The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Faces of Innocence, Clothing of Beauty


Karen approaches me. "I want you to meet my daughter."

We shake hands, and smile, and I think, "What a beautiful young lady, in face and spirit! This pre-teen is going to become a beautiful woman of God..."

I remembered later that Karen told me her daughter is 18.


I already know how old this next young lady is. Our families lived near each other for several years, and our children grew up together. It's still hard to believe I have older sons, and it's harder to believe that this once-little girl has matured to become a young woman of God. Rephrase--not hard to believe she's a mature Godly young woman. Just hard to believe she's not 9, or 10, or 11, any more! :)

I speak as a mom without daughters, so bear with me. One comment made by Fernando when we left our former church was, "I just can't see our sons marrying any of the girls in that high school youth group." Our impression of the young ladies was one of seduction, however innocent they meant it: lots of make-up (I'm not opposed to using make-up; how it is used is important), tops that were low on top and high on bottom (not to mention tight), jeans that left little to the imagination.

Don't get me wrong--this is not a post on modesty. Or is it? Modesty is not only clothing that brings honor to the Lord. It includes speech, attitude, and actions that bring honor to the Lord. Modesty is an attitude of the heart. We as women and girls should not be flirting with knowledge of worldly culture; we should be striving for wisdom in God's Word, and innocence when it comes to the world.

"...but I want you to be wise in what is good
and innocent in what is evil."
Romans 16:19b (nasb)

Innocent--unmixed, pure, without admixture of evil, free from guile, simple. When we focus on His Word, and when we allow the Spirit to do His work in our lives and hearts, He is teaching us in wisdom from His goodness. Our eyes are upon Him, not on the world. We are fixed on God's culture, language, and attitudes, not the world's.

My husband says: "If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then by golly--it must be a duck!!"

The faces above (and several others that come to mind) reflect an innocence that comes from focusing on Him. And if we are focused on Him, we decrease, and He increases. People no longer see us, but something wonderful, peaceful, and innocent--it is the Lord Jesus. How are we clothing ourselves? Is Jesus shining through? I leave you with this commentary on Romans 12:2 by Matthew Wuest:

Stop masquerading in the habiliments of the world,
its mannerisms, speech expressions, styles, habits...
This masquerade costume which saints sometimes
put on, hides the Lord Jesus living in the heart
of the Christian, and is an opaque covering
through which the Holy Spirit
cannot radiate the beauty of the Lord Jesus.
The world says to that kind of a saint,
"The modernism of your appearance
nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine."