Did you know that God actually wants women to be out-of-this-world beautiful? Believe it or not, God compares the stars, the cosmos, and galaxies with idea of true beauty!
He connects these two seemly unrelated concepts with a really cool Greek word. Hang tight with me as I briefly explain God’s poetic analogy in the following verse:
1 Peter 3:3-4 says “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.”
Just like English words, Greek words often have multiple meanings.
The word for “adorning” in 1 Peter 3:3-4 is “kosmos,” which can have two general meanings based on context. It can take the meaning of the actual plant earth, worldly affairs, the people of the world, earthly government, etc. Or it can carry the idea of ornament, decoration, adornment—specifically in the arrangement of the stars, the heavenly hosts, etc.
Basically, Peter was warning women not to place their identity and focus on their outward appearance.
In essence, he’s saying, “Don’t let your world revolve around what you look like. Don’t let your image be the substance of your thoughts or the focus of your life.”
Even as Christians, we can subconsciously believe the lie that gorgeous women are the ones with the poutiest lips, the longest legs, the skinniest figures, the most revealing clothing, the most seductive expression, etc. That is the message that our culture is screaming at women day and night!
Girls, the approval of our culture will lie to us every time.
Proverbs 31:30a says that “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain….” In other words, your skin is a vapor—a fleeting breath. But God has an eternal perspective. He knows that we are worth more than our outward appearance!
When we place our value in our image, we cheapen the very essence of what it means to be women.
Back to our verse in 1 Peter. “…let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart….” Here’s the idea it communicates: Instead of being consumed with temporary looks, let your adornment be revealed in who you are as a person.
Why do you think God used the same Greek word “kosmos” to describe how women ought to adorn themselves?
Let’s zoom way out and think about the cosmos for a second. Think about the sheer radiance of the stars, the awesomeness of the galaxies, the splendor of the heavens. When God spoke the cosmos into existence, He didn’t just make it functional—He made it stunningly beautiful. He ornamented the blackness with galaxies of jewels.
By using the word “kosmos” to describe what should be a woman’s adornment, God is comparing the beauty of the heart to the brilliant splendor of the glittering galaxies.
He wants us to have celestial-like adornment.
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself…’” (Isaiah 40:26).
So what’s all this business about “the hidden person of the heart?” What does that even mean?
If that’s supposed to be what makes us out-of-this-world beautiful, it’d be nice to have a little more clarity. Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in the dark. Here’s another passage describing what it means to be a beautiful woman in God’s eyes:
“…women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
Did you catch that?
God tells women to adorn themselves (by the way, same Greek word there for “adorn”) with good works. Based on the texts of 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Peter 3, here are all of the things that reflect the beautiful adornment of the “hidden person of the heart”:
- Gentle and quiet spirit
- Pure lifestyle
- Modest clothing
- Good works
Instead wondering “How do I look?” all of the time, we should really be asking, “How can I become more like Christ?”
Let’s face it, God made women lovely on the outside. That’s how He designed us!
But when we possess these inner qualities, we as women become unbelievingly, imperishably beautiful at the core of who we are. We shine like stars, like God’s ornaments of adornment in the midst of this foolish and counterfeit world.
This is a battle that every Christian women must engage. We need to fight for the kind of beauty that is of eternal value and splendid radiance. Notice the wording in 1 Peter 3:3 “DO NOT LET your adorning be external…but LET your adorning be the hidden person of the heart.” There is effort going on here!
God knows that this is a fight for the heart.
That’s why He instructs in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
The question is, which “world” will we allow to inform our thinking about what makes us beautiful as women? The world of our culture, which is based on Satan’s lies, or the world of the kingdom of God? Women must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and confront the enemy’s lies about true beauty.
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
- In what ways do you feel the pressure of living in an image-obsessed culture?
- Which of these “hidden person of the heart” qualities do you need to cultivate?
This amazing guest post was written by Liz Halcomb. If you would like to submit a guest post to Girl Defined, click HERE.