"Wives, in the same way be submissive to your 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. 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 self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:1-4)
As if it isn't enough pressure from the world to be a perfect woman! Every day I pray that I will become the Godly woman and wife that God desires me to be.
I grew up in El Dorado which really had no good places to shop. When I was little my mom and I would drive two hours to go to a decent mall and we would shop and shop all. day. long. We knew it could be a while before we went back so we shopped until we literally dropped. I remember coming home and laying out all my new clothes and admiring them. I would try on each new outfit then go show them to my dad. I loved to hear my dad tell me how much he liked my new outfit and how pretty I was. Then, I remember as a teenager I was obsessed with looking like a Victoria Secret model. I always thought that they were beautiful and had the perfect body. I wanted to look like them so bad! Sometimes I still feel that way, but not as much as I used to. I have always had the desire to be beautiful. I love cute clothes and shoes and I still love to shop! But now, I look at beauty a different way. I feel sorry for the Victoria Secret models and other Hollywood celebrities. They have so much pressure to be perfect. I would be so embarrassed to have someone photoshopping all of my photos. Looking at every flaw I had. Trying to airbrush this and that, making my legs longer and skinnier, breast bigger and waist smaller. How mortifying.
I have finally overcome the obstacle of trying to be pretty for the world but to be beautiful in God's eyes. Like when I was a child and wanted my dad to think I was a pretty princess. Occasionally I come in contact with a girl/woman who I think is absolutely beautiful. Not Sports Illustrated swimsuit beautiful. But a woman who loves God, loves others, and has a gentle and quiet spirit. When I read the passage from 1 Peter or read about the Proverbs 31 woman I fear that I will never be able to be this woman. I have this insecurity inside of me that is so hard to let go. It's only hard to let go because satan tries to remind me everyday of my failures. He will not win this battle.
Honestly, it is just sometimes real hard to be gentle and quiet especially in a marriage. I wish I could say I was an easy going humble person, but I'm not. I pray everyday that God will give me strength to be patient, loving, and always put others ahead of me. Jonathan tells me every day that I am beautiful. Of course I want to be outwardly beautiful to him, but more than anything I want to be beautiful to him on the inside. I want to be a submissive and respectful wife, but I know I can't be that without God's strength.
I am doing this Bible study called Woman of God. It addresses all kinds of issues women face. Beautiful, is this one I did today. It was such a great reminder of how God views us women. I don't think these verses are saying that we should not wear makeup or jewelry or spend time and money on nice clothes, but it is saying don't make it our main focus. Don't make idols out of it. Our focus should be on God and the way we treat others. The Bible study gave a great exercise to complete at the end of the lesson. It was a very positive exercise that helped me to see all the gifts I have. I think everyone should do this exercise.
Name one gift you have in each of these areas:
One question this asked was "When do you feel most beautiful?" My response was when I am working out and eating healthy, when Jonathan tells me I am beautiful, and when I am seeking God daily.