Monday, November 3, 2014

Future Wife Litmus Test

1 Peter 3:1-7 are verses that are often misunderstood and taken out of context. A few verses that I think every Christian man ought to use as an important litmus test while seeking a wife are verses three and four, which instructs women that their "beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, 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."

These verses don't mean that women can't cut their hair or are forbidden to wear jewelry as some sects of Christianity have taken it to mean (i.e. some Mennonite, Amish, and 7 Day Adventist denominations). Such groups take these verses, as well as 1 Corinthians 11:14-15 to be specific commands from God to follow, and believe that adhering to them is an act of piety. I disagree, and find that mentality is grossly misaligned to the heart of God, and the context that these verses were meant to be taken (only once does the Bible mention specifically not cutting the hair, and that is when one chooses to take the Nazarite Vow in Numbers 6:37). For some, following a set of rules makes them feel holy, but Jesus was pretty clear that following rules does not always result in being godly. In fact, many people seem to follow "the rules" and have it all together outwardly, but in Matthew 23:27 Jesus describes the whitewashed tombs, that is, people who think that their legalism justifies them.

This interpretation of scripture is rooted in a religious spirit, the same religious spirit Jesus came to overcome and confronted in Matthew 23:27, and the same religious spirit that the Apostle Paul  confronted as a pollution of the Gospel (Philippians 3, Galatians 5:12, Titus 1, Ephesians 2:11-20)

Anyways, I am not here to make a theological point. Paul does that better in the Bible, so if that stuff tickles your fancy, read the above mentioned verses and the book of Hebrews. The point I am trying to make is that the kind of woman that 1 Peter 3:3-4 speaks of is the kind of woman that every man ought to seek after. These verses aren't forbidding looking a certain way, they are however advising that the love of Christ should radiate from us and overshadow anything that we do to our body outwardly. Outward beauty fades, and that's an unavoidable fact. Inward beauty, in contrast, is unfading. I don't know about you, but if I have the choice to fall in love with a person for their outward looks that will titillate me for a brief season and then permanently fade away, or to fall in love with somebody for their godly characteristics that will prove to be unfading, I will pick the latter, and I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to say to my wife of choice, "There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all" (Proverbs 31:29) and mean it to the very core of my being.  

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