“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. 

1 Peter 3-3-4

Girls,

Tomorrow is a day we have set apart to celebrate your mother. Though you are too young to realize what all the fuss is about, soon you will join me every May to celebrate the gift you call “Mommy”.

For now you know her as the one who wakes you every morning with a smile, seemingly inviting you to enjoy God’s goodness with her. You know her as the one who spends the morning hours helping you pick up your toys and even stops to have “tea time” when you ask. You know her as the one that tells you stories about God before nap time and spends the afternoon playing with you outside. And when you fall and hurt yourself, she swoops you up and assures you that everything will be alright. In the evenings she carefully crafts a meal that is both nutritious and acceptable to your picky appetites and after all of this, she will rock you to sleep with stories about God.

If your mother did nothing else she would have glorified God and be worthy of our praise.

But it is not as much what your mother has done as it is who she is that gives us reason to celebrate her today. Beyond all that she does for us, beyond her brilliance and even beyond her stunning beauty stands a women of God that seeks to adorn herself not with external beauty but with an inward, imperishable beauty that is pleasing to God.

On this Mother’s Day I am reminded of how deep your mother’s beauty runs and how earnestly I have prayed that you will grow up and be like her. Listen to Peter as he contrasts true beauty with fleeting, external beauty.

“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. 

I want to highlight three things in this passage that I hope you will one day believe and rejoice in.

TRUE BEAUTY IS INTERNAL

Beauty is always based on something. A man, for example, may call his wife “beautiful” based on her pretty eyes or fair skin or whatever else he might find attractive. And tragically, many young ladies enslave themselves to that definition of beauty.

But God has a different definition of beauty based on this “hidden person of the heart”. 

Even in Peter’s day women believed that their beauty was based on “jewelry and clothing”. Notice the word “adorning” in the passage. The original greek word is κόσμος and is where we get our english word “cosmetic”. Peter is teaching you that your “cosmetic”-that which enhances your appearance-is not produced by Estee Lauder or hanging in your closet. Rather, true beauty is based far beyond those things, inside your heart. God knit you in your mother’s womb and fashioned you to be physically beautiful in His sight. And while your physical beauty was designed by Him and is declared “good”, God wants you to know that what makes you truly beautiful is the “gentle and quiet spirit hidden in your heart”.

As you get older you will realize that your Mother is extravagantly beautiful. And that is one of the many things that makes her such a treasure to me. But today we rejoice that her beauty runs even deeper in “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious”.

TRUE BEAUTY IS IMPERISHABLE

Another amazing thing about true beauty is that it is imperishable. Though it is hard to believe, years from now your hair will turn gray, your skin will wrinkle and your beauty will begin to dim. And that is ok. God is telling you that true beauty is anchored inside one’s heart and will never, ever fade.  The apostle Paul told believers in Corinth that even though their “outer self was wasting away, [their] inner self  [was] being renewed day by day”. (2 Corinthians 4:16)

When I met your mother she was only 14 years old. But even at that age she was stunningly beautiful. I can’t explain it, but even at that age there was something about her beauty that was unmatched. Over the last 13 years her beauty has become even more pronounced and yet one day it too will fade. But according to this passage, her heart will never fade and will always be precious to God.

TRUE BEAUTY IS PRECIOUS TO GOD

The most amazing thing is that this true beauty that Peter describes is precious to God. Isn’t it amazing that the maker of the heavens and the earth, the One who holds the galaxies in the palm of His hand not only knows your mother, but finds her heart “precious”.

You will grow up in a culture that is addicted the approval of others. This addiction informs virtually every aspect of our lives and often distracts us from seeking God’s approval. But Peter reminds us that God not only approves of this “hidden person of the heart”, He finds it precious. As your father, I am praying that you will follow in your mother’s footsteps and treasure that which is precious to God.

TRUE BEAUTY IS ONLY FOUND IN CHRIST

So far I have taught you three very important things. I have taught you that true beauty is not external but is hidden within your heart. I have taught you that this true beauty is unlike external beauty and will never fade. And finally, we marveled in the fact that your Mother possesses a heart that is precious to God.

But beyond those things is an even more important truthyou will never possess a beautiful heart without God. 

There was a time when your mother’s heart was not beautiful. She, like all of us, had sinned against God and deserved His judgment. Despite her beautiful appearance, nothing she did was pleasing to God.

But one day that radically changed.

When she was a little girl she asked God to forgive her and put her faith in Jesus who never sinned and died to pay the penalty for our sins. At that moment God replaced her sinful heart with a new heart. Not only is this new heart imperishable and pleasing to God, it is sustained by God who now lives through her making her the blessing she is today. From her new heart flows her merciful spirit, her patient love, her joyful smiles and everything else that we will celebrate today.

This new heart and identity that she has found in Christ is the most important thing that you will ever know about your Mother. My sole hope for you girls is that you long for a new heart. Whoever turns from their sins and believes in Christ’s finished work on the cross will not suffer the penalty for there sins and will inherit a new heart and everlasting life. Listen and believe God’s promise: “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

I hope to live long enough to see you both become moms. If you are anything like your mother, your children will rise up and call you blessed. Just remember as you follow her that she was following Christ.

I love you so much more than you now know,

Daddy