Happy weekend gals! Today we’re taking a little turn, but still going in the same direction. We’ve talk about inner beauty here at Dressed for My Day on Saturdays, and I love the way you gals join the conversations I start. But today I’m letting you begin the conversation and I’ll be answering your inner beauty questions. Maybe once a month we’ll start doing an inner beauty Q + A.
I’m not actually going to answer every question. Hahaha! When I started trying to answer, I realized that I can’t possibly know enough of your situation to tell you what to do. To even try to answer your complex issues with simplistic answers would only minimize your situations and throw arrogance at the very things that have undoubtedly caused you sleepless nights. And, unlike God, I don’t “know the hearts of all men.” So I just don’t feel comfortable offering concrete answers.
Instead, I’m going to share biblical principles that I believe apply to your questions. I think the Bible holds the answer to all of our questions and conundrums. Sometimes the answers are direct and easy to spot, but more often than not, we have to look for principles that echo throughout the pages of Scripture and apply those to the situations of life with prayer, humility and faith.
So for each question, I’ll supply some scriptures and principles. If the question is yours or you have a similar predicament, I encourage you to pray through and think through the principles I’m offering to come up with your solutions or next steps.
Now if someone just asks for resources, I’ll answer that!
Questions #1 – A difficult man I know…
Question – My husband and I are friends with a Christian man who is so set in his ways and I don’t know how to deal with him. I just completely disagree with him about several things, including matters of religion. When he says something that I honestly do not agree with, am I better off to continue keeping my mouth shut or are there some kind things that I can say to let him know that while I respect him, I do not agree? I feel like I’m being given opportunities to open his eyes a little bit and maybe soften his harden heart.
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 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 3:1-4
Note: I realize this scripture is speaking to a different relationship than the once described in the question. But the principle we learn in this scripture applies beautifully.
Principle #1: We sometimes influence other people more through the words we don’t say than through the things we do say. A gentle and quiet spirit speaks volumes.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”Philippians 1:6
Principle #2: I am not the Holy Spirit in another person’s life. But I can trust that if the Holy Spirit indwells a person, He is at work and will bring about the changes necessary to make that person more like Christ. That is not my job.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”James 5:16b
Principle #3: We cannot change other people. But we can and should pray for other people. We will accomplish more eternal good on our knees than we ever will in front of another person’s face.
You also might want to check out this book, How to Deal with Difficult Relationships.
Question #2 – Resources about hope…
Question – I have a group of close friends, my Sea Sisters. Each year we go on a trip. We have devotions at some point each day. I’m being led to discuss HOPE. Do you have any suggestions of resources besides the Word of course?
I actually will answer this one. Ha! Yes, I suggest you check out June Hunt’s book, Hope: the Anchor for Your Soul. June is the host of the popular Hope for the Heart and Hope in the Night radio shows.
Question #3 – Resources for hurting parents…
Question – We are in a period of holding on to hope for our college age son who is being blinded by Satan. Do you have resources that you have seen help hurting parents of a child that is in a serious spiritual battle?
Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Principle #1 – We can continue to rejoice even when circumstances appear daunting because God is still in control.
Principle #2 – We can thank God for the struggles our loved ones go through because He is using those seasons to work for good in their lives, even if we can’t see how.
Principle #3 – But we must also continue to pray without ceasing.
I also suggest Stormie Omartian’s The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children and the accompanying Book of Prayers for Adult Children. You might also check out Jodie Berndt’s Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children, but I’ve not read the book myself.
Question #4 – Guilt over love of fashions…
Question – I enjoy fashion but sometimes feel guilty for doing so. I struggle with whether or not I am wasting precious time and promoting greed in my heart. Also, I like to purchase quality items and have the budget to do so occasionally, but I struggle when I see the desire to have what I have in the eyes of others who have much smaller budgets. This burdens my heart. I also want to keep a tight wardrobe that still meets the needs of all occasions but realize I enjoy many pretty things and I often wonder what is too much. When I am struggling to decide what to wear between two or three really great choices I think maybe I have gone too far. Should I just have a capsule wardrobe? Does God care how much I have ?
My response: I totally get it! But in the end, all I can do is share the biblical principles that speak to me on this issue. I believe material wealth and how we use it is one of those issues that we must settle with our God and no one else (except our spouse, of course).
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”Matthew 6:25
Principle #1 – Life is more than what we eat, drink or wear. Obsession with or addiction to any of these consumptions is in opposition to God’s best for us.
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?Matthew 6:28-30
Principle #2 – God provides what we need, even in the area of clothing. So we must view our clothing as a resource provided by God and be good stewards of what we have been supplied.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.“Matthew 6:31-32
Principle #3 – As Christ followers, our priorities should be noticeably different from those of the world. Why? Not because we do not want or enjoy those things, but because we have a heavenly Father who knows and provides those things.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Matthew 6:33
Principle #4 – Ultimately God desires that we prioritize seeking Him and becoming more like Him over any other pursuit. And only God knows the affections of our hearts.
That’s it for today…
In an effort to keep this post from getting too long, I’m going to stop there for today. We’ll look at more reader questions in future Saturday posts. Did you like this format? Would you like to see something like this once a month or quarter? Let me know.
Here are the resources I mentioned in today’s post. I’ve also included my own books in this shopping widget because readers ask about them frequently.
Do you have thoughts you’d like to share about today’s topic? I’d love to hear from you today! I tend to take as much time off from work as I can during the weekends, so I may not reply to your comments unless you ask me a direct question. But I’d love for you to carry on this conversation in the comment section below. And you can know for certain that I read and value each and every comment. Please remember that I try to keep this space free from controversy, so let’s stay away from the topic of politics or other divisive issues.
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