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The Beauty of a Godly Woman

I Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  52:32
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What makes a woman beautiful? Being mother’s day this will be the topic of our messages this morning and this afternoon. This question has very different answers when you compare our current culture and its answer with the Word of God and God’s answer. The criteria for what genuine beauty have been so skewed that I believe it has caused many a Christian lady to get caught up in seeking after wordly beauty to the determent of seeking after Biblical, Christlike beauty.
It is not hard to decipher what our world thinks is beautiful. Turn on your TV for 5 seconds, scroll through your Facebook page, read your Twitter feed or see what kind of pictures people post on Instagram and the world’s definition of beauty will scream at you.
For the Christian we need to be careful that we do not get confused as to what real beauty looks like. God makes it very plain to us in His Word what He values and what He views as real genuine beauty. And so, it is important to ask the question, “What does God find beautiful in a woman?”
The answer to the question is not just relevant to mothers. The answer to this question is impactful to young men still seeking the woman God would have them marry, it is impactful to young ladies in seeking to become beautiful according to God’s standards, it is impactful to parents of young ladies in their ability to help them grow in Christlike beauty, it is impactful to parents of young men in training them what to see as beautiful, it is impactful to those off us who have been around this earth for a significant length of time and our external beauty has faded away. In short, this message is relevant for everyone of us.
And so we ask the question, what are the biblical standards of beauty for a woman? or what does God understand as beautiful in a woman?, or what does Biblical beauty look like?

I. Biblical beauty is found in conduct that models the graciousness of God

1 Peter 3:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Notice the word “conversation” this word means: conduct expressed according to certain principles- way of life, conduct, behavior
This same word is used two times in these verses. God places the emphasis on the wives conversation or her conduct, and it is her conduct, her good and godly conduct, that God finds beautiful.

A. The Context

1 Peter 3:1 KJV 1900
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
Notice the first word in Chapter 3- likewise- or in the same manner. In the same manner as what exactly?
I believe Peter’s though process started all the way back in Chapter 2:9 with the thought of proclaiming the excellencies of God- this is the big picture idea. How do we do this? Wives, in you marriage relationships, how do you proclaim the excellencies of God?
Broadly, Peter gives the answer in Chapter 2:11-12.
1 Peter 2:12 KJV 1900
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Having you conversation or your conduct (same word) hon est- interestingly this word “honest” is the Greek word for “beautiful.” Live morally beautiful lives among the Gentiles, Peter says so that in the day of visitation God might be glorified.
Specifically, Peter then tells us how to do this in regards to believers and human government (v. 13), in regards to slaves and masters (v. 18), and now in regards to wives and husbands (3:1-6).
This entire section is about faithfully enduring unjust treatment.
This is best seen in the example of servants and their masters.
1 Peter 2:18 KJV 1900
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
1 Peter 2:19 KJV 1900
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
Lit- This is grace!
When a believer endures unjust suffering in a godly manner, they are literally putting on display the very grace of God. It is a gracious thing.
And the ultimate example of these powerful displays of grace is the Lord Jesus Himself.
1 Peter 2:21 KJV 1900
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
This example that we are to follow is an example of the manner in which Jesus endured suffering, not the extent to which Jesus endured suffering. In other words, I don’t think that God is calling all believers to suffer and die on a cross for the sins of the whole world, rather we are to go through unjust suffering in the same manner that Christ did. How did Christ endure unjust suffering?
1 Peter 2:22–23 KJV 1900
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
When He was reviled (when he was abused), He did not revile in return (He did not lash out and seek to abuse those who abused Him).
When He suffered, He did not threatened in return.
But entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.
Then Peter says, LIKEWISE, Wives, be subject to your own husbands.

B. The Command

1 Peter 3:1 KJV 1900
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
Be in subjection- to cause to be in a submissive relationship, to subject, to subordinate.
This idea of submission is repeated all throughout this paragraph. We are to submit to human government, servants are to submit to their masters, even Christ submitted Himself to the Father. And not wives are to submit to their husbands.
Remember this is in the context of suffering unjustly. So wives, even when you husband does not deserve it, still submit to him.
What this does not mean: This does not mean that God wants the wife to stay in an abusive relationship. God is not saying let yourselves be abused and don’t ever do anything about it. Rather, when God allows unjust suffering to occur go through the suffering in a godly manner.
When your husband does not love you like he should, and respect you like he should, and talk to you like he should. Still submit and obey as much as is possible. I think the qualification that it is better to obey God rather than men is appropriate here. Submit to Him as much as is possible, and even more importantly do so with a beautiful conduct. Don’t repay His evil with evil of your own. Instead display the beautiful conduct of the grace of God. Because that is exact what it is.
Sometimes, you might hear a wife say, “My husband doesn’t deserve my submission.” And to that I would say, “Exactly right!” God is calling on the wives to submit anyways. This is an act of grace. You are giving your husbands something they do not deserve. Why? Because, ultimately your submission is to God Himself. And it is beautiful in the eyes of God when you model or put on display an act of grace for your husband.

C. The Concern

1 Peter 3:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Ὁμοίως ⸀αἱ γυναῖκες,* ὑποτασσόμεναι τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν,*
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands,
ἵνα ⸂καὶ εἴ τινες⸃ ἀπειθοῦσιν τῷ λόγῳ,
in order that even if some do not obey the word,
διὰ τῆς τῶν γυναικῶν* ἀναστροφῆς
because of the conduct of the wives,
ἄνευ λόγου κερδηθήσονται*
they will be won without a word.
2 ⸀ἐποπτεύσαντες τὴν ἐν φόβῳ ἁγνὴν ἀναστροφὴν ὑμῶν.*
When they see your respectful and pure conduct.
Here is God’s concern. Why should you submit to your husbands, even if they don’t deserve it? Why should you model the powerful grace of God in front of them?
“That” So that, or in order that (For this purpose)
Even if some of these men do not obey the word (unsaved or backslidden)
Because of the conversation or the conduct of the wives (beautiful conduct/gracious conduct), these men might be won without a word.
While they behold / or When they behold your chaste conversation couple with fear.
Chaste- pure or holy
Fear- godly fear / respect / reverence
So when these men see a reverence for God and a purity in your conduct. When, wives you model for them the very grace of God by submitting to them (even though they do not deserve it), there is a beauty in this kind of conduct of such they will win them back to the Lord without a word.
That kind of gracious conduct, in the eyes of God, is beautiful.
Wives, how are you doing in the area of submission to your husbands? Have you bought into the lie of our culture that it is weak and degrading for a woman to submit?
And while I recognize that we as men do not deserve your submission, will you submit for the Lord’s sake?
Will you model the graciousness of God in your marriage and live out the true beauty of a respectful and a pure conduct?
Young men, this is the kind of woman you ought to be praying and looking for! Young women, this is the kind of lady you should be seeking to be become. Those of you who’s external beauty is fading away, realize that this kind of genuine beauty is something that you can continually grow in.
What does biblical beauty look like?

II. Biblical beauty is found in change that molds a woman’s heart into a Christlike heart

1 Peter 3:3–6 KJV 1900
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

A. The Contrast

1 Peter 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
3 ὧν ἔστω οὐχ ὁ (κόσμος,*) ἔξωθεν
Do not let your adorning (that which makes you beautiful) be external-
⸀ἐμπλοκῆς °τριχῶν
The braiding of hair
καὶ περιθέσεως χρυσίων
and the putting on of gold jewelry
ἢ ἐνδύσεως ἱματίων
or the clothing that you wear-
“Adorning”- that which makes you beautiful
Don’t let your adorning be outward or external- do not define your beauty based on external criteria.
i.e.
the plating of hair / braiding of hair
wearing of gold jewelry
putting on of apparel / the clothing that you wear
OK ladies, you heard it hear, you can no longer braid your hair, or wear jewelry, or wear nice clothes- right? No, this is not a command to completely ignore the way that you look on the outside. You should care about your external appearance, it should be a representation of your relationship with God- it is important. But there is something that is much more important. There is a different set of criteria on which God bases biblical beauty. You should not seek to define your beauty solely on external things.
Rather:
1 Peter 3:4 KJV 1900
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
4 ἀλλʼ ὁ κρυπτὸς τῆς καρδίας ἄνθρωπος
But let your adorning (that which makes you beautiful) be the hidden person of the heart (your heart’s inner self)
ἐν τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ τοῦ ⸂πραέως καὶ ἡσυχίου⸃ πνεύματος
with the imperishable (beauty) of a gentle (not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, cf. Mt 21:5) and a quiet (well-ordered, without turmoil) spirit
ὅ ἐστιν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ πολυτελές.
Which in God’s sight is of great value (great value or worth, ordinarily of relatively high degree of monetary scale, very expensive, costly)
Don’t let your adorning be external, BUT let you adorning (that which makes you beautiful) be the hidden person of the heart (your heart’s inner self)
How should you adorn your heart?
with a beauty that is not corruptible (imperishable)
1 Peter 1:4 KJV 1900
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
What does an imperishable beauty of the heart look like?
It looks like a meek and a quite spirit.
Meek- gentle (not being overly impressed by a sense of one’s self-importance, cf. Mt 21:5)
Matthew 21:5 KJV 1900
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
Quiet- peaceable (well-ordered, without turmoil)
Illustration: Feminism common practice now to marry themselves. They put on the dress and have a ceremony and everything. I guess they can never find anyone as worthy as themselves to marry, and so they choose themselves. This is ugly. This is a reflection of our sinful natures.
But the heart of a godly woman, the gentle and quite spirit, this is a reflection of the transforming power of the grace of God- this is a beautiful thing.

B. The Appraisal

1 Peter 3:4 KJV 1900
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Which in God’s sight is of great value (great value or worth, ordinarily of relatively high degree of monetary scale, very expensive, costly)
This kind of a woman, one who spends their time adorning their heart, in order to produce a gentle and a peaceable spirit- this is in the sight of God of great price.
Great price- great value or worth, ordinarily of relatively high degree of monetary scale, very expensive, costly
In other words this is the kind of beauty that God values. This is genuine beauty, this is lasting beauty, in fact it is a beauty that is imperishable. The external beauty will fade away. Like the flowers that I bought my wife and my mom for mother’s day- it a few short days they will perish. But a heart that is changing to be become more Christlike, that is beautiful.

C. The Example

1 Peter 3:5–6 KJV 1900
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
5 οὕτως γάρ ποτε
For this is how
καὶ αἱ ἅγιαι γυναῖκες αἱ ἐλπίζουσαι ⸀εἰς ♦⸆θεὸν
the holy women who hoped in God
ἐκόσμουν ἑαυτὰς
used to adorn themselves (Tit 2:10, I Tim 2.8)
ὑποτασσόμεναι τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν,
by being in subjection to their own husbands,
Wives, adorn your hearts, for this is how holy women in the old time, the ones who trusted in God, adorned themselves.
Adorned- verb form of v. 3 (to make oneself more attractive or beautiful)
1 Timothy 2:9 KJV 1900
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
1 Timothy 2:9 ESV
9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
This is another sermon in itself, but it is interesting that the way a women dresses is tied in with the way a women adorns her heart. A woman with a gentle and quite spirit, with a modesty and self-control in their hearts will adorn themselves in respectable/modest clothing.
Notice in I Pet 3.5 that they way holy women of old who trusted in God adorned their hearts- they did it with submission to their husbands (same word used throughout Ch 2 and 3).
Then Peter uses an OT example of Sarah.
1 Peter 3:6 KJV 1900
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
6 ὡς Σάρρα ⸂ὑπήκουσεν τῷ Ἀβραὰμ⸃
As Sarah obeyed Abraham
κύριον αὐτὸν καλοῦσα
calling him lord.
ἧς* ἐγενήθητε τέκνα
Whose daughters you are
ἀγαθοποιοῦσαι
if you do good
καὶ μὴ φοβούμεναι μηδεμίαν ⸀πτόησιν.*
and do not fear anything that is frightening.
Genesis 18:12 KJV 1900
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (3) Wives, Submit to Husbands (3:1–6)

What Peter found remarkable was that she still referred to him with respect and dignity instead of merely calling him an old man (though she did note his age!). We see from this that even in casual situations Sarah respected Abraham’s leadership, revealing thereby that her honor of him was part of the warp and woof of her life. Hence, we do not find here an arbitrary exegesis foisted upon the text but a reflection of Sarah’s true character

Thomas Schreiner-
“Whose daughters you are”- probably a reference to salvation, not saying that the church is Isreal. Rather there is a spiritual connection because of your common faith.
Notice this thought is conditional-
1 Peter 3:6 KJV 1900
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
As long as, or if you do well / good things
Perseverance proves genuine faith, it does not take the place of faith. James- faith without works is dead.
And are not afraid with any amazement.
The First Epistle of Peter D. Propriety of Spouses Vis-À-Vis an Unbelieving Spouse (3:1–7)

Here is the other side of subordination. These women’s husbands surely did not like their going to Christian meetings and refusing to worship the family gods. All types of intimidation—physical, emotional, social—would be used to force them back in line with the husband’s religious beliefs. While calling for gentleness and inner tranquility overall and subordination to their husbands in all areas indifferent to their Christian faith, he encourages them to stand firm in the light of their hope in the coming Christ and quietly refuse to bow to the threats and punishments of their husbands.

Peter Davis-
The point is that God sees beauty in the change that takes place in the heart. When a woman’s heart changes to become more Christlike- this is beautiful.
Ladies, how are you doing at adorning the inner person of your heart?
How much time do you spend adorning the external? Should you not spend a greater effort adorning your heart in order to produce a gentle and a quite spirit?
Do you have an over inflated opinion of yourselves? How can I tell? Do you have unreasonable expectations of your husbands? Do you feel like they never measure up to the husbands that you deserve? Do you constantly wish you could make them better, more fitting for you?
Do you have a spirit filled with turmoil? Do you get irritated at every little thing? Are you tempted to yell or scream when things are not going your way?
Proverbs 21:19 KJV 1900
19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and an angry woman.
Are you cultivating a beauty that is imperishable? Do you measure beauty with the same kind of criteria that God does? Do you value this kind of beauty the same way that God does?
Today we asked the question: What does Biblical beauty look like?
Two answers:
1. Biblical beauty is found in conduct that models the graciousness of God
2. Biblical beauty is found in change that molds a woman’s heart into a Christlike heart
May we all seek this kind of beauty.
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