Did you know the most commonly quoted verse on woman’s beauty is sandwiched by instructions on how to honor our husbands? Whether we’re married or not, we better hear this one. Real beauty is characterized by honor. I’m not talking about a new eye shadow, a new top, or new drapes; I’m talking about the way we speak to our men.
From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. A heart of honor speaks with due submission; a heart of pride speaks with undue arrogance.
1 Peter 3:3-4 have been my “life verses:” “Do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear, but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” Following my history in the modeling industry, those words are a salve to my heart; all along I wanted to be worth more than just what people saw externally. I left the modeling industry upon receiving Christ, and have embraced this verse ever since.
How convenient that I would memorize verses 3 and 4 but not 1, 2, 5, and 6. After all, verses 1 and 2 called me to be subject to my husband, and even crazier for a speaker and author, to win my man over without words by my respectful and pure conduct, which would make me beautiful to him. Oh, how I tried many times to do that, but honestly it was easier to look as good as I could and not become overly concerned about my attitude. In my mind, verses 5 and 6 had little to do with beauty, for they stated that the holy women of the past adorned themselves with submission, obedience, and humility.
So when I got things all turned upside down in my marriage, God gently led me back to those favorite verses so He could turn things right side up.
As I began to honor my husband’s rightful place as the spiritual leader of our home, he took that role in stride; as I began to show him the respect due his position in my life, he began to tell me how beautiful I was; as I submitted to him even when I wasn’t sure, God blessed it with renewed love, commitment, and passion between us. The Lord literally reordered our household to be a reflection of His will for marriage, and we are so much happier.
I’ve learned the real meaning of beauty the hard way. Dishonor is ugly; honor is downright gorgeous.
When Jesus went to the cross, He went over the top showing honor. He made our clean slate more important than His pride and His Father was the Creator of the universe, so He had reason to be quite proud. But He descended from heaven’s throne to take the lowly position of a common man, and bore on His body our dishonor so that we could be honored alongside Him in eternity.
One of my new favorite verses is “Outdo one another in showing honor” (Ro 12:10b). Honor is a choice. When we elevate others above ourselves, it’s beautiful, and we become reflections of the God we serve.
So today, and in the days to come, choose honor. It will make you look so pretty.
For further reading: Ex 20:12, 1 Sam 2:30, Rom 13:7, Heb 13:4, 1 Pe 2:17
Honor everyone 1 Pt 2:17a
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”