The chapter starts out by reiterating that the essence of a man is strength and the essence of a woman is beauty. Then it clarifies that they mean primarily strength of heart and beauty as in primarily from the soul. However, at this point I started getting a little annoyed. They're kind of talking out of both sides of their mouth.
Earlier they were all upset that the church overspiritualizes beauty and makes it all about character. And now they're basically saying that the beauty they're talking about is mostly from the soul (character) and that it kind of oozes out as an outward beauty after a while or something. I'm really not sure how that's different than overspiritualizing it, but I might be crazy. :)
Anyway, they say that beauty is an essence that dwells in every woman (that's good news!).
Then they talk about the difference between beauty that comes from a heart at rest and from a heart that's constantly striving to be beautiful. I get that. When a person is happy with who they are and is at peace, there is something beautiful and inviting about that vs. someone who is beautiful but is scared to death that it's not going to last. We feel more at ease around women who are at peace.
OK, I guess there were a couple of things about this chapter that bugged me. Here's another one. On page 139 they talk about a lady who was in an abusive marriage. Out of her "beauty" she would ask her husband if he didn't want more from their marriage all of the time and she remained soft and feminine. I'm having a hard time seeing that as beauty. At what point do you draw the line? Should she draw the line when it moves from verbal abuse to physical abuse? What if he were abusing her children? Staying in a relationship that's abusive and ending up getting killed or getting your kids taken away by CPS just isn't beautiful to me. But that's just me. I understand the concept that God can change people's hearts and all that, but we all also have free will, so if the lady's husband doesn't want God to change his heart, it might very well not happen. People die every day from domestic abuse. I just think it's a little dangerous to paint it as a rosy picture.
They say that the kind of beauty they're talking about does not go away after time (like worldy beauty) but just gets better and better after many years living "beautifully".
I'm sorry, I know I've been kind of negative about this chapter. I do like the book, but this chapter just bugged me. Maybe someone will be able to explain it to me so that I'm not as bothered by it.