|"50's car with Photoshop"|
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
The day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I got this amazing joy! Once I figured out how to read the Bible, I fell in love with God and all the people in it. As time passed and my faith grew, I wanted to act like a lady. It became very important to me to become beautiful on the inside. I got really polite, which worried my parents, hahaha. Honestly, I still struggle with some of the bad habits I picked up as a teenager. Still can't claim perfection. For someone who's never been in Church everything is a gray area. A gray area is confusing, foggy, not clearly defined or absolute things.
When I was at Grand Canyon College (a Southern Baptist school that's now a University), I met an older Dutch woman. I was a new Christian. I saw the cross she wore, and said, "Look I have a cross too!"
It really hurt when she said, "It's not enough to wear these things you know."
I did know. But I was a new Christian and didn't feel real confident. Actually, confidence has always been a challenge for me. I tend to close my eyes and jump a lot! Thankfully God has always caught me and I've been able to do some awesome stuff. When you come from a rough background and go to Church, it can be so intimidating. At first, I felt like crawling under the pew instead of sitting on it. Writing this reminds me of how sensitive new Christians feel. We know how to ride the bike (be a Christian), they are falling all over the place like we did at first. Good to keep that in mind.
The Apostle Peter wrote this:
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. (NIV, 1 Peter 3:2-5)What this says to me is that our beauty can not come from outward jewelry, clothing, make-up or fancy hair. It's true. The most beautiful women in the world are kind, compassionate, and generous. We see so many movie stars in America who seem so beautiful on the outside. Some eventually wind up in alcoholism, trouble, or jail. It's so sad. Pretending to be someone other than yourself must be very difficult. We all get lost sometimes. Sometimes we forget who we are.
Then there's this verse:
A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. Deuteronomy 22:5
God loves to see women and men dressed appropriately. I like to see my husband dressed in his suit, tie, and jacket. I feel so blessed being with him. He loves seeing me in dresses with make-up and perfume once in awhile. It's good isn't it? God's ways are always best. When I paint, I put on scrubs (I've always been clumsy). It's what's on the inside that makes us most beautiful.
So what's a girl to do? What is right anyway? Women work as police now, soldiers, doctors, surgeons. In those roles they need to wear uniforms that are similar to men's. Actually the description of a virtuous wife describes a lot of women in our day. Some women are a lot better than we realize : ) I am both humbled and excited to read about the virtuous wife. She's a business woman like me!
10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:10-31 NKJV)
Sometimes just reading the Bible makes things not so gray doesn't it? And large text is good for those of us who need reading glasses too : )