“Please Dad, pleeeeease?”
I begged my dad to let me pierce my ears when I was a young tween. I just knew I just HAD to have my ears pierced. He always told me that I would have to wait til I was 16. But I guess my persistence paid off, because out of the blue, on my 12th birthday my dad surprised me and took me to our local Dallas mall and where I had my ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda. I was so excited. But he did it on one condition, that I memorize 1 Peter 3:3. I didn’t really think anything of it, but I think it stuck pretty well, because I’ve always been pretty confident and had good self-esteem.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.(1 Peter 3:3-6)
I’ve been reading through this book called “Having a Mary Spirit” by Joanna Weaver which is the sequel to a “Having a Mary Heart” (As in Mary and Martha) (It was very timely as I saw myself as Martha being Anxious) Almost every single chapter has been soul deep and I have been going through it slowly because there is so much to take in and just pray through. As I read this chapter last night, I found it fitting not just for myself, but for the young women in my life, pertaining to our current series at Co+op called Exposé. This week will be a special week, so I’m excited about what God will do in the hearts of our women this week.
I love how the Message puts it:
What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated.(1 Peter 3:3-6)
After looking at the passage with frustration, the author says that over time she discovered as she prayed for the Lord to change her personality, that “A quiet and gentle spirit is a heart free from fear”. I too have been frustrated by the meaning of a ‘quiet and gentle spirit’, thinking it had more to do with my personality and volume than anything.
Fear forces is to hide behind facades simply because we don’t know what else to do.\\Perhaps that’s why Peter instructs us to spend less time on outward adornment – on the building of ornate shelters to house our fragile egos-and to spend more time making our inner lives lovely. To become so secure in who we are in Christ that we have no trouble calling Him “Master” or trusting Him as Lord.\\It’s not about personality.God is infinitely more creative than that. He is a God of diversity and not monotony. He’s much more interested in taking our personalities, tempering and taming them by His Holy Spirit, and recruiting them for work in His kingdom than He is in churning out (quiet) church-lady clones.He hadn’t changed my personality. He’d changed me.He hadn’t made me quiet. He’d quieted my soul.
Reading her conclusions last night were so comforting. God loves all of me and he loves my personality. What he wants to quiet is my anxious heart and anxious soul. And that is living water.