Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Peaches in Paradise—Why I Loved Elisabeth Elliot

Peaches in Paradise—Why I Loved Elisabeth Elliot

A Christian woman’s true freedom [and, of course, she would also say a Christian man’s true freedom] lies on the other side of a very small gate—humble obedience—but that gate leads out into a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world, to a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested. (399)

Her Teeth

Finally, I loved her because she never got her teeth fixed. I would still love her if she had gotten a dental makeover to pull her two front teeth together. But she didn’t. Am I ending on a silly note? You judge.

She was captured by Christ. She was not her own. She was supremely mastered, not by any ordinary man, but by the King of the universe. He had told her,

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 … and do not fear anything that is frightening. (1 Peter 3:3–6)

Whether it was the spears of the Ecuadorian jungle or the standards of American glamor, she would not be cowed. “Do not fear anything that is frightening.” That is the mark of a daughter of Abraham. And in our culture one of the most frightening things women face is not having the right figure, the right hair, the right clothes—or the right teeth. Elisabeth Elliot was free from that bondage.

Finally, she wrote, “We are women, and my plea is Let me be a woman, holy through and through, asking for nothing but what God wants to give me, receiving with both hands and with all my heart whatever that is” (398).

That prayer was answered spectacularly this morning at 6:15. For her, from now on all fruit is peaches. I am eager to join her.  

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John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at DesiringGod.org. © Desiring God.