In recent years Pinterest has exploded in popularity. Initially favored solely by women, the site now is used regularly by men and women, old and young to capture ideas, information, or any other image deemed valuable. Once the item is "pinned" friends may view the image and the "pin" is shared. It’s an incredibly efficient and practical way to promote ideas or images that we like among friends. And who isn't intrigued by what our friends value and enjoy? We take notice of what they like.
The Scriptures provide the framework for understanding what God likes. In the Apostle Peter's first letter we read of someone and something that is highly valued. Peter says that they are precious in God's sight. What are we talking about? The godly woman. Peter refers back to godly women who "hoped in God" (1 Pet. 3:5), this (and them) were "in God's sight very precious." (1 Pet. 3:4)
Why is this hoping woman precious in God's sight? When we think of hoping we often thing in subjective, ideal terms. "I hope it doesn't rain for Timmy's baseball game." Or, "I hope there is not too much traffic on the way home." This type of hope is hardly precious like a diamond when it is common like a pebble. When the Bible speaks of hope it does so in terms of appraisal and trust. The one who hopes in someone else does so because they have appraised them for the task and found them suitable, able to do the job. Therefore, when Peter says that these women hoped in God he is saying that they appraised God for the task of being the basis of identity, covenant Lord, powerful protector, Savior, and their heart's deepest treasure. In other words, their hope in God means that God is their God! They have their joy and identity in him; they trust him to do what he said he will do. This is precious!
What does this look like? Does it leave any footprints? Yes, most vividly and powerfully. Peter goes on to give us three traits of women who hope in God.
THEY EMBRACE THEIR CALLING
A key component of God being your treasure is the fact that you believe, trust and obey his word. He is trustworthy (therefore you and I hope in him). But what about when God seems to deal you a bad hand? Peter anticipates that and reminds wives that one's hope in God is clearly seen in the midst of a tough situation.
The circumstance here is an unbelieving husband. The Christian woman is to continue to embrace her role as a wife even when her husband is it a believer. She is to still willingly and joyfully to put herself under his leadership (1Pet. 3:1). While this may not be ideal it is not impossible. The faithful woman hopes in God, therefore she submits to God and his word. This makes submission to her husband an overflow of her submission to God. It demonstrates her abiding faith in God, her treasure.
THEY PURSUE TRUE BEAUTY
The world is drawn to beauty. In particular women tend to be very much gifted at reflecting beauty. This is because they are made in the image of God and are, to a degree, reflecting him. God is the creator of everything, including beauty. He loves it!
Peter warns however, against pursuing beauty for beauty's sake.
"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 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 Pet. 3:3-4)
Peter's point here is simple: beauty isn't the problem, idolatry is. Instead of pursuing the idol of beauty (their identity and joy) in their appearance women are to pursue the God of beauty (their identity and joy) through their treasuring, loving, and magnifying of him. In other words, don't hope in yourself and your fading beauty but hope in God and his imperishable, eternal beauty! When you see someone doing this you can be sure that they are hoping in God, and that this is precious in God's sight!
THEY SMILE IN THE STORMS
We are moved by strength and courage. It is attractive and foreign. In Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton is in on his way to be executed on the guillotine. When a young seamstress (also on death row) sees Sydney's love, resolve and composure, she is amazed and asks him to hold her hand for strength. This is timelessly precious.
Peter reminds us that women who hope in God will likewise be timelessly precious. Referencing Sara as one who hoped in God, we read,
..."And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." (1 Pet. 3:6)
What a legacy of faithful, God-hoping women! They stare down the frightening shadows of life with an abiding smile in the God of promise.
When you see someone leaving these footprints you can be sure that they are hoping in God, and that is being displayed because it is precious in God's sight!