God's People: The Way to an Unbelieving Spouse (; 2 of 2)
"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. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror." ()
If God had a beauty contest, these would be the areas in which He would award points: 1) The hidden person of the heart, and 2) Incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. These attributes according to Peter are " very precious in the sight of God." The rest, i.e. the outward adorning, is of little consequence when compared to the inward grace that the Lord admires. The word translated "very precious" is used only three times in the New Testament. It is used in in a passage that is almost identical in meaning as Paul identifies that which is beautiful before God. However, in this word is used to describe the flask of "very precious oil of spikenard" which a woman used to anoint the head of Messiah. Its cost was so great (more than 300 denarii) that those who saw it became indignant, thinking that it was just a great waste. The inner beauty of a godly woman is hence compared to the very precious gift given by the woman at the anointing of Jesus. This is beauty in God's eyes!
Returning to the text of today's message, Peter refers his readers to the Old Testament examples of beautiful women. These women, these women of great inner grace, were those who feared god and revered their husbands. Only one of them, Sarah, is identified by name thought Peter refers to a plurality of them. Of Sarah it is said that she " obeyed Abraham, calling him lord." Sometimes we men joke about this passage and say that our wife ought to call us lord like Sarah did Abraham. However, this is not a joke. She really did revere him and refer to him with great respect. Perhaps we lose some of the import of this passage due to the differing connotation that the word "lord" has in our modern culture. However, at the end of the day, those women who want to appear stand with very precious beauty before God must walk in example of Sarah. The gentle and quiet spirit of godly women never goes out of style; God respects such beauty in every generation and culture.
The remainder of this message is application. I remember when little girls when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up would say, "I want to be a beautician." Those who followed through on their dreams went off to beauty school or college and learned the skills necessary to be a licensed cosmetologist. In their careers they helped other women to appear beautiful by using the skills they learned in school. There is an interesting parallel here. How many little girls grow up wanting to help other women to become beautiful in God's sight? Our focus in this culture is wrong! We put a premium on outward beauty and show little respect for the beauty that God desires! Can we change that focus? Mothers and Dads, we can help by putting the emphasis where God puts it on the inner beauty of our children!
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