Your Adornment

You might adorn the walls of your house with photos or pictures or other ornaments.  A store might adorn the outside of their building with flags or balloons or other objects to get attention and draw in customers.  To adorn is to enhance the appearance of something.   It is common practice for people to also adorn themselves.  This adorning might be eyeliner or mascara or lipstick or rouge.  It might be a different hair color or hair style.  It might be ear rings or nose rings or other piercings.  It might be with jewelry such as necklaces or bracelets or rings.  It might be tattoos.  It might be with colorful dresses or shirts or it might be with revealing clothing.  There are many different ways that people adorn themselves today in an attempt to enhance their appearance and draw attention to themselves.  Does God care about your adornment?

The apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:1-4 “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel —  rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”  This Bible version adds the word “merely” which is not in the original text.  Arranging the hair, wearing gold, and putting on fine apparel are all outward adornments.  The apostle is admonishing the wives to adorn themselves with “the hidden person of the heart” rather than using these outward adornments.  I submit that there is a principle here that applies to all of us and not just to wives. 

God does not specifically forbid outward adornment.  In fact, we all adorn ourselves in some way since we all wear clothes and arrange our hair, unless you are bald.  But as a Christian, you will want to avoid certain physical adornments.  Some adornment marks an individual of a particular religion, for example: Muslim or Hindu.  In our local high school, there are at least ten different gangs or groups that can be identified by their adornment; their makeup, clothes, hats, and other adornments mark an individual as belonging to a particular group.  Some adornment marks a person of a certain sexual orientation.  Other adornment marks one as carnally minded and a person of the world.  I encourage you to choose outward adornment that marks you as a holy child of God.  

God is interested in the heart of a person rather than their outside appearance.  The prophet Samuel was sent by the Lord to Bethlehem to choose the next king of Israel from the sons of Jesse.  Samuel saw Jesse’s son Eliab and thought that he would be the next king.  1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” Here are a few scriptures that show the importance of the attitude of the heart.  Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  Matthew 12:33-35 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.  Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” 

God wants us to emphasize the adornment of the heart.  The apostle Peter encouraged the wives to adorn themselves “with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”  For a woman to have a gentle and quiet spirit today is rare.  However the apostle says that such an adornment is very precious in the sight of God.  The apostle wrote in 1 Peter 5:5 “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”  Humility is an adornment of the heart that God values; He gives grace to the one who has that adornment and we all desire the grace of God.  The apostle Paul told Timothy to flee the love of money and instead pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11).  These adornments of the heart are of great value to God and mark you as a child of God rather than a person of the world.  With these adornments, you will be a light in the world (Matthew 5:6).

My encouragement to you is to emphasize the adornment of a virtuous heart.  Since you belong to God, only seek the physical adornments that would please Him.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”