, it's foolish, it's ludicrous, it doesn't make sense.  So we want to say, "What is your heart condition," and then let your external reflect that.

Dennis:  I have to ask this question, though, to you ladies.  There would be those who would say that because the nature of makeup is to cover up–okay, let's do away with all of it, and let's not have any paint on the barn.  Let's just be natural.  Isn't that the way God made us?  And so the easiest thing to do is just eliminate it.

Sharon Jaynes:  I have a friend, a gal that I spoke to at a conference in Ohio, and she was raised in a church that did not believe in makeup at all.  Once she became free in Christ, she said that when she put on makeup for the first time, she actually felt a sense of freedom. 

So, again, like we've talked about so many times this week, we can take all of these issues to extremes.  We can take it to the extreme of not wearing any at all or covering up everything that we have with makeup.  Again, it's praying that God will show us what is honoring to Him.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  And there are so many pictures in Scripture of God creating and designing beauty.  It talks about the flowers of the field that He dresses, and it says even Solomon in all his beauty or glory was not arrayed like one of these.  When God puts a rainbow in the sky, He is painting something.  He is making a beautiful painting, and I think part of our God-given role as women is to bring beauty to our circumstances, to our settings, to our homes, to our world, and to display even in our physical appearance, the reflection of a beautiful God that starts in our heart and then is manifest in our outward appearance.

Nancy Stafford:  And to our husbands and to our boyfriends.  I mean–we were talking in an earlier show about how do you look when your husband is about to come home?  Do you just let it all hang out and he's got to take me as I am?  No.  We care about our appearance, we care about this temple where the Holy Spirit dwells that we want to enhance it and make it our best.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  And it's a gift to him.

Bob:  Dennis brought up the subject of body piercing–ears, other body parts that are getting pierced–I mean–some of it I see today that's just so out there, that it's hard for me to even imagine why anyone would want a tongue pierced or why anybody would want a belly button pierced.  Some of it, I just …

Nancy Stafford:  … and some of those things are really health hazards.

Bob:  Yes, you do wonder what's going on and why there's a lack of wisdom with regard to that.  But I remember when my daughters first wanted to get their ears pierced, and I was thinking, "I don't know whether I'm ready for this.  Let's put it off a couple more years," and, obviously, they got their ears pierced, it was not that big a deal. 

Now I'm looking–there are more holes in those lobes than–I mean–it's multiple piercings through the ears, and you've got cheeks and tongues, and you've got on the upper rim of the ear, you've got the nose.  If one pierce is okay, you know, what's two?  What's three?  And why only the ear?  And where do we go with this?

Dennis:  I can tell you where we've gone with our daughters.

Bob:  Yes?

Dennis:  As long as we're paying the bill, they can get their ears pierced one spot, right here.  The rest of the piercings are on them after they move out and become adults on their own.

Bob:  So what are your thoughts about that?

Nancy Stafford:  Well, I have to say I really don't have a problem with piercings. 

Dennis:  Multiple?

Nancy Stafford:  Yeah.

Dennis:  Tongue, nose?

Nancy Stafford:  Apart from the fact that many of them do become infected, many of them become health hazards, many of them are more unattractive than they are certainly attractive because of the infections that come.  One good thing about it is that it's temporary.  You take that stud out of there and it will grow back eventually. 

But where I do think there comes an issue, and that is, especially for, like navel piercings and things like that, is then it requires that to expose that navel piercing so everybody can see my piercing, then I have to wear the clothing that's going to be low rise and midriff blouses and stuff to show off my piercings.  I think that it is a relatively innocuous way for someone to push the envelope in their heart and mind.

Bob:  Well, and I think that's where we get to what's really the issue with piercings.  It's what's in the heart and mind.  If somebody is saying, "I want to pierce my belly button or I want to pierce my tongue or my cheek because I want to push the envelope," maybe the issue is not wanting to get your cheek pierced, it's why do you want to push the envelope.  What's really in your heart there?

Sharon Jaynes:  I have a young girl that I am very close with–a beautiful Christian girl.  She went off to college, and she came home after the first semester with her eyebrow pierced.  She loves my husband dearly, and she said, "Do you think less of me because I have done this?"  And he said, "You know, I don't think less of you because I know your heart, but the truth is, there are going to be people that you meet that don't know your heart, and they are going to form an opinion about you because you have this ring in your eyebrow. 

Well, eventually, she met a Christian young man at college, and he told her it looked stupid, and he told her to take it out, and she did.

Bob:  What your husband should have said right off the bat.  "It looks stupid, take it out."

Sharon Jaynes:  But I thought what Steve said to her was so good.  I mean, we might know someone's heart, but the truth is that people are looking at us.  They don't know our hearts. 

Bob:  Nancy Leigh DeMoss, let me ask you if a 22-year-old woman came to you and said, "I'm thinking about getting my nose–I'd like a little stud in the corner of my nose, and I just think it would look real pretty, and do you think there is anything spiritually wrong with that?"  What would you tell her?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  You know, on this whole issue, I think–and a lot of the other issues we've been talking about related to beauty and external appearance, we have to go back to what do you love, whose approval are you trying to get, what are you living for, what is your heart motive and reason. 

The Scripture is very clear that if we are children of God, we belong to a different kingdom.  We have a different set of values.  We have an eternal rather than a temporal purpose and because of who we are in Christ, we are not to love this world and its systems.  The Scripture says it's fashions for passing away.  Well, we know that's true.  And we're not to love them.

I think so much of the fashion industry–what's fashionable, what's current in the culture, what's acceptable—is a drive to conform.  It's a drive to be like the rest of the world.  We even talked this week about helping young people find clothes that are fashionable.  Well, I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with that, but I don't think that's the highest value. 

We need to be willing to say, "Maybe I don't have to be fashionable.  That's not my goal in life.  My goal is to be like Jesus.  My goal is to draw people to Him, not to myself.  I don't live for myself."  It's not just, "Does this please me?  Is this what I want to do?  Is this what everybody else is doing?"  Those are shortsighted reasons, flawed reasons, for making decisions.

So if that girl says, "I want to do this because I believe this is a way for me to glorify God and for me to draw more attention to Him and to be a more useful servant of the Lord, and I believe that's the way to do it."  If you're talking to a teenager who is still under their parents' authority, then you have the issue–are your parents okay with this?  If there is rebellion in your heart, then it's not right.  Not because the ring itself is the issue but the heart issue.

Dennis:  I think a lot of the reasons why our young people press back on these is it's a way to exert their own choices, and they feed on one another, and so they decide, "Yeah, I would like to have this," and I think, Nancy, you have brought us back to the right plumb line here.''

One last question I want to ask–what would you say to a young man who is married to a woman who likes to be told she's beautiful.  He's been told that.  She has let him know that she needs his affirmation, his verbal encouragement to say, “Sweetheart, you look ravishing today.  You look magnificent today.”  Now, this has not been a problem with me.  I have no problem looking at Barbara almost on a daily basis, if not multiple times during the day, looking at her and say, "You are prettier than the day I married you."

Bob:  By the way, she just walked by the studio window.

Dennis:  Did she?  That's too bad, we could have brought her in here, and I'd have said it to her again face-to-face, because I don't know that I've said it today to her.  But what would you say to a young man who doesn't get that, Sharon?  He just doesn't understand how important these words are to his wife?

Sharon Jaynes:  If he wants a woman who will love him, who will hug him, who will take care of him, who will nurture him, who will fulfill his needs that is a very inexpensive way to get all that he wants.

Dennis:  It's cheaper than nails and a massage.


Sharon Jaynes:  It's cheaper than nails and a massage, and a compliment will go a long way.

Dennis:  What's going on in a woman's heart that makes this so important?  Nancy?

Nancy Stafford:  Well, I think it goes back to that need for security that we have as women.  It's at the core of our being, and I think men have a need to be revered and to be honored and to be respected, and we have a need to be valued and loved, and I think it's a very easy way if a man can just understand our hearts for just a little bit and say that.

But also I think we need to be, as women, conscious that, yes, it's a wonderful gift when our guys say that to us but moreso we need to be able to feel completely confident and comfortable as we walk through life knowing that our heavenly Father has said that we are valued and beautiful and deeply loved.  That's the voice we need to hear.  The Psalm says, "The king is enthralled by your beauty."  So the King of kings says we're beautiful, if our husbands and boyfriends say it, too, that's great.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  Dennis, you started out by talking about Mrs. Bill Bright, Vonette Bright, and I had the privilege of being with that couple just within the last week of his life here on earth.  It was a precious thing to watch that couple after they'd been married, what was it, 53 or 55 years, something like that, and I had known them well over many of those years, and he was always saying, often, many times a day in front of other people and privately–"My wife is so beautiful.  I just love my Vonette.  She is the most precious"–I mean he had more superlatives–you've heard him speak this way to her. 

She would just love it, and she would give back to him that admiration and that appreciation, and it was such a precious thing to see a couple who had been married 50+ enjoying now the sweet fruit, living like they were still on their honeymoon but more deeply in love with the Lord and with each other.  They fueled that in each other. 

As you see in the Song of Solomon, the great textbook on marriage, the husband and the wife both speaking words of appreciation, affection, admiration for each other.  It builds a oneness and a sweetness that, in the years to come, really has a huge payoff.

Dennis:  They really did model that, and I'm glad you helped end this series of broadcasts with a model like them, because she models where a woman's heart is truly to be, and that's loving the King and being about the King's business on this planet.  He modeled the same thing–a love for the King and being committed to what the King wanted him to accomplish with his life and together, as a couple, they were not only committed to one another but to that King and, in the process, he did love her like you're talking about.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  And that's real beauty and real style that never goes out of style.

Dennis:  And it doesn't.

Bob:  As we’ve been saying all this week, this is a message that we need to make sure we are communicating clearly, early with young daughters.  It’s not like when they are teenagers you can’t have the conversation, but it’s best if you can start when they’re young and start countering the cultural message about beauty. 

Our friends over at VeggieTales have recently put together a DVD, it’s brand new.  It’s the first time they’ve done a DVD that’s aimed at young girls specifically.  It’s called “Sweet Pea Beauty” they’ve taken the Sleeping Beauty story and made it about the subject we’re talking about this week about beauty. 

As we were talking with them about that, they knew about our goal this month: to try to meet new listeners.  Listeners who have been listening for a while, but who have never gotten in touch with us, never made a donation to help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today.  They said, “We’d like to help.  We can make available some of these new DVDs and maybe that will provide an incentive for people to make a donation to FamilyLife Today.” 

So, if you’ve been listening for a while, and you’ve never made a donation to help support FamilyLife Today, if you’ll go online or call today, make a first-time donation, you can request a copy of the “Sweet Pea Beauty” DVD from VeggieTales, and we’ll send it as a thank you gift for your first-time donation.

You can go to, and there’s a button there that says, “first-time donor,” you click that.  Or call 1-800-FL-TODAY, and make your first-time donation over the phone. 

Again, we’re hoping that we’ll hear from about 100 new donors a day, this month.  That’s our goal, 2500 new donors who will help support the cost of this program.  We are listener supported.  We’re facing some challenges right now, and we thought, maybe we could rally some folks who are regular listeners, but have never made a donation.  That’s what we’re asking you to consider doing today. 

Again, our thank you gift to you is a copy of the “Sweet Pea Beauty” DVD.  So, again, go to, and make a donation online.  Or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and make your donation over the phone.  Just identify yourself as a first-time donor, and we’ll get the DVD out to you.  Let me just say thanks, for stepping forward, and for introducing yourself, and thanks for listening.  Thanks for tuning in, and being a part of the conversation each day.

As we wrap things up here today, we started off by asking you, Dennis, if you had ever seen the TV show, Matlock.  Did you ever seen St. Elsewhere?  You know, Nancy Stafford was on St. Elsewhere, too.  Did you ever see any of that show?  A hospital show?

Nancy Stafford:  Don't embarrass him anymore.  You're digging deeper here.

Dennis:  Was that a show?  I thought that was some cathedral or something.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  This will blow your mind–I have seen Matlock.

Bob:  How about that, huh?

Nancy Stafford:  You have?

Dennis:  Nancy Leigh DeMoss has seen Matlock.

Nancy Stafford:  You brought it out of the garage?

Dennis:  Well, I want to thank you ladies for being good sports this week.  We have put you on the spot.  Nancy Stafford, Sharon Jaynes, and Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Nancy Leigh DeMoss knew what we were going to do to her, and she still came back.

Bob:  That's right.

Dennis:  She did.  But thank you all for joining us.  I think our listeners have been encouraged and instructed, and I think have a better perspective about the subject of beauty.  I hope you all will come back join us again.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:  Thank you for addressing this subject.

Sharon Jaynes:  Thank you.

Nancy Stafford:  Thank you.

Bob:  FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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