Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions A Beautiful Woman Is a Person, Not a Body

A Beautiful Woman Is a Person, Not a Body


“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 Peter 3:4). I love this. Women, you are a person. You’re not a body to be gawked at.

I was praying the other day. At age 69, I am still a male, and males have a bent toward sexual attraction—looking at things we shouldn’t look at, or looking too long at what we might look at innocently, or whatever. I’m going to the airport and my eyes are flashing here and there as people walk by. I’m just whispering to the Lord, “God, help me to see women’s eyes.” When I say eyes, I don’t mean the makeup; I mean where the person is. “God, I want to see people, not bodies. Help me.”

Women need to hear—men, too—but women hear: You’re a person. Not a body to be decorated.

Once you have that straight, then the body will fall into line with appropriate clothing and appropriate makeup and appropriate hair and everything else. It’s not your God anymore. It’s no longer what you live for. Please, don’t live for that. Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. If “quiet” has a negative connotation for you, try the word “serene,” or “tranquil.”

Some women might complain, Women always have to be quiet. Women aren’t allowed to talk. I doubt that in this verse especially, those words would land on women with painful constraint, but rather with beautiful serenity, like a pond or a lake that is serene. It’s tranquil.

He goes on to say to these women, “Don’t be afraid of anything.” These are my kind of women. Fearless before American collapse. Fearless for your kids. Fearless in the face of difficulty at church. These are strong women, and the strength is coming from inside. The strength is not in being built up by attention from others. Movie stars are always trying to strike a pose with how sexy their clothes are, how sexy their figure is, how sexy their hair is. Why do they do that? Power. They know what men fall for or gawk at. Putting on a certain appearance feels powerful.

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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.