Beauty. There may be nothing that we as women desire more. We want to feel beautiful. To be absolutely convinced that we are desirable. To be showered with affirmation, to be told that we are irresistable. In fact, we need to feel beautiful.
God made us this way, with a beauty all our own. And He alone knows how to light us up and make us shine with irresistible captivating beauty.
There’s a wonderful passage for women in I Peter. In it, Peter talks about the ways that women pursue beauty, and then contrasts it with beauty in its purest and most enduring form. Let’s focus in on this passage, because within is a key to this seemingly-elusive beauty. This week we will consider beauty as an accumulation of external factors. Next week we will uncover beauty as a gift to the spirit.
I Peter 3:3-6 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Your beauty should not come from¦ I like that our beauty is not implied but assumed. We are destined to be beautiful, and we will seek for it somewhere. It is just a matter of where we seek our beauty. Where will it come from, what will be the Source of our Beauty? This is what we as women will have to decide.
It should not come from, be found in, be the sum total of outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Let me translate. Our beauty should not come from, originate with, our physical appearance, such as our hairstyle, expensive jewelry, or the latest fashion trends.
This means that the following cannot be means to securing our beauty:
- the size of our waist
- highlights or lowlights
- designer jeans
- the size of our jeans
- the size of our rock (for you married or engaged chicas)
- whether we shop boutique or Target
Fill in the blank. What is it for you? What things do you depend on, fight for, obsess over, push hard to get, daydream about? Whatever it is for us, it is owning us as long as we are seeking to obtain our beauty through the accomplishment of these things. Some of us have driven ourselves deep into debt, have undergone surgeries, or have neglected more important areas of our life, all to achieve this elusive physical perfection. If you haven’t already discovered it, you will soon realize that this hamster wheel is not only tiring but fruitless. Someone will always be thinner, more fashionable, or ahead of you. Always. We may be young now, but one day we will grow old. What then, if our beauty is based on the accumulation of external factors? How then will we hold our own in this competitive world?
It is time now to establish for ourselves the Source from which we will live a lifetime of beauty.
If our beauty does not come from our outward adornment or physical appearance, where does it come from, and how do we get it? Stay tuned for the beautiful second half of the passage.
It just might make you Beautiful. From the inside out.
*This week, check out the new India.Arie video, “I Am Not My Hair” here. Trust me, you’ll love it!