“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.” (1 Peter 3:3-4, ESV)
If we adorn ourselves with a gentle and quiet spirit by responding to trials, temptations, loss, and fear with an unshakeable trust in God, we will achieve a rare and real beauty.
This beauty is “precious” in the sight of God. The word means “costly” and it is set in sharp contrast to the costliness of extravagant outer adornment.
Our trust in God truly costs something, and is truly worth something. It shows forth the worth and loveliness of the gospel. It demonstrates the power, trustworthiness, and beauty of God in Jesus Christ.
And this is beautiful in God’s sight:
“Here we have a picture of God’s ideal woman…Faith in God that sees beyond present bitter setbacks. Freedom from the securities and comforts of the world. Courage to venture into the unknown and the strange. Radical commitment in the relationships appointed by God… It is a beautiful thing to watch a woman like this serve Christ with courage.” ~John Piper
Rebekah sent us this beautiful tribute to her mother:
I saw your contest for mothers day and instantly thought of my mother. I didn’t think of her because she needs to win a contest, but because I see a perfect opportunity to share about her. Perhaps you will be the only person who reads this, but I hope that hearing about her is an encouragement to you as you pursue godly “womanhood”.
My mom entered our family when I was 14. My first mom passed away of breast cancer, and so for 7 years my 3 sisters and I were raised by our father.
We were one crazy family living in Montana when a sweet southern belle, Lisa, entered our lives. I don’t remember my parents dating relationship being too long, but I do remember her coming out to visit from the south a couple of times, and how quickly she started to show love to our family.
I could probably write a book about our families story, but I will skip straight to the part about learning life lessons from her.
Here is a woman that had never been married before, moving across the country, to be the wife and mother of a widower and 4 new daughters. She didn’t even have any of her friends in her wedding. Instead she had her new daughters stand up with her as bridesmaids.
She entered our family graciously. She saw flaws in us all, but was quick to pray and slow to speak. She shared her opinion, but was quick to submit to my Dad. She constantly sought older women to disciple her and encouraged our walks with the Lord.
Many women could come into a situation like that and struggle with jealousy of the first wife. That is NOT my mom. She came into our home and sought to understand my first mom, to respect her, to continue her prayers for her daughters, and then she sought to love my first mom’s extended family! She is others-minded.
She has been an example of a quiet and gentle spirit. She is always ready to love first and be loved second. She holds the Word close to her heart and seeks to live by it’s Truth, through the strength of the Lord.
When I got married almost 2 years ago I remember Lisa pulling me aside and telling me that she “wished Vanessa could be here to see her prayers answered, but we can’t question the Sovereignty of the Lord, so I will do my best to stand in for her”. The selflessness of that statement has stayed with me.
I have a picture of my first mom on my refrigerator, beside it I have a picture of my youngest sister. She was born to my Dad and Lisa right after I turned 16. Abigail has been one of our families biggest joys and blessings. I look at the pictures of my first mom and sister and see God’s Sovereignty played out in my life. I will see my mom again some day. Until then I get to enjoy my new mother, who without, I would not have my sweet sister.
I hope that as you go through your day, you can think of Lisa and see the Lord’s strength in her and remember to pray first, love first, seek wisdom, and pursue the Lord.
Kristie Braaksma received some very helpful counsel from her mom:
There was one piece of advice my mom gave me in my teenage years that I have remembered ever since when things seem tough…“you can do anything for a short period of time”. The day she gave me that advice was a day two weeks before my graduation deadline (I was homeschooled at that point) and I was way behind on my studies! I had made up my mind to finish by the deadline no matter what, but the task seemed so incredibly daunting! I knew I would be pulling all-nighters in order to get through all my work in two weeks. That’s when mom told me “you can do anything for a short period of time” and suddenly I knew I had to give it everything I had, to at least try. So for two weeks I worked night and day, sometimes finishing at 6am only to sleep for three hours and start again at 9am. It was overwhelming work, it was mentally laborious and exhausting, there were many tears, and many doubts, but by the grace and strength of The Lord, the deadline came and I was done!!
That season of life has passed long ago but the advice I have applied to countless trials and difficulties. I think it pairs well with Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy bringing his sheaves with him.” I think John Piper sums it up well when he says, “When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears: “Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written).”Then say, on the basis of God’s word, “Tears, I know that you will not stay forever. The very fact that I just do my work (tears and all) will in the end bring a harvest of blessing. So go ahead and flow if you must. But I believe (I do not yet see it or feel it fully) — I believe that the simple work of my sowing will bring sheaves of harvest. And your tears will be turned to joy.”