Sunday, September 7, 2008

True Beauty

Our pastor spoke about wives and husbands today at church. It was a very good sermon, in my opinoin. Of course, I have zero experience in marriage (or dating for that matter!) but it sounded good to me. And, to my surprise, when he talked about how a wife thrives on the love, praise and security a husband should give, I totally understood what he was saying and could identify with that in my own heart. And when he talked about how a wife should treat her husband with respect and submit to him I realized alot of it can be put into practice with my relationship with my dad. Anyway, our opening scripture was found in 1 Peter.

"..... they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 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 great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful."
1 Peter 3:1b-5b

I guess I'd never paid attention to these verses before! But when I read them this morning they ministered to my heart. Our culture focuses SO MUCH on things that will make us look more beautiful, more appealing. And we listen!! We go and buy the latest trends, get the newest makeup, have our hair styled the new way. I'm not saying this is wrong. However, speaking for myself, I forget that it's not all about how I look, it's about what's inside. I wouldn't want someone to like me just because of my appearance anyway. Jesus loves me because of who I am on the inside. He looks at me when I wake up in the morning with dark eyes, disheveled hair, and baggy pajamas and he says, "You are beautiful! I love you because of your heart not for your appearance."

It says in the last verse that "this is how the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful." They focused on their attitude, their spirit, their hearts. They trusted that God would bring them a husband who would look past their faces and into their hearts. Why can't I do that? Is it pride? Am I too scared that I will be rejected by people if my outward appearance isn't beautiful enough? Why do we spend more time trying to impress the people of this world than we do on our hearts? The One who has shown the greatest love deserves our attention, not the mirror!! Our inner beauty is of great worth to God and I think I need to focus a little more on that. I want to be the wife someday who has the "unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit," "noble character (proverbs 12)," "a wife who is hardworking, compassionate, has strength and dignity, full of laughter, wise with faithful instruction on the tongue, and who fears the Lord." (majorly summarized Proverbs 31:10-31)

Khalil Gibran, (1883 - 1931)
Beauty is not in the face;
beauty is a light in the heart.

Ivan Panin
For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it.
For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it.
For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.

Sophia Loren
Beauty is how you feel inside,
and it reflects in your eyes.
It is not something physical.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I underlined the exact same verse today in church, too! Isn't it so cool we have a God who isn't completely focused on what we look like on the outside? His opinion is the only one that matters, not humans here on earth!

What you wrote today was an encouragement, Molly! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Your friend,