Sunday, December 28, 2014

gentle and quiet...

“Your adornment must not merely be external- braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the 
heart, with the imperishable quality of a gently and quiet spirit, 
which is precious in the sight of God…”
- 1 Peter 3:3-4

The church does not do well with these verses; women do not do well with these verses.

Throughout college, this verse was one of my banner statements, while other young-adults scoffed at me. I prayed over this verse for an entire year, praying that the Lord would cultivate that imperishable quality within me. I remember, very vividly, conversations with great friends of mine who would look at this verse and go to the place where it tells them to be quiet. “Gentle and quiet... Does that mean that I will only get married if I am gentle and quiet? if I don’t have a personality? I AM A LOUD PERSON, AND I LIKE IT. Well, apparently, I am not precious in the sight of God.” (Note: I love these women and they are very near and dear to my heart, but like any good friendships, they sharpened my theology and ideals. All this to say, I am THANKFUL for them and said conversations!) And then the questions arose… Can I wear braids? Can I wear jewelry? Am I just supposed to let myself go, wearing frumpy sweatshirts and hope that my friends and my man will assume and accept this my approach to godliness?

And I was frustrated. I was frustrated with this conversation, the one that women at a Christian college were having every single day… The one that tells us we are not enough of this, too much of that; the one where we embrace individualism and the rigid feminist movement because we are offended by verses like these. Not to mention, there is a significant historical and cultural context to these verses that the average women will miss (ex: braids, gold jewelry, the women Peter is speaking to, etc.).  

Our theology of beauty is broken; to understand beauty is to understand its purpose to reflect Christ; we look at verses like these, and we forget the entire foundation, focusing on our immediate notions and connotations and experiences.

We must yield our beauty to Christ, not to the world’s definition, or the expectation of others. Our beauty will only radiate and be seen as imperishable if we seek to imitate Christ. When we seek approval from Christ alone, that is when our beauty transcends from the perishable to the imperishable; from a loud, demanding spirit to a quiet, childlike faith in reverence of our Father.

When we seek approval from Christ alone, that is when our beauty transcends from the perishable to the imperishable…

Your braids and your bracelets and your butt can be on point, but that is not the point… God isn’t telling us to reject beauty, but to rather embrace it. Once a woman embraces the beauty of Christ within her, the identity that has been formed for her through the sacrifice of Christ, that is when we have access to beauty abundant.

And, for all of those who fear the quiet spirit, let me just calm your little heart by telling you that God does not expect us to fall into this quiet, timid trap; you are loud? BE LOUD. You have an engaging personality? DON’T HIDE THAT. The quiet heart that Christ is asking for is the one that you present to His throne. Will you come before Him with your opinions and your demands and your ultimatums, or will you come to Him in reverence, yielding your will and plans before Him, embracing your role in His story?

The quiet heart that Christ is asking for is the one that you present to His throne…

How are you grooming your soul? your spirit? Are you spending more time, money, and resources investing in your perishable body rather than your imperishable relationship with Christ?

Ladies, trust me, you can braid your hair and wear your jewelry, but know that there is a greater beauty and value to you outside if what you wear
Tap into that, embrace it, let it flow from you in abundance.

No comments:

Post a Comment