Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.
March 1, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Behold the Beauty Within
Ginger Plowman, Author, Assistant Director of Speaker Team
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s site” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NIV).
An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist.
“You’ve got so many freckles, there’s no place to paint!” a little girl in line said to the boy. Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head.
His grandmother knelt down next to him. “I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles,” she said, while tracing her finger across the child’s cheek. “Freckles are beautiful!”
The boy looked up. “Really?” he asked.
“Of course,” said the grandmother. “Why, just name me one thing that’s prettier than freckles.”
The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma’s face, and softly whispered, “Wrinkles.”
True beauty radiates from a woman who is filled with the love and joy of Christ. The grandmother in this story reflects how a positive attitude influences the way we are seen by others. When we are faced with unpleasant circumstances, we have a choice. We can either respond with words of encouragement and joy, or we can complain and blame. The grandmother could have responded by criticizing the little girl for making such an unkind comment. Instead she chose to use the opportunity to speak words of encouragement to the boy, allowing the beauty of Christ to shine through her.
As wives, we can choose to joyfully build our husbands up with positive comments, or we can tear them down with negative remarks. The wife who looks for and praises the good in her husband is found beautiful in his eyes. She is worth more than rubies.
As moms, we can choose to look for and build upon the good in our children, or we can harp on their weaknesses. The mom who focuses on and encourages her child in his strengths and talents is found beautiful in the eyes of her child. She will be called blessed.
A woman of noble character responds joyfully and looks for the good in all situations in order that Christ might be glorified through her. She brings good not harm to those she loves. Her beauty doesn’t come from outward adornment, but from a heart that loves and serves Jesus so fully that it overflows and captivates those around her. May every eye in our homes behold a beautiful and joyful woman.
My prayer for today:
Lord, help me to guard my tongue and bring good to my family by the things I say. Help me to think before I speak and only say that which will encourage those around me and spur them on toward love and good deeds.
Consider three positive character qualities in your husband and children. Are they compassionate, generous, thoughtful, etc.? Write each one a note encouraging them in their strengths.
In what ways can I encourage my husband in his strengths?
In what ways can I encourage my children in their strengths?
How do I normally respond in difficult or unpleasant situations?
How can I improve upon the way I respond to difficult and unpleasant situations?
In what ways do I allow the beauty of Christ to shine through me?
Hebrews 10:24, And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (NIV)
Proverbs 10:19, When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. (NIV)
Ephesians 4:29, Say only what is good and helpful to those you are talking to, and what will give them a blessing. (TLB)
Proverbs 14:1, The wise woman builds [up] her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:26, She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. (NIV)
Wise Words for Moms chart by Ginger Plowman
Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child chart by Renee Swope
Building a Successful Family tape / book set by Mary Southerland