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Admirable Women, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2023 11:26 am

Admirable Women, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 11, 2023 11:26 am

A stained glass window sparkles and shines when the sun is out and light is coming throug it. But in dark times that beauty cannot be seen unless there is light from the inside. Our culture places an impossible standard on women when it determines value by outward appearance. God's Word shows us to place importance where God does: on the imperishable beauty of the heart.


Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

A stained glass window sparkles and shines when the sun is out. But in dark times, beauty is seen only if there is light within. Our culture places a heavy burden on women when it comes to outward appearance, but God's Word calls us to focus more of our attention on the imperishable beauty of the heart. Are we cultivating a heart ruled by trust in our Lord? Are we allowing God's grace to transform our attitudes and affections? Christ frees us from the chains of impossible beauty standards so we can live for an audience of one, Christ Himself. Rich unpacks 1 Peter 3, 1-6 in this message titled, Admirable Women.

This is the second part of the sermon, first preached on October 30, 2022. I dare you to tell me what this dress makes me look like. You will tell me I'm beautiful. I need you to tell me I'm beautiful.

I know it's just a bust. I get it, right? But I saw it as a representation of what could be going on when all the focus is external, but there's no real focus on the beauty of the inner person. Because when it's all about external beauty and comparisons and needing people to affirm my beauty, that will lead to internal chaos and a colossal misunderstanding of who you are and what your value is as a person. External beauty is why Paul said, don't let your adorning be simply external, is because it's fleeting.

It's fleeting. Peter is not giving us a prohibition here. There are some church systems that see it this way and it's not true. He's not saying women should not do any of these things. He's saying don't let that be the standard of your beauty. That's the point he's making. He's not giving us a mandate for frumpiness. What he's saying is a woman's value is not anchored in her appearance.

Ladies, are you listening to me? Your value is not anchored in your appearance. You are beautiful. God made you a beautiful being. You can see it kind of like a stained glass window in a church. It sparkles and shines when the sun is out, but in dark times, beauty is seen only if there is light within.

Let it be that inner beauty. When our kids were young, Turner Broadcasting brought out one of the movies, I guess you call it an animated movie, called The Swan Princess. You remember that one?

Our kids loved it. This young prince and this princess, of course, they're orchestrated to bring them together because they were destined to be. At first, the young boy and the young girl, the boy goes, ooh, girls are gross. The girl goes, ooh, boys are weird and all that kind of stuff. Then the girl and the boy grow up and he's handsome and she's beautiful. He falls in love with her and he wants her to marry him. He's asked, well, why do you want her to marry him?

Well, she's beautiful. What else, she says? He says, what else is there? Then his trusty Sherpa says, how to offend a woman in four words or less. Those are lines we've never forgotten in our family. It's so true.

What else is there? I mean, yeah, that's a very, very good point. It's not all about what's on the external because let's remember the external beauty is fleeting and you don't even begin to look like the beautiful person. You will be in glory. So let's talk about actual beauty is what Peter is talking about in verse four. 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. Four things I want to talk about actual beauty.

Let me just review them very quickly to begin with here and then we'll talk about them. Actual beauty is inward. It is impactful.

It is invaluable and is imperishable. I didn't mean to bring them all up at the same time there. Let's just go back here. So first of all, actual beauty is inward. He says it's the hidden person of the heart. So what he's talking about is your genuine beauty starts in your attitudes and your affections.

That's where it begins. Are your attitudes and your affections informed and transformed by grace. It is beauty at the core versus a mere external adorning. So the actual beauty is an inward beauty. But secondly, he says the actual beauty is an impactful beauty. Now we know that there is a massive industry today that's built on female external beauty. We know that.

There's no denying that. So much so that women are commonly objectified even in the wake of the Me Too movement. Women are still objectified and oftentimes by other women. But true beauty is genuinely impactful. The beautiful person, the beautiful life is very impactful as opposed to a person who controls and manipulates. It says in verse 1, so that even if some husbands do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives. That's pretty serious impact. Your inward beauty that flows outward can change a man's life.

That's pretty powerful. They're not just watching the disobedient and unbelieving husband may be won by the experience of you living the Gospel. He's not just watching you live the Gospel. He's experiencing you live it.

Why? Because you live with him. You do life with him. And he's experiencing you living the Gospel. And then he speaks of respectful and pure conduct.

What is that? That's acting in the outflow of the beautiful inward person. What is a reality inside manifests itself outwardly. And in that you are functioning in your God-ordained place in the order of the marriage unit. It is a unit and it is designed, it is designed by one who is good. Remember all of this is talking about, generally speaking, order in relationships and in the unit. And it's very, very important, he says, be subject to your own husbands. That is limited to within the marriage unit. It is an entity, it is a thing all its own with a design and a purpose and God designed it to operate a particular way.

We'll talk about that a little more later on. But one of the metaphors that is used is that of a body. Same as he uses the metaphor for the church, like the church is a body and even so it is with the marriage unit is a body. Every body has, listen to me, one head. If a body has two heads, what is it?

A monster. This is God's design. We'll talk about that a little more. But not only is your actual beauty inward and impactful, thirdly it is invaluable. It is invaluable. In God's sight and very special, it says at the end of verse four, beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God's sight is very precious. Highly valued by God and his is the weightiest opinion there is. Augustine in the fifth century in his Confessions wrote about his mother and how she lived in difficult circumstances because he was a problem child and his dad was not the most faithful of men. But even out of difficulty, she won her son and her husband to Christ.

And he speaks very highly of her in his Confessions. So actual beauty is inward, is impactful, is invaluable. Fourthly, it is imperishable. It is a lasting beauty. This is not a fleeting beauty.

This is a lasting beauty. And it is the manifestation of the trust and peace that rule her heart and mind. That gentle, quiet spirit.

Let me just give a caveat here. That gentle, quiet does not mean that you are required to be weak and passive and dominated. It's not what it's talking about. Some women are driven, very ambitious.

Some women do a lot of talking. None of that's bad. You can still have that personality and still have a gentle and quiet spirit. You see what I'm saying? What does he mean by the gentle and quiet spirit? It does not mean what gentle and quiet spirit means that you're not anxious and controlling. You can be ambitious without being controlling. But you cannot be anxious without being controlling. Because that's what anxiety is. You feel like you are out of control and therefore you must do whatever is necessary to control. And that's when we are occupied and preoccupied by fear, we will tend to manipulate for the desired outcomes we want. And oftentimes that can be done in the form of what we might call nagging.

It doesn't work, ever. Ladies, let me share something with you. If you ask your husband to do something around the house, don't nag. He will do it.

You don't have to remind him every six months. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-11 16:40:32 / 2023-05-11 16:44:45 / 4

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