Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.
Rather, it should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God’s sight.

1 Peter 3.3-4

Enter stage left: Every Sunday sermon EVER with a legalistic influence (teaching based on laws, rules, dos, don’ts, etc).

Religion & her army pervert this wonderfully encouraging message… and it’s one of their favorites. Especially when it comes to churches and universities that claim they are “faith-based”.

Some, like Liberty University, make it’s students sign a contract stating they won’t touch alcohol… so I’ve heard… directly from a student. (I did not fact check that, just know it’s out there. Many churches require the same and I know that firsthand. I’ve actually sat with lead pastors to discuss that.)

Everything, and I mean everything, in Scripture is communicated for one overall purpose –

To help you develop intimacy, or oneness, with your Creator.

This message from Peter is about encouraging a healthy mindset for young ladies and women. It’s the same as when a caring parent says something to the effect of, “Honey, you don’t need to act like someone else to get people to like you. Be yourself and you’ll attract good people that care about you.”

It may not be a perfect example but the message is clear.

Peter is not saying you shouldn’t wear great clothes, be into fashion, or put on jewelry (or get tattoos or buy blinging cars).

Not at all.

He is saying in effect, “Enjoy those things. Just understand your beauty comes from your good heart and your gentle spirit toward others. You do not need physical items to prove your worth.”

In simpler terms, it’s not an either/or issue… that’s a scarcity mindset, rooted in fear, that attempts to control.

By the way, “quiet spirit” has been used over the ages by all sorts of religious rule-keepers to shut the mouths of women and girls.

This too is a perversion. Femininity is half of God’s image. Need an example? Adam… and EVE. God made them BOTH in his own image.

Ladies: never shut your mouth in the presence of darkness. You are the light.

Okay, moving on…

A quiet spirit in the eyes of Jesus is one that is strong, graceful, and at rest with God. The peace of Jesus is all over them. Anyone in sight can feel it.

And she can be a head coach screaming at her ladies, a rock star, a powerful attorney, or anything else, including a librarian, if she’d like.

Essentially, it’s the opposite of an anxious spirit, always worried or feeling frantic about things.

Listen carefully… it is NEVER about the thing; it is ALWAYS about your thinking and feeling toward the thing.

(The “thing” is whatever could become an object of unhealthy focus – that includes other people)

Simply put, it’s not about whether you wear a necklace, it’s about whether you care about the necklace more than your relationship with God or the condition of your inner character.

It’s not about whether you spend $500 or $1,000 on a purse, unless that’s above your financial means, then you’d also be stupid in addition to wrong.

The message I give to my now adolescent daughter is basically, “Honey, understand that God made you outrageously unique and ultimately beautiful. Understand, that is who you are. Your beauty cannot come from things people make. Your beauty is deaf to the opinions of others – they have no connection. You are God’s daughter, chosen for glory in Jesus, and therein lies your beauty, indestructible and perfect.”

If you were to ask my daughter Adasyn how I communicate 1 Peter 3.3-4 to her, that’s how.

And I would die by the belief that that is how Jesus does too.

It’s not about the thing; it’s about our heart toward our self, our identity.

Do we have the thing or does the thing have us?

>>> Final thoughts to consider:

Those who’ve been ensnared by religion’s trap attempt to teach us (often successfully, unfortunately) that it’s about the dress or the makeup or the tattoo or even the volume of our voice (remember ladies: religion wants you to shut up, sit in the corner and let the men exercise their ego, sorry, “leadership”) etc.

I don’t use sarcasm often, but when I do, I aim it at religion 😉

Religion attempts to coerce young (and not-so-young) women into taking the back seat in life. Its diabolical agenda makes women even more conscious about cultural manipulations than they already are. And trust me, the culture of religion can be damning to the freedom Jesus died to give us.

This little passage is a prime example of how the religiously blinded will use something meant as a mindset or philosophy to live by for freedom and strength and turn it into a behavioral measure for control.

This is perversion. This is wickedness… nothing less.

It’s vitally important for your spiritual well-being and the depth of authenticity in your relationship with Jesus that you let this sink into your spirit.

Whether you’ve experienced churches that won’t allow females to wear anything but floor-length dresses or men to wear shorts (I know, bizarre, but true), it does not matter. This is your permission to release those chains of shame. But you must be the one to do it.

 

Take these two thoughts with you… until you die:

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
* Marianne Williamson

“Well-behaved women (or men) seldom make history.”
* Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Paranthesis comment is mine.

BONUS!
This is good God is.

I finished writing this little piece and saved it on my computer around 7:10am.
I then went into our kitchen to see the kids off to school.
Adasyn comes up to me (less than 5 minutes later) and says, “Look dad, my necklace you got me. I haven’t worn this in a while.”
I got it for her last year as a promise necklace that declares her purity, holiness, greatness & freedom in Jesus.

I smiled so big my extra-surface area teeth all came out to play!

When God kisses you like that, you know you’re on point.

God is sooo good.

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