As I tucked my youngest daughter in for bed last night she asked me a question. (Why is it that the questions that need the longest answers get asked at bedtime?) My little girl loves to be fancy. Every day she wakes up, gets dressed, and puts on a necklace, a ring, and an anklet (usually a scrunchy made for one’s hair). She loves to accessorize and paint her nails and adorn herself with all things sparkly and colorful. As I was kissing her forehead, she asked me, “Mommy, what is more beautiful, our outsides or our insides?” Not sure what she meant, I asked her to clarify. She said, “You know….our heart or our outsides?”
I sat down on the bed and told her about what Peter says in his first letter, “Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and 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.” We discussed that this does not mean wearing jewelry and beautiful things is wrong but that we are called to have beauty in our hearts, we are called to have a beautiful spirit. I continued by saying there are all kinds of beautiful things God puts in our hearts.
Confused she asked, “How can you put a necklace on your heart?” We went to the passage in Galatians that describes the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Suddenly she exclaimed, “I get it! The fruit of the spirit is like jewelry for our hearts!” YES, YES, and YES! “It makes us beautiful!” YES, YES, YES! In this two minute conversation, my five year old understood the true, wonderful, beauty of a heart that is being changed by her King. A beauty that does not fade and that does not perish.
This was a simple and short conversation, THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET. From now on, she and I will talk about the jewelry for our hearts. Peace that passes understanding, Kindness that leads us to repentance, Faithfulness that gives us eyes to see, Love in which to serve others, Joy and Gratitude for the God that has created us. It is the beautiful jewelry found in a gentle and quiet spirit.
I kissed her forehead again, stroked her hand with her hot pink nails and thanked God that he has made jewelry for our hearts.