Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I Didn't Marry You For Your Looks

Not long ago as I was getting ready to leave the house, I was putting gel in my hair and remembered a time when I never put any product in my hair but shampoo. I commented on that to my wife and she replied that I  looked so much better with gel in my hair (I started using it because she wanted me to do so). And I responded that I attracted her before I started using gel, so I couldn't have been that bad looking. My wife was tired this particular morning and a little off her game because she didn't respond like I expected her to with, "Well, honey, I obviously didn't marry you for your looks." Fortunately for me, my wife saw something deeper in me than my constantly crazy hair and scraggly beard. She was attracted to me but not simply because of the way I dressed myself up.

In First Peter, the apostle had some advice for women that could work well for men, too. He wrote, Your beauty should not consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold ornaments or fine clothes. Instead, it should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes (1 Peter 3:3-4, HCSB). Now I would be surprised if Peter had a problem with people looking their best. But we can easily fall into a trap of using only or appearance to make ourselves attractive to other people when we could be using so much more. Making ourselves attractive with hairstyles and clothes and decoration causes people to be curious about our hairstylist or the store where we shop. But making ourselves attractive by living a life of love and service makes them curious about who were are and why we live that way, it draws people to us rather than simply making them want to look at us.

Maybe it is time to tone down our outward decorations for a while so that we are forced to focus on cultivating an inner beauty that draws people to us, even when we don't look like models and celebrities.  Maybe we should put off that fancy hairstyle or those pieces of jewelry or that expensive suit until we look so good on the inside that our inner beauty can't be overwhelmed by our outer beauty.

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