Last Updated on March 12, 2024

To Botox or not to Botox?

That is the question. Or is it? Maybe it’s breast augmentation or a tummy tuck or an eye lift or weight loss surgery.  Women have come a long way from makeup and hair curlers in our eternal quest for beauty.

I’ll fess up first. I’ve thought about it. More than once. And my guess is you have too, if you’re honest. Even if it’s a fleeting thought as you walk out of your bathroom or catch your reflection in a window or mirror, fixing some flaw has crossed your mind. Never mind whether you can afford it or not. The longing to stop or slow the breakdown of our youth is universal.

This topic has been on my mind for a long time because I see women going under the knife for beauty everywhere. They are my age and they are my oldest daughter’s age. She told me recently that “all the women” her age, in their mid to late 30s, were getting breast augmentations. Of course it’s not all, but when it’s becoming common in your circle of church friends in Middle America, it feels like all.

In my age group it’s slowing the signs of aging by filling creases and lifting sagging skin. Who over 50 hasn’t looked in the mirror and lifted drooping skin with two fingers?

So is it wrong?

Is Botox a sin?

Clearly there is no prohibition in the Bible against Botox or the other body modifications that are common today. But there are many cautions against putting our hope in external beauty. We’re also given quite a bit of instruction on how we should view our bodies.

And yes, there are medical reasons for some procedures, so strict dos and don’ts can’t be created. Take note for example these verses from 1 Peter 3…

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4

When I turned 60–still sounds impossible–I was having a momentary moment of mourning in front of the bathroom mirror one day. Wondering where the glow had gone, where the wrinkles had come from and when. It seemed so sudden.  Standing there I asked the Lord, “Would it be ok if I fixed this?” 

He didn’t say no. He didn’t say yes. What He did do was bring a verse in Matthew to mind.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

Honestly, I was quite surprised that out of nowhere came the “thought” of this verse. I hadn’t just read it or heard a sermon on it. And I ask God lots of questions that He doesn’t answer on the spot, or ever.

But I knew it was Him. It was so like Him to remind me that what matters on earth doesn’t matter in heaven. 

If I spend thousands of dollars on recapturing a youthful look, I’m investing in earth not heaven. 

And even if money was not an issue, a surgical fix is still temporary.

As I walked out of the bathroom that day I knew the answer to my question was about pleasing someone other than myself. And I’ve wondered, too, since that day, if the wearing down of the body isn’t good for me, good for my heart not to be proud, to trust less in my flesh and more in my Savior.

The real question is not one of right or wrong but of who we are living to please. The grass withers and the flower fades and so will we. Our souls will live forever. 

I want to please Him, to invest in what will last forever, and to have no regrets when I see Him face to face.

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  1. OH,Barbara! Thank you for sharing this!!! I love the verse you shared! It brought tears to my eyes! (and FYI…when I met you last January, I thought “MAN! I hope I look as good as her when I’m her age!” ) You are beautiful! And you carry 60 well!!! ( :

  2. Thank you so much Barbara for sharing your heart and wisdom on this VERY important issue – the tug of the world is so hard in this area for women of all ages. I hope and pray many women will read this and consider. Your willingness to be so honest and convicting is a true blessing. And yes…my two fingers have done the “little tug” as my lips uttered “if only” … so I get it and I needed this truth! Thank you sincerely!

  3. Love this! I think you’re right – those of us over 50 have certainly considered what we could do to improve the sagging skin that seemed to appear out of nowhere. But how thankful I am that my heavenly Father isn’t concerned about those things and wants me to more concerned with what’s behind the sagging skin (“Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Sam 16:7). Thank you for your transparent post!

    1. it is the heart that matters. “man looks at the outside but God sees the heart.” i think someone famous said that!

  4. I get your point, but as a person who has had weight loss surgery, I think it’s unfair that you compare it to breast augmentation. I did it because I was morbidly obese. At less than 30 years of age I had many of the comorbidiities commonly associated with being so overweight. I was on two different medications for high blood pressure. Now post surgery I am off both meds. I can be more active. I am much healthier.

    Please, if you are reading this blog and you have been considering weight loss surgery, it’s not the same as cosmetic surgery done just to improve the way you look! God wants you to take care of your body. He does not want you to be sick and unhealthy. It’s not a cure all. It doesn’t magically “fix” you. It’s still a lot of hard work and dedication to taking care of yourself.

  5. Barbara, thank you so much for this post! I posted a link to your article on Facebook as soon as I finished reading it. So many of my friends ask why I don’t color my hair to cover up the gray. I tell them that each one of my gray hairs represents a ‘badge of courage’ to me that God has given me for making it through another day on this earth. Each one represents another trial, tribulation, or test that I have passed. I am thankful for every gray hair and every wrinkle. They remind me of how blessed I really am, every day.

    1. thanks Joanne for linking to your fb page! i’m honored and hope it encourages many more women.

  6. I must sat that at the age of 53 I would like to have a little work done, as the name of my blog suggests. But I realized that it doesn’t really matter what I do unless I change the way I see myself.
    My prayer is that I will begin to see myself as God sees me and then I won’t feel the need to change the way he made me.

  7. Barbara,
    Thank you SO much for this note of encouragement. I love your words, “if I spend thousands of dollars on recapturing a youthful look, I am investing in earth, not heaven.” I hate that my mind invests time anywhere but heavenly matters, but it does. Twenty years your younger, I continually battle thoughts of right and wrong in this area- and always end up with “what eternal purpose does it have?” I had braces, I wear makeup and color my hair so it is not two-tone (now three with the gray)- which often feel like measures to avoid distracting people from my message. Yet, I draw some imaginary line when it comes to fixing veins in my legs (which Christian women have suggested to me many times!), augmenting my chest, (I am a “nearly-A”) and Botox (which occupies my mind more than I care to admit-LOL!). Thank you for your courage in writing this. As always, it encourages me to set my mind on things Above, and leave the rest to the moths and rust. God bless you for serving Him. It has blessed me today!
    -Terri Brady

  8. Barbara,
    Thanks for tackling this issue! I have recently been mulling over why I have my hair colored and why I am paying $10.00 and up for anti-aging facial soap. I am in my mid-30’s and while I notice a few lines I haven’t had a “Botox moment” yet. It has unfortunately become so common place to color your hair and to use anti-aging creams and soaps that a lot of women (including me!) have never even stopped to consider “should I use this and why I am I using this”. At the conclusion of my recent introspection of the “why” behind why I have been coloring my hair and using anti-aging soaps, I decided I am done with spending the ridiculous amounts of money I have already spent on just these two things. Growing old is a priviledge, why do I want to cover it up or conceal my age? I will admit, I am working on the down hill to 40 and I am still not sure how I feel sometimes about this. But I would rather show my girls that there is nothing wrong with aging and it should be celebrated rather that giving them the impression that growing older needs to be painted over, propped up and cried over until its been wasted in vein.

    1. well said, Heather. glad my words encouraged you. we are sending messages to our kids by what we do to stay young!