Wednesday, July 12, 2017

True Beauty

True Beauty

What makes a woman beautiful?  Is it her hair, her eyes, her character?  What does our culture say beauty is?  An air brushed face and size 0?  What does God say beauty is?  Have you ever thought about what God says about beauty?  He talks about it in His Word.  Do you find yourself striving for a certain kind of beauty?  It’s ok to want to look nice and take care of yourself.  After all, we only have one body.  But we should also strive for the beauty that God defines.

Proverbs 31:30  says, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Outward beauty is vain and fleeting, but there are rewards for inward beauty (praise, good works, pleasing God).

Romans 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Aren’t you always glad to see someone who is bringing good news and positive words?  They just make you smile.  They are beautiful.  People who bring peace put you at ease and they are pleasant to be around.  Being positive and peaceful are beautiful to God.  Complaining and sowing discord are ugly.

1 Pet. 3:3-5  says, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Don’t let your first focus be on outward adorning.  Here is the definition of adorning.

Adorning: to enhance the appearance with ornaments

This does not mean that we cannot wear jewelry and braid our hair.  In that same verse it says, “or of putting on of apparel” and we definitely aren’t going to stop wearing clothes!  It just means don’t only focus on the outward appearance without focusing on the inward heart.  If we are going to spend an hour doing our hair we should spend some time each day with God reading His Word. 

The only way to get the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is precious to God is to spend time with Him.  Learn from Him what it means to be meek. 

“Meek and quiet spirit”: patience and longsuffering, moderate, have control over our emotions, be calm and not out of control with a temper and speaking before thinking, etc.  THIS IS HARD, especially with our PMS hormonesJ

Be still before Him and quiet your heart from the race of this world.  Proverbs 31:10 says that a virtuous woman’s price is far above rubies.  Having virtue is better than wearing a ruby!

Another way to adorn yourself is by submitting to your husband.  The world thinks this is ugly but God describes it as beautiful.  It truly does make for a beautiful marriage.

1 Timothy 2:9  says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

“In like manner”: like the men pray with holy hands…it is just as serious a matter in how we dress.  Pray about what you wear.  Is it holy?  Holy means set apart.  We are to be different from the world.  When everyone else is wearing bikinis we are to cover our bodies up!

“Modest Apparel” (clothes) What does modesty mean?
Modest: appropriate dress or behavior, reserved

Why should we be modest? To protect our brothers eyes, to not stumble others, to be a good example for others, to obey God’s Word

“With shamefastness”: ashamed (don’t draw attention to your body to cause lust) This is the opposite of what the world tells us…they say ‘don’t be ashamed to show it off’

What does sobriety mean?

“Sobriety”: self control, seriousness, sound moral judgment

1 Timothy 2:10 says, But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Don’t rely on these outward things to make you beautiful…Focus on the inward beauty, your character and your heart which will never fade and is precious to God.

1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Tim. 4:8  “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

These verses tell us to adorn the inside which won’t fade. But we want to look pretty on the outside too…so try to spend the same amount of time on your outside appearance as you do for your inside appearance (ex. 30 minutes of hair and makeup so have a 30 minute devotion and prayer time).  This may be easy for some of you and harder for others.  It is not a set standard but rather an exercise so you can start putting this into practice. 

Practical application: Pay attention to the world’s message around you as it tries to conform you to its image of beauty. (Magazine pictures at the store, Hollywood actresses/models, fashion clothing.)

Compare this to what the Bible says about beauty and evaluate your life.  Do you look more like the world or more like what the Bible says beauty is?

How to cultivate inward beauty:

Pray-talk to God out loud or in your head (or in a journal), while driving, while sunbathing or getting dressed, anywhere!

Read the Bible- read a Proverbs a day and/or a Psalms a day or start reading through the Bible starting in Genesis or Matthew and read a chapter a day, or do a topical study by picking a topic like holiness and looking in the concordance for all the verses with that word in it.

Memorize a Verse  Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
This helps us LIVE out the Christian life.  Hide God’s Word in your heart!

Have accountability Pick a friend who wants to grow in the Lord with you or someone who is ahead of you spiritually and ask them to pray with you and talk with you once a week or so about God and what you are learning.

Remember what TRUE BEAUTY is.   :) 

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