This morning, God brought this passage to my attention via a Facebook post by Unveiled Wife (which I would highly encourage “liking” to bring some of God’s word and encouragement for your marriage to your Newsfeed!) She simply posted: “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1-2, NIV)
It was as if God was speaking directly to my heart. I’d heard the first verse numerous times before but always viewed it with guilt, fear, and defensiveness. My obsessions with hair and clothing couldn’t be wrong could they? After all God gave each of us different skills and hobbies. In a society where sex sells and we are obsessed with being forever young and skinny I have to cultivate my beauty so my husband doesn’t seek another, right?! Today I saw this verse in a completely different light, and I believe I saw the second verse for the first time. This passage gave me freedom and hope instead of fear and guilt. No, it’s not wrong to like curling my hair, wearing gold, or pretty things. Yes, my obsessions with these things and being skinny were sinful because they took precedence in my life over the condition of my heart. I would even go as far as to say that they consumed my heart; making it an ugly, angry, and fearful place. Not only is the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” worth a great deal more to God, I’d imagine that it would be worth more to my husband as well. How much more beautiful is a wife with a quiet and gentle spirit than one with the face of a super model and a dark, fearful heart?! Praise God that we do not have to live up (or down) to the standards of this world! Praise God that he calls us to a different standard of beauty and gives us all of the tools necessary to cultivating that beauty in our lives! Finally, praise God that there is so much more joy in cultivating a quiet and gentle spirit than in obsessing over outward appearances!
~ jenne j.