Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God's sight. 1 Peter 3:4 (Good News Translation)
You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:4 (NLT)
…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. 1 Peter 3:4 (NKJV)
I know every woman is different, as is every pregnancy. For me, right from the beginning, my clothes didn’t fit. That was one of the indicators for me that I might be expecting. Each day I became less and less amused and more and more distressed when my clothing supply depleted to one pair of pants and a handful of shirts long enough to cover my protruding belly. I’m not a person who requires a lot of maintenance, however, I like to look my best, even in the most trying of times. Perhaps you would say I am vain, but I felt ugly to the core.
For weeks and weeks on end I struggled to find myself attractive at a time in my life where most people would consider beauty. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and I cringed. The deep red stretch marks beginning to appear (or reappear, to be perfectly honest) made me feel sick to my stomach. My husband reassured me that I was beautiful, but I always found it hard to believe him. I felt fat. I felt unsightly. No one was going to change my mind, no matter how sweet they tried to be.
When I stumbled upon 1 Peter 3:4, I was humbled. Here I was thinking about what I looked on the outside, not even taking a moment’s notice to see how my inside was doing. And when I took a deeper look, I knew I needed to do some maintenance.
I like to look at the same passage of scripture in different translations of the Bible at times, because I believe it makes the point ever so much clearer. Here, the message is that our inner beauty is far more valuable than anything we can do to make our outer appearance look its best. The ageless, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, the hidden person of the heart – that is what God finds precious, beautiful. Isn’t this something we should all strive for?
I realized why my husband thought I was beautiful, even in my most unbecoming moments. He wasn’t looking at my hair, my face, my body. He was looking past all of that, into my very heart. And what he saw was beautiful to him.
Most women will struggle through the stage where regular clothes are too small and maternity clothes are too large, where stretch marks are appearing, and any other bodily changes that may take place due to pregnancy are occurring at an unstoppable rate. When this occurs, think of today’s verse. Remind yourself that your inner beauty – the hidden person of your heart – is what is beautiful to God. Instead of focusing on the physical changes, focus on what you can do to make your inner beauty more noticeable.
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