“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 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
I’m not big on elaborate hairstyles, flashy jewelry, or expensive brand name clothing. Most weekends I don’t even put on make up, and I almost exclusively buy my clothing and accessories from thrift stores. Maybe that is why for several years, I have subconsciously lumped the above scripture in with the category of “that is great, I agree, I don’t really think that relates to me.”
Until now. There is nothing like parenting to continually offer you a swift kick in the butt and tug on the heart, right?
You know what my husband finds priceless, attractive, valuable? A gentle reply. Even to a toddler who has lost his ever lovin’ mind swinging from the ceiling fan, or his inquisitive big sister who has a million questions, (that all beg answers NOW). Even to the cell phone that dings to indicate some additional inquiry or need.
My husband is completely fine if Saturday finds me in yoga pants. He may or may not notice if I put on eye liner or the fact that I curled my hair with a curling iron. But he undeniably hears sighs and exaggerated tones. He sees eye rolls and drooping shoulders, and pouty faces. He senses the entire aura in the home has changed when I flag parental defeat.
This scripture totally relates to me. Even if I pass on that fancy flashy outward stuff. Because God’s definition of beauty does not change, whether I am into the bling or not. Husbands, made in God’s image, value beauty just as He does, whether you are into the bling or not. Gentleness is beautiful, to God and to our men.
The hubby and I had a fruitful conversation the other day that led me to think about the roles he and I both have for setting the emotional tone in the house. Naturally, I am joyful and a little bit goofy. I am an encourager. (I wasn’t a cheerleader in high school, but the older I get, the more I wish I was. Or maybe I can just use those pom-poms now?) He is the ever patient teacher. He explains well. (He keeps cool when the toddler is climbing into our 125 gallon salt water tank (“hi fissheeey!!!”) and explains why this isn’t a good choice.)
We realized how much we need the other for maintaining emotional balance. When I lose my encouraging stride, and my answers are less than gentle, it affects everyone. I think I knew that esoterically, but it was very powerful hearing it from him. If he doesn’t take time out to teach and is less than patient, less apt to explain in the best way he can, it affects everyone. It makes sense that our home works well with each of us grooving in our emotional strengths, and that even a small hiccup throws the aura off kilter. Knowing this has helped us to be pro-active in mentally preparing for the times we are tempted to lose our groove.
This look within, this study of my inner self, brings out beauty for my current other half, and more. This kind of beauty is harder to harness, harder than slapping on some cute jeans and foundation on my face. This kind of beauty leaves a legacy – modeling the qualities of a wife that will sooner than later leave an important impression on our son. Someday he will engage in his own pursuit of beauty, and I pray his search is for one that is unfading and of great worth.