Last night during a discussion of the busy schedule of the next day, my husband said something profound. He said, “Keep it simple.” (He was especially wise because he didn’t add the “stupid” part of the saying.)
That has resonated with me all day. Wouldn’t it make life easier if we kept everything simple? So, let’s do just that. You’re busy, tired and have a thousand things that needed done yesterday. Me, too. But I wanted to share a little about what God finds beautiful since we’ve looked at the world’s ideology on the subject. There are two verses that stick out in my mind.
“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.” I Peter 3:3-4
In the first verse, Peter says that beauty comes from the inside not the outside. Humans in every time period have been obsessed with beauty and personal appearance. One site I found claimed that Americans spent about 7 billion in 2007 on cosmetics.
The danger lies in spending all our time straightening the outside and never considering the mess inside. Some women feel prepared to face the day when their hair and makeup are done, but they run out the door without praying or even looking at the Bible. They forget that the makeup will disappear and the hair will be tangled, but a godly heart will remain.
It’s easy to spend hours in front of a mirror, but we have lost years staring at ourselves in the mirror. I often wonder where our great women of the faith of today are. Past generations had women like Franny Crosby and Susanna Wesley. Where are ours? Are they standing in front of the mirror, wondering about that one unsightly spot or their eyebrow hair?
In the second verse, Peter tells us what is God’s beauty is. I’ve always had problems with the words gentle and quiet in this verse. At first, I’m shy. Once I get comfortable, I’m very outgoing. (So don’t ever get me terribly comfortable!) I love to banter around ideas, debate, and joke. Quite frequently, I have my foot in my mouth. This verse has always made me feel like to be a Godly Christian woman, you have to be quiet, compliant, and easy to dominate. That’s not me.
But notice that the two adjectives are attached to the noun spirit. This verse is not about your personality. Your personality can be outgoing, strong, passionate, bold, and loud with the right attitude.
The Bible is filled with bold and brave women. I made a list of some of my favorites for you.
- Deborah – She was a prophetess of God, a judge, counselor, and a warrior!
- Jael – She’s one of my top favorites. The commander of the enemy army flees into her tent. What does she do? She welcomes him as sweetly as she can, gives him milk, and waits until he falls asleep from exhaustion. Then does she run and get the nearest man to take care of him? Nope. She gets a tent peg and a mallet. Tiptoeing up to him, she drives it through his temples with such force that the peg enters the ground! I can’t even kill a spider. Gentle and meek? I think not!
- Abigail – When her husband angered David, she gathered a bunch of food (for the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, even back then) and rode out to meet him. Keep in mind that David was mad and had 400 hardened soldiers with him. She changed David’s mind with her gifts and smile.
- Ruth – She chose her husband and went out and got him!
- The Samaritan woman begins a debate with Jesus. After she believes, she returns home and tells everyone about him.
- Dorcas and at least nine other women were leaders in the early church. Paul calls them co-workers.
Keep in mind that I skipped many women like Sarah, Rebecca, Jochebed, Miriam, Achsah, Esther, Mary of Narazeth, and Mary Magdalene.
We can be warriors, judges, debaters, moms, peacemakers, and leaders with a quiet and gentle spirit. This woman does what God has placed in front of her to do. She trusts God and doesn’t worry, is motivated by her love and relationship with Christ, and she will have peace.
But a woman without this spirit will worry incessantly about everything, be driven by fear or a desire to win others’ approvals, be consumed with herself, be quick to speak, quick to become angry, and she will live in fear.
It sums up this way.
To be beautiful:
Love God and know who you are through Him.
Just keeping it simple.