Monday, July 28, 2008

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV)

How much time does it take you each day to "adorn" yourself outwardly? I don't know what the statistics say, but I'm the quickest of the mini-poll I took among a few friends - 20 minutes max. Those are the days that don't include hair washing and shaving. When my bonus daughter was a teen, she weighed in at over an hour and a half. Minimum!

Looking my best is important to me when I go to work. I may have meetings to attend or meet new people. The main person I want to look my best for is my husband, though. While we don't work together, he drops me off for work and I want that image to stick with him for the day. I love it when he says, "You look nice today, babe."

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward..." reminds me that while it's okay to look my best, it's not to be my whole focus. One meaning of merely is "altogether or entirely.

The subject of my post, though, is the latter part of the verse. The one that talks about where inner beauty comes from. One definition of adornment says, "to make more pleasing, attractive, impressive, etc.; enhance". We need to take special care to adorn our our hearts, sisters.

How much time do we spend adorning our hearts, making them pleasing, attractive, and impressive to God? How do we put on the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit? Do we give equal time to cultivating outward and inward beauty?

What's the key to finding the balance in outward and inward adornment? We should definitely put in most of our time pursuing the latter. "...which is very precious in the sight of God."

What does a gentle and quiet spirit look like? It's a heart that's submissive, compassionate, loving, tenderhearted, and courteous. One that doesn't repay evil for evil but looks for ways to bless, keeps it's tongue from evil and lies, and seeks peace and pursues it.

1 Peter 3:5 - "For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,"

1 Peter 3:8-12 - "Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”

Heart to Heart Reflections: How much time do you devote to putting on your outward beauty vs. cultivating your inner beauty? One thing I have committed to do is that if it takes me 20 minutes to get dressed, I'm going to spend 20 minutes in God's Word. I'm going to put my Bible by my vanity and put Him on as my Foundation before I even start my make-up, in fact. Will you join me in this challenge?

Heartbeat: Proverbs 31:30 - Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.


Melanie said...

You've given me much to think about tonight, Laurie Ann. I like your commitment to spend as much time God's word as you do getting dressed and all in the morning. I certainly know that, at least for me, that I could spend more time working on my inner beauty.

Thanks for an insightful post. Just what a I needed to hear.

Have a great week!

boutcrazy said...

I guess I'm one of the strange women who hates makeup and so does my I don't ware any. I usually take a curling iron to my hair in the morning, but that is it. I would rather spend time drawing closer to the Lord. My husband said that he doesn't like kissing makeup, so that was enough for me. I'll admit, sometimes in pictures I look a little pale and weak eyed, but I think of poor Leah in the Bible...may be their wasn't anything wrong with her that a good makeover and some glasses won't have changed? The heart is what our loved ones see and what God looks at...I want to make it beautiful.

Denise said...

Such a powerful post my beautiful friend.

Tracy said...

What a great challenge! Wow and taking as much time to work on our inner selves as we do our outer selves...very wise. You've given me much to consider. I'm in!

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

I'm with Melanie... alot to think about! our society puts such importance on thee outward beauty... but look what it also teaches inwardly? I can't help but think of the latest "chick flick" that everyone is talking about and No I will not see.* It's a perfect example of the worlds ways, outward appearances, and a Godly heart.
I love reading your thoughts, and you gave such wisdom with this. I love it. I'm thankful you share YOUR BEAUTIFUL HEART!