A friend and I were talking at a swimming playdate this summer and she mentioned that her husband calls me "Miss Peace Like a River." I almost laughed out loud. Boy, if my husband and kids heard that, they would surely set him straight about how impatient and un-peaceful I can be on many a day (esp. when I'm in the family way!) I appreciated the compliment, but I knew it would be more appropriate to call me "Miss Blows Like a Steam Engine Over The Slightest Thing." As I thought about that comment I came to the conclusion that I would like to be "Miss Peace Like a River" and to be patient with my family all of the time, even when outsiders aren't watching. I have a long way to go, but it is one of my goals to strive for.
Wouldn't it be amazing if we as a society prized character above physical beauty? Or even if those of us who are Christians spent as much time trying to be kind, gentle, loving, merciful, generous, patient, forgiving as we spend trying to look nice on the outside or trying to earn the approval and admiration of others?
The world is so backwards in its' thinking about what is important in life and oftentimes, those of us in the Church follow its' lead. The women with the stick figures, big smiles, flashy jewels, and perfect make-up get the crowns and awards, when inside, they may be spiritually bankrupt and empty and treat others contemptuously. Worldly men lust after those outwardly beautiful women, causing many women to believe their worth truly is in their looks and that they won't be loved by men or have friends unless they meet a certain standard physically. Read 1 women's magazine off the racks and you'll be bombarded with 100 ads for new beauty products and articles that seek to convince you that you need to have this or that body or wardrobe makeover to look good.
But, in God's eyes, the women who are the pageant winners are the women who possess inner beauty, "the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:4). Notice that this kind of beauty is unfading, unlike our physical bodies which will all grow older, more tired, more weak, more saggy and baggy and gray.
This weekend I hung out with some beautiful, unfadingly gorgeous women of character at a ladies' retreat.
Mrs. Prays Like a Warrior
Miss Unshakeable Faith
Miss Believes in a Sovereign God
Mrs. Humble and Broken but Healed by Christ
Miss Sweet and Gentle Spirit
Mrs. Gracious and Giving
Mrs. Faithful For Many Years
Mrs. Uses Her Gifts for The Glory of God
Mrs. Self-Controlled in the Face of Temptation
These inwardly beautiful people are so encouraging to be around!
They inspire me to be more like Christ.
God prizes character. He's all about the heart.
Therefore, I want my home to be a place where character is valued above outward appearance.