Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Have you ever noticed a woman is not naturally attractive, but because of her attitude and outlook on life, she just looks beautiful?
Or someone, who is truly beautiful, but looks sour with their bitterness and me-ness and demands just simply taking over?
I tell Baby Girl, almost on a daily basis, that it doesn’t matter how beautiful she is on the outside if she has no kindness or love in her heart. The greatest kind of beauty is the beauty that sits within. It is a beauty that we can all strive for. It doesn’t matter what age you are, or where you are in your life’s walk, at any point in time you can start nurturing a kind and gentle spirit, spiced with lots of gratitude and faith. And it will change how you look on the outside.
I remember having an English teacher in Standard 6 (now Grade 8), Mrs Patterson. Mrs Patterson had the most wonderful, kind face – but she was also filled with love and she had such a heart for teaching children. All the children in my school loved her and trusted her. She was about 60 then, so I am sure she is with our Lord now, but I will never forget her kindness and love for children. Then, there is Baby Girl’s pediatrician. He also has the most wonderful, kind face and he kind of looks like a Father Christmas and all the children adore him. Baby Girl would not have any other doctor see her for a while she enjoyed this doctor so much. But, he was kind, and loving and adored all the children he saw in his practice. For both, their kindness and love for children showed in their faces.
It is so important to nurture what is inside – people will see what is inside by what is showing on the outside.
Even in marriages, you can marry the most gorgeous husband – a true hunk of a man, with a six-pack of note – but if he treats you poorly, his looks will fade into a blur of anger and resentment. What is on the outside does have a certain amount of importance – it is what attracts us to each other, it is the initial point of contact with someone. But, it can’t be the ONLY thing. It has to move beyond the initial attraction, to what that person represents – who they are. I love the fact that my hubby is kind and gentle and understanding, and that I can talk to him about anything – and he is gorgeous and has the most amazing grey-blue eyes.
Gary Thomas in his post yesterday admonished all singles to look for that superior beauty. A beauty that will last longer than the toned abs, the perfect skin, the youthful glow. And there is a reason for it – when we’re in our sixties, and that youthful glow as long ago faded, we want someone to still be by our side; who will still treat us with respect and kindness, even though they know all our flaws and weaknesses.
When God tells you in the book of Proverbs to put a premium on godliness over physical appearance, it’s because He wants you to be even more attracted to your wife (or husband) when she or he turns fifty than you are on your wedding day. Your heavenly Father wants you to be blessed throughout your life, not just for a decade. Trust Him in this, singles. He knows what He’s talking about. Gary Thomas
Amen! Because God always, ALWAYS, knows what he is talking about.
And even in the parent-child relationships. Kids may not have their own voice – but they know. They can see and sense situations better than a lot of adults, and often better than what we give them credit for. They’re just not able to speak against or understand what it is they are sensing. Kids can sense when an adult is being genuine and is truly interested in them and being kind, or just faking it to put on a persona. As I am sure by now you may have gathered that my mother and I do not have the most healthiest of relationships.
You can read all about it here, here, here and here. The other day hubby tells me he often sees my mom driving around town in her car. I never see her, because when I am at work, I stay at work – whereas my hubby is more flexible and has to go see clients, etc. He then looked at me straight in the eyes and said that my mom doesn’t look like a happy woman. I know she’s had a very hard life, and she’s made some decisions that have counted against her, and I know that she battles with a deep sense of insecurity – but she can still choose to nurture kindness, happiness and gratitude in her heart. So that she can look like a happy woman driving around town. I so wish my mom had more from her life, I really wish and pray for healing for her, for wholeness, for a greater closeness to who God created her to be and it saddens me greatly that she is living her life not being who God created her to be. I wish I could send her all the blogs and books that I have read and the learning that I have had over the last couple of years and share with her that Jesus came to give us an abundant life – and holding onto bitterness and anxiety and resentment will not give us that abundant life.
And then I thought about myself – what kind of elderly person do I want to be? And what is it that I hope to have accomplished when I get older?
- Firstly, I want to be someone who still holds a strong faith in God and a strong relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Secondly, I want to be someone who like dear old Mrs Patterson reflects love and kindness in my face. I want people to be drawn to me not because of how I look on the outside, but because of what is inside makes them feel really good about themselves.
- Thirdly, I want my marriage to grow from strength to strength and I want my husband to always be attracted to the kind of person that I am, and to how I look because there is a certain importance to that, but mostly to who I am.
- I want to drive around town and for people to look at me and think, “there goes a happy person”. That comment from my hubby truly had a profound affect on me.
- I want to be a person of substance – who thinks and understands and who is moving closer to Christ-likeness.
And I still believe that one of the best ways to do all this is to practice gratitude – focus on what you have in your life to be thankful for, it’ll soften your heart enough for Jesus to do His work.
- I am so, so grateful that God has called me to Himself; that He saw this lonely, shy child and saw the true me, my potential and all the nurturing I needed – that with God I need never hide myself away. He loves me! He completely and truly loves me.
- I am so grateful for my gorgeous husband. He is amazing – and everything that I need in a man, a father and husband. Thank you, Lord.
- I am so grateful that I am renewing my mind through the 21 Day Detox programme with Dr Caroline Leaf. I have a long way to go, but I am already reaping some of the rewards. In fact, I have already decided that I will renew my subscription when the time comes so that I can continue renewing my mind towards Christ’s way of thinking.
- I am so grateful for this beautiful winter – I hate being cold, but it does make you appreciate the summer so much more. And winter does give rise to some lovely cuddles with your man and Baby Girl.
- And I am grateful that no matter how dire our financial situation is, God will provide all that we need – because His word tells me so.