When Beauty Fades

Pierce Brosnan, my favorite James Bond, was recently interviewed in the media about his wife, with whom he has six children. One entertainment outlet described her as the "ugly" wife of 007, primarily basing it on current external appearance. Pierce countered by saying that he loves her nonetheless as well as every part of her physical body. "That's the real man," a commentator commented.

We humans often look at the outward appearance. In our culture, it can be difficult not to, even in our relationships. I'm reminded of a middle-aged couple I counseled who were having problems in their marriage. The husband's complaint was that his wife avoids social gatherings and always seems too tired for sex. The longer I spoke to the wife, the clearer it became that she was not happy with the way she appears in the mirror.

When you're focused on your outward appearance, you believe that how you look is who you really are. Nothing can be farther from the truth. When time goes by and physical beauty fades, there is another kind of beauty that can emerge. In a marriage, when all externals disappear, what's left are two things: character and conversation.

There lies the secret of true beauty.