We can be tricked into thinking our outward adornment is only an outward thing.
For women, the adornment is the “Pinterest Adornment.” Apparently, in the 1st Century, physical appearance was a trap, just like it is today. Then they could just adorn themselves with elaborate hairstyles, clothes and jewelry. Today, those are still in effect. But we also have how our house is decorated, crafts are accomplished and how our life looks on social media.
For men, the adornment is the “Men’s Health Adornment.” Am I strong, good in bed and overall in charge of the situation? In the 1st Century, men had this standard as well. And, just like today, this standard brings harm to women.
Peter calls both genders to a greater adornment. An inner adornment. For women, the adornment is “what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very valuable in God’s eyes.” This doesn’t mean “seen and not heard.” Someone can be gentle, quiet and strong. Just look at Jesus. He was all three of those.
For men, the adornment is really the same thing. Be gentle, quiet and strong. It isn’t spelled out in quite the same way, but we still see it. We are to honor our wives (all women, the passage context is wives) as coheirs in grace. We do not take advantage of their gentle, quiet spirit by being strong and boorish. Instead, we use our strength to honor them. This way women have no reason to fear. And what if we don’t live like this? Well, God has their back. He won’t answer your prayers!
Adornment in Suffering
And now Peter switches his attention to adornment when we’re suffering. Will we adorn ourselves with strength and revenge?
When people push us and demand an answer from us, we answer them. We give them the hope that we have. But we do it with gentleness and respect. God will put to shame those who accuse us because we follow Jesus. Our reaction to people shows where our trust lies. Is our trust in the adornment of rights and revenge? Or the adornment of Jesus?
Jesus suffered while not opening his mouth. And the only time he opened his mouth was when it incriminated him more! But God made sure he got the last laugh. The resurrection was the ultimate mic drop to those who wanted to kill Jesus. How we react when people accuse us shows others where our trust lies.
Adorn ourselves with the same attitudes of Jesus. And God will make sure we are not put to shame.
Throughout this year (Aug. 2016-Aug. 2017), CrossPoint will be reading through the New Testament. We are doing this because we’re learning about the Church and the New Testament is the handbook for the church. Therefore, join us as we follow this reading plan. Today’s reading is from 1 Peter 3.