A while ago Tom and I were at dinner. He was telling me about a time he was away from home and the people he had met. One person in particular he was talking about was a woman, so I naturally asked a question, “How old is she?” I wasn’t prepared for his answer.
“Oh, she’s beautiful!”
I took a minute to think about what he had said. Then, I responded, “I didn’t ask what she looked like!”
“Oh…You didn’t, did you!?”
“Uh – nope!”
What ensued were several weeks of conflict. It was like boarding a roller coaster of emotions I didn’t even sign up for! I was caught off guard by an observation my husband had made. I was jealous, but why? I knew he loved me. I have never once doubted his complete devotion to US. So why this struggle?
It took a long time for me to process what was motivating this reaction. Tom was wonderful. The next day he told me he didn’t know why he said what he said. He loved ME, and I had no reason to doubt it.
Fast forward to this week when the Lord has zeroed in on the Fruit of Meekness in my life. He wants me to pursue this for an extended time, starting with Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s first broadcast on The Beauty of Meekness. Imagine my surprise when I read the following:
A gentle spirit. That word in the original language is meek. A meek spirit, a gentle spirit, a quiet spirit. Scripture says for a woman to have that internal heart attitude of meekness or gentleness and a quiet spirit gives her a beauty that is imperishable. It’s a beauty that cannot fade away. It’s a beauty that you don’t have to go through all kinds of cosmetic surgery or makeup routines to preserve. It’s something that gets sweeter and richer and more beautiful as you age.
By the way, as I’m aging, I’m thinking about how can I have that kind of inner beauty that grows, that increases? That’s what a meek spirit does for us as women. Not only does it produce that kind of beauty that doesn’t perish and doesn’t fade, but that verse tells us this beauty of a meek and a quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight. This is what causes God to look at a woman and say, “She’s beautiful.”
Now we know what causes us to look at a woman and say, “She’s beautiful.” We know what causes men to look at a woman and say, “She’s beautiful.” But what causes God to look at a woman and say, “She’s beautiful,” is a spirit of meekness and quietness. A gentle and a meek spirit.
As soon as I read this, I got up from my computer and shared it with Tom who is suffering with a stomach bug. He smiled realizing the connection. However long ago this trial began, God was doing a work in my heart for this very moment. To see how futile it is to pursue beauty as the world defines it. To be truly beautiful is to be meek at heart.
What about you? Do you and your spouse talk about other people being “beautiful, hot, good looking, etc.?” Or do you refrain from such talk? Do you pass a guy/girl on the street or on the TV and say aloud your attraction to how they look? Tom and I realized this is something we have never practiced, thus the reason for my struggle when he said what he did. He was as surprised as I was when he said it. But God has used it to get my attention on something I might have otherwise missed.
I never thought I’d say this, but tonight everything’s changed. I thank God for Tom’s observation. God has used it to open an entire area of my heart I had no idea was in need of change.
It’s important to pay attention to how you react to situations. Usually a reaction means God is after something in need of repentance and change. And it’s a process. But God has promised to complete the work He’s begun in our hearts. This includes creating in me a gentle and quiet spirit whom others will see as “meek,” and more importantly, God will see as “beautiful!”
Dear God, may it be so!