Thursday, January 1, 2009

Beauty Regimen

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—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 3:3-4

It’s New Year’s Day, and even with the promise of a brand new year ahead, I’m a little bit sad.  This is the day we take down the Christmas tree, and all the other festive decorations that adorned our house during December.  I guess it makes me sad because without all the glittering lights, evergreen boughs and bright poinsettias, my house looks a little bit bare.

Why do we prefer the adorned, the dressed up, the embellished?  We want our homes, our yards, even ourselves to look better.  We want rosy cheeks, shiny lips and sparkling earlobes.  Why?  Because we’re most concerned with our outward appearance.  Some people-even whole denominations-have tried to make this verse say that women shouldn’t wear cosmetics, jewelry, or attractive clothing.  I think they’re missing God’s point entirely!

God is not saying we should never wear jewelry or pretty clothes.  But He is saying that we should give more attention to the kind of beauty that matters to Him. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “….The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. “ (NLT)  He is much more interested in our true beauty, the fruit of His Spirit in us.

How much time do you spend on your real beauty regimen?  Do you keep your manicure appointment, and forget your daily time with Him?   Do you spend hours each week cleaning your house, and forget to serve at His house?  God isn’t asking you to let your hair go gray, or to give up chasing dust bunnies.  But He is asking you and me to make the pursuit of inward beauty an important part of our days.

How would 2009 be different in our homes, our jobs, and our relationships if we spent more time cultivating real beauty?   Would our homes be more nurturing and peaceful?  Would our prayer time be a joy instead of a chore?  Would people see the beauty of Christ in us?  I daresay all of these things are possible as we make real beauty a priority this year.

Prayer for Today: Father, help me to take time each day for my appointment with You.  Help me to grow in true beauty in 2009 as I read Your word, pray, and serve others.  May those around me be drawn to You by the beauty of Christ in me.  In His Name I pray, Amen. 



Gene Oden said...

Wow. You're really good at this. You should consider doing it more often. Great post!

God's Girl said...

I love this post! Thanks for sharing! We teach our 4 year old daughter... what's more important than looking cute?

And she will tell you, loving Jesus, obeying, and being nice. : )

May the Lord bless you in special ways in 2009!

Leslie Oden said...

Thanks for your encouraging words. My "little" girl is almost 16, but when she was a preschooler, we used to say "Pretty inside is more important than pretty outside!"

God bless you richly in 2009!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I agree with the first "post-er"...=)

LeadHership: said...

Good word. One thing I've done is I don't turn on my laptop/iPhone until I"ve had my quiet time. A few yrs ago I started feeling so guilty that I'd RUN to my laptop to check my emails but wouldn't RUN to my quiet time spot. So I put this "rule" in place. Thanks for the great reminder for a new year.

Robin Bryce said...

Good word!
Thank you, Leslie, for speaking truth into women's lives. Jesus is the key to beauty. Though he was despised and rejected, He is the One who makes us beautiful!
Keep up the great work!

Deb Burton said...

Thanks for the reminder of what's really important. Especially now, as I get older, I have to remember that it's not about the graying hair and diminished energy and sallowing skin, but more of increasing the light of Christ in and through me to the world around me.

lynnmosher said...

Thanks, Leslie, for a great post! In this age of physical perfection, the world has been led to believe outer adornment is the best attraction for everything in life. They can have it! The only One I want to be attractive for is my Beloved, my Jesus! Thanks for the thought-provoking piece. Blessings to you...Lynn

Mrs. White said...

How very true is every single word you wrote! I think society has a lot to do with how women view themselves, along with the diminishing "traditional" families.
I have a little girl and I definitely plan on instilling in her the importance of "true" beauty, b/c unlike the superficial, it's something that cannot be taken away.
I like to look my best, however, for me, that does not include a face full of makeup, jewelry (which I don't particularly care for anyways) or a six inch pair of heels! Over the years, I've learned what I like and how to not be pressured by others into thinking I like something I don't.
I am however, guilty of making time for superficial instead of spiritual services. To be honest...I always manage to find time to get my hair done, read magazines, check my Facebook & talk on the phone (and I really don't have time to do those things either lol!) but I only seem to really pray on Sundays OR when I need a quick favor lol :) Which, of course, is not how it should be and definitely something I intend on changing! I grew up in a single parent home and we didn't even go to church.
Now that I have my own family...there are certain things I want to instill in them, and of course there's no better way to lead than by example!
Anyways...great blog as usual!