Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands….” 1 Peter 3:3-5

For years I have read that Scripture with awe. It is truly my goal to be that kind of a woman. Gentle. Quiet. Beautiful. It has nothing to do with outward appearance….my hairstyle, my clothing, or whether or not I wear makeup. It is all about inward grace and beauty. When I read those verses, I actually sigh out loud. Ahhh….to have a gentle and quiet spirit….

Why is it so hard for me – for so many of us -- to live that way? I think we live in a world that is so busy that we constantly feel rushed. We hurry our kids through breakfast so we can start school. We rush through school so we can get lunch in before PE starts. We run from PE so we can get home in time to start dinner. We live in such a hurry. It’s a shame, really.

I have a friend who stays home with her three children. I always admired her dedication to stay at home. She would call and arrange someone to take her two older children to co-op or parties if her youngest was napping. Now it would be like me to just snatch Anne Claire right out of her bed and drag her along. Not Sandra. She epitomizes a gentle, quiet spirit. She places great value in quiet times at home. She never seems to be in a rush. She is well put together, as are her children. And they also never seem to run late. How does she do it?

If you ask her, it begins in the wee hours of the morning, when she rises with her husband to have coffee and prayer together. Then they go their separate ways and have their individual quiet time. It never changes. She is not swayed by popular culture or by well meaning friends trying to get her to sign up for one more Bible study or one more extracurricular activity for her children.

In today’s world, women are not encouraged to be gentle, quiet, or submissive. I heard a song on the radio the other day called “In My Daughter’s Eyes” --- and I realized that now that I have a daughter, it is up to me to teach her what being a woman is all about. That it isn’t about looking like Barbie, or being the first woman president….it’s about teaching her what is really beautiful in God’s eyes. It is nurturing in her a gentle, quiet spirit. It’s about knowing who God is and what He has done for her. It’s about living a life that is truly beautiful by pointing others toward Heaven.

This week I am going to spend less time doing and more time just being. Being with my kids and my husband. Gently, quietly….and beautifully.

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