{Marriage} In the Valley of Sheep.

Written By: Mandy Hill

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

Fashion is fabulous! I love going shopping for new clothes (so long as I find what I’m looking for, and in my size), love to try on new flats or new boots, and scarves are a dangerous love as well. It’s ok to enjoy these things; within reason, of course.

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It’s so easy to do. Getting caught up in our culture isn’t something you have to work hard to do; it’s always right there, in your face. It makes good sense that you would need to work harder to achieve the inner beauty that Peter talks about in 1 Peter. Unfortunately, you can’t buy the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, with matching boots and a cute scarf, at your favorite retail store.

It is however, the very beauty we should be shopping for. So, while all of our friends are stocking up on beautiful clothes, fancy hairstyles and expensive jewelry…..doesn’t chasing hard after the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit make you feel like you’re in the valley of the sheep?!

David felt unnoticed, like his assignment was unimportant; in the valley of the sheep.

When we’re single, we want to look good ‘in case’ we meet Mr Right. When we’re dating, we want to look good to ‘keep’ Mr Right. When we’re married, we want to look good to ‘keep Mr Right from looking somewhere else.’ It’s especially hard when it seems like the world around us advertises the notion that fancy hair, expensive jewelry and beautiful clothes are the products that will bring you to a place of love and fulfillment. Going against the grain can make the assignment God’s called us to fulfill (clothing ourselves with the beauty that comes from within) feel like a lonely and unimportant place to dwell.

…..However, let’s take a look at the last part of our scripture. Living a life where we strive to adorn ourselves with beauty that comes from within ‘is so precious to God.’

Like David, the ‘valley of the sheep’ is where we can learn to depend on God more exclusively. Rather than basing our identity on what others think of what we look like on the outside; we can inhale the reality that cultivating beauty from within will grow our faith and enhance our spiritual fruit.

Be conscious of where you are cultivating your beauty, sisters. Is the way you are ‘dressing’ pleasing God?!

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the beautiful treasure of marriage. Thank You for allowing me to be a part of such an incredible union. I pray, Jesus, that my mind will stay sharp and focused on where I need to cultivate my true beauty; please also do the same for my sweet sisters. May our inner beauty make even our worst hair day’s unnoticeable 🙂 I pray this in Your precious name, Jesus. Amen.

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