Beauty Secrets

Key verse: ‘Do not let your adorning be external . . . let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart’ (1 Peter 3:3-4, ESV)

Flower In Bloom Sandy Millar 749316 Unsplash

Leaving out the qualifying phrases in these two verses emphasises the contrast between the two instructions. There is something to avoid and something to go in for. This is good advice, and if we take it on board with submissive hearts it will help us to make right choices. 

The context concerns a Christian woman and her attitude to her unbelieving husband, but the teaching is relevant for all.  This is how she is to live. She is encouraged to have "the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit" (ESV). Are we gentle and quiet, or forceful and assertive? Do we put time and effort into developing these inner qualities? 

We shall if we appreciate that this kind of beauty is imperishable. It will endure while outward beauty only fades. Also, it is "very precious" in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:4, ESV). The same expression is used to describe the expensive ointment Mary poured on the Lord Jesus. Some called that act "a waste". He called it ‘a beautiful thing’ (Matthew 26:8-10, ESV). 

Christian women are under pressure from society to adopt current practices and add decoration to various parts of their bodies. To enhance their attractiveness they are encouraged to focus on hair styles, outfits, and jewellery. If a woman chooses not to conform but rather maintains a modest appearance, the world will consider it a waste; but if her focus is on adorning the hidden person of the heart so as to please God, it will be very precious to Him.  

Our role models should not be today’s passing fashion models but the holy women in Scripture, such as Sarah. She was a physically beautiful woman, but what is emphasised here is that she adorned herself with the beauty of submission to her husband, willing to accept his authority.   

Are we more focused on our weight, our clothes, and our appearance, than on pleasing God? Do we spend more time on those things than on times alone with God? Giving diligence to adorning the hidden person of the heart will bring greater satisfaction and contentment.