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Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 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.

 - 1 Peter 3:1-5

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

 - Proverbs 31:25-26

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

- 1 Samuel 16:7

my heart is heavy tonight. these sorts of thoughts, along with some other additional stuff, have been invading my consciousness all day. [as for why: don't ask.] if anyone feels like reminding me that i really am an awesome and incredible person, and that you love me and think i'm amazing, i could really use it today. seriously.

as girls go, i'm not very girly. i don't do anything much with my hair. i don't color it, i don't prod it, i don't floof around with it. wash, gel, muss, done. i don't wear makeup. i don't even know the process. foundation? blush? gimme some face wash and point me to the door. i don't wear fancy jewelry. i barely own any at all, fancy or no. i don't remember the last time i bought clothing not on sale, much less "fine". i try not to dress in a way that would end up with me starring on what not to wear; but extravagant, i am not.

in our culture today, everything i listed above is counterintuitive if you're even vaguely in the market for a husband. i'm definitely on the vague end of the spectrum; yet there are times when all of my surroundings and interactions magnify that vagueness without my realization or permission. in these moments, the inevitable question arises: if i were doing these things, would i already have someone to wake up to every morning?

on the other hand, i know plenty of people already doing everything i listed above -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- and they're no farther on the path to marriage than i am. you'd think this should tell me, and all of us, something. but more often than not, we ignore the obvious, and we get wrapped up in outward appearances. but if i just do this... and if i just wear these.... or if i just looked like that.....

we believe the lies. we believe the lies that it's the packaging, the packaging, the packaging! which is the most important focus. and we fail to remember the truth that it is the product... the inner self... which we should be focused on renewing. it's the ultimate marketing scheme, playing on the fears and the faults and the failings of the human condition, put on by none other than the ruler of the kingdom of the air. and from the looks of things, he's doing a damn good job.

purity and reverence... gentle and quiet spirit... strength and dignity... wisdom and faithfulness.

Lord, help me to grow into these characteristics. and help me in continuing to laugh at the days to come.

Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 at 08:13PM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments20 Comments

Reader Comments (20)

Ah, the age old question of....are we supposed to be out there "attracting men" to us or do we sit around and wait and hope a deliciously single, responsible, smart, godly, attractive, interesting fellow is going to plop down in the pew next to us on sunday and notice us, even if we're wearing sweats and chapstick? I don't know what the right answer is...but I, for one, wear make up, perfume and jewelry, fix my hair and shop for clothes with glee and enjoyment. I think fashion is fun, if unbelievably shallow in a way, as the multi billion dollar industry that it is. When I go out, I get attention from guys if I have "fixed myself" up. It is truly shocking how much difference a little liptstick and an eyebrow pencil can make. These guys who give the attention...Sometimes they are old and creepy and sometimes they are young and dumb and sometimes, they are actually nice, interesting guys. And that is fun. To know that someone interesting thinks you are interesting enough to send a drink over, give a sincere smile, or compliment the crazy halo of curls winding around your head (in my case.) It can become your identity if you're not careful. But if you're careful, I think it can be fun. I'm dating right now. Several guys. Just casually. It's fun. It's simple. We go out to the movies or for a drink. We meet up with their friends or my friends. My network broadens. I feel like someone thinks I'm worth spending time with. Sometimes as Christian women, we sit around waiting for God to plop that one perfect guy into our lives and we act like forlorn damsels locked in a tower until then. I did that. Then I met who I thought was THE ONE...and it didn't work out. And I thought to myself....I waited around all this time for THAT? So now, I date. I guard certain parts of my heart like it's the tomb of the unkown soldier. But I'm meeting people, and exchanging stories and ideas and gosh darn it, I like it when a boy rings my doorbell all dressed up, smiling and fully prepared to escort me around town for the evening. Fact is, it probably would never happen if I walked around in sweats and chapstick. Frankly, I'm not pretty enough to be noticed that way. But when I wear my great jeans and that little camisole with the cute courdeoy jacket over it, a fabulous necklace or brooch, pointy toed boots, some pouty-plum lipstick and silvery eyeshadow and this new mascara that really honestly does make your eyelashes LONG, and a little Rapture perfume from Victoria's Secret, look out. It's not about boobs hanging out or jeans that barely cover your plumber's crack. It's about looking like "Hey, I made an effort this evening, because I might meet someone wonderful." Guy, girl. Dance partner, new best friend, future boyfriend, networking contact, potential client. Wow...this is long. Hey, Mdog....do I know you? We discussed this, but I forget if we figured it out. Oh, and can I just say....Mistrettas...their turkey/cheese panini is worth losing a limb over if you're craving it enough.
Feb 27, 2005 at 10:51AM | Unregistered Commenterjessi (lemonscarlet)
I really like this post, and jessi's comment. mdog, I think the two of you should write a book on the subject.

Feb 27, 2005 at 01:07PM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
good thoughts. i went out last night. just wearing jeans & a long-sleeved ballet top that i'd worn the night before. no intention of attracting any attention & i had four different guys (two i had met before) hitting on me. two were drunk guys telling me i was gorgeous, but i don't buy into that. it always surprises me when guys flirt and show they're obviously interested. i don't expect it and it's a pleasant surprise, especially when i've not taken any effort with my appearance to attract that attention. to me, it depends on my mood. some days, i just want to stay in my jammies & all the better if some guy finds that to his liking, but i'm not getting dolled up for anything more than to make myself feel good about looking presentable.
keep up the comments. i want to read more.
Feb 27, 2005 at 02:27PM | Unregistered Commentermar
mistretta's... mmmmm. i've asked a couple people, and i'm thinking that we never would have crossed paths in a-town. so, we don't "know" each other. but i'm certainly glad you visit. :)

i liked your comment as well. i want to reiterate that i honestly don't think there's anything wrong with doing all the stuff i listed. like so many other things in life, they only become unhealthy when we make it so. even the best things can become demons, if we let them.

i'm not legalistic about this kinda stuff; it's just how i'm wired. it's not something i "resist"; i simply have no desire for it. and sometimes i wonder if God created me in this way only because He knows what my heart can, and cannot, handle. hmmm.

well. i'm just a lazy, low-maintenance introvert puttin' crap out there on the internet. [if you're in the market for that sort of gal, you just let me know.] :)

btw, i'm loving the phrase "deliciously single".
Feb 27, 2005 at 02:29PM | Registered Commentermdog
"i'm not getting dolled up for anything more than to make myself feel good about looking presentable."

yes! i am so with you. :)
Feb 27, 2005 at 02:31PM | Registered Commentermdog
so why aren't the guys commenting on this?

Jessi and mdog, I will be sure to introduce you two when Jessi is in town.

For me, beauty is about attitude. I personally prefer the simple, little makeup look. (mdog, coming from a very happily married man...I think you are a great person. You are funny, bright..."awesome and incredible.") The stuggle is always not to find your identity in what others think...but we are people created for community...and we care about our part in the community.

I have often found that the more makeup women wear the less I'm attracted to them. So getting "dolled up" means different things to different people. If getting "dolled up" makes you feel more like the woman you are...then go for it. But don't be who you are not.
Feb 27, 2005 at 11:40PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
well said, paul. i used to do the major makeup deal, but i did so to cover the major acne i had. i always felt like i was wearing a mask and was afraid to attract attention to myself. this was mostly for fear that, once the mask was removed and the "real" me was revealed, i would no longer be loved. it was crippling.

now that the acne is no longer an issue and i don't wear the mask, i don't get any more attention than i did before. the interesting part is, i don't care. i feel great about how i look (and, oddly [or sadly] connected to that is the new concept of feeling great about who i am) now, and should some sweet suitor notice that, lucky him!

mdog, just because you don't wear makeup or get all gussied up for a night out does not make you less beautiful. being comfortable in your own skin is what will attract someone to you. you ARE beautiful. you ARE amazing. you ARE incredible.

don't believe the lies of society. the guy who is lucky enough to find you won't, either.
Feb 28, 2005 at 09:47AM | Unregistered Commenteramo
this may be a little late, and i apologize that it dodn't come sooner.

you really are an awesome and incredible person, and i love you and think you're amazing.

just wanted to remind you.

Feb 28, 2005 at 10:03AM | Unregistered Commenterpaganpeigan
Let someone be attracted by your spirit. It lasts longer than makeup.

Also, remember that verse calls for a mutuality of submission.

"Beauty often seduces us on the road to truth..."

Feb 28, 2005 at 03:26PM | Unregistered CommenterBill
thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and kind words. they've really made my day, and possibly my week. i appreciate you.
Feb 28, 2005 at 08:25PM | Registered Commentermdog
Oh no...we are not done, are we fellow bloggers! You just sit there and listen!

I really do think you are one exceptional woman. You are one of the VERY few women my wife naturally gravitates to... which is a complement. I think you have amazing insight into God, life, people... blogging... You are fun to be around, easy to converse with, you are a terrific musician, you have a servant's heart, you are real and authentic ... and a guy would be lucky to date you (coming from a happily married guy remember!).

But... and this is difficult to hear coming from a married guy... mdog, you are complete in yourself. Don't ever look for someone else to complete you. Some of the loneliest people I know are married. Marriage is great... it's part of God's plan for many... but it is not a quick fix or a sure key to never being lonely. It will not necessarily validate you or make you feel accepted. I think you know this... just hear it again from a friend who cares about you.

And the One who matters says, "My precious child. You are gifted and beautiful and made just the way I planned. I adore you my child. You are the apple of my eye, the center of my attention. If you were the only person on the earth, I would have gone to the cross for you. My eye is on you and I like what I see."
Feb 28, 2005 at 09:34PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
thanks for this, paul.

i needed to hear it, too.
Mar 1, 2005 at 10:03AM | Unregistered Commenteramo
oh yea...AND you have a fantastic education from the best university around. :O) (let's misspell some words in this post...)
Mar 1, 2005 at 10:19AM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
Prov 11:22

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."

Mar 1, 2005 at 10:21AM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
check out this great offer above.

Mar 1, 2005 at 12:55PM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
I think you're super cool, mdog. Hang in there. I've been in your shoes, and I know how you feel. What God has for you is definitely worth waiting for!!
Mar 1, 2005 at 03:22PM | Unregistered Commenterjackie
not to contradict jackie (and you may not have meant it this way) but I would not say that God has this perfect person you are waiting for...someone that is worth the wait. In fact, don't wait for anything. Live life as full as you can now...and if...if you choose to be in a relationship, you can enjoy it for what it is. Again, statistically, married people are no happier than single people. You are a valuable, worthwile and complete person without a man in your life. That may happen, but it may not. Be content in all circumstances.
Mar 1, 2005 at 05:17PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
thanks everyone. this has turned more marriage-focused than i initially intended... i know that i am complete, and i know that i'm not guaranteed a mate [although it's always good to be reminded!]. i just needed to share my struggles with focusing on the inner self, and also really needed to hear some words of encouragement. i think we have succeeded on all counts. ;) thanks again.
Mar 1, 2005 at 11:17PM | Registered Commentermdog
i'm way behind...have checked the site in awhile. i enjoyed reading all posts and needed to hear that stuff to. i don't know who paul is, but thank you! i'm guessin you went to miami so you must be pretty cool.

i think that i personally feel better about myself if i feel like putting on makeup, but most of the time i don't bother. i'd rather not take the time. it's unfair that girls feel like they have to do it. i have a roommate of two years that hides from the rest of us when she is not wearing makeup. She walks around the house talking to walls. I feel like in her own home she should be comfortable and not care what we think. Who knows what else is going on w/ that...

there's a lot i could say, but don't have the time. i like the part about living our lives completely, not just sitting around waiting. it's hard to change your attitude especially w/ the pressure from society. thanks to everyone for posting...i needed it!
Mar 5, 2005 at 01:46PM | Unregistered Commenterjoy
The scripture from Proverbs is awesome!
And so is mdog.

that is all.
Mar 10, 2005 at 09:07PM | Unregistered Commenterhappyhearn

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