I have a 5 year old daughter and she is beautiful. This morning she put on one of her dresses that we got her for Christmas. It is a summer dress, but sometimes dresses are so pretty you just can’t wait until the summer. All you have to do to turn a summer dress into a winter dress is add a long sleeve turtle neck and thick leggings and lickety-split, your summer dress becomes a winter dress! And to be fair she is a girly girl who will do anything to wear dresses.
With her new dress on, turtle neck pulled up, and leggings tight she quickly asked me, “Daddy don’t I look pretty in my new dress?” Of course you do I replied. You are beautiful. I walked across the room to her, kneeled down beside her and said, “But it isn’t your dress that makes you pretty.” Do you know what it is? “My body”, she replied. A little caught of guard to hear a little 5 year old girl already so aware of her appearances I said, “No, not your body. Do you know what it is?” She said simply, “No.” I said it’s not your dress, your body, or your hair, but it is your sweet, sweet heart that makes you pretty.
Her face lit up with a smile and she wrapped her arms around my neck really tight. I asked her, “Do you know why its your heart that makes you pretty?”
She shook her head and said, “No.” Because if we took that pretty dress and put it on a scary monster would that make him pretty? No, she said. If we took that pretty dress and put it on a big lobster would that make him pretty? “No, of course not”, she said. If we took that dress and put it on a mean…and my mind went blank, and she said, “A mean bear!” and I laughed and said, yeah, would that make him pretty? No, she giggled.
I asked her again, “Do you know why?” Because that dress will get old, our bodies get tired, but our sweet, sweet heart never gets old and tired. She was listening really closely and I asked her, “Do you know who gives us a sweet heart?” “Jesus”, she said. That’s right, baby girl. When we meet Jesus He gives us a sweet heart.
This is the important part. If I call her to have a sweet heart then ultimately I am calling her to moralism and being a “good girl”, but at the end of the day we are never going to be able to be good boys and girls, and it is only through Jesus that we can get new sweet hearts.
Ez. 36, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
1 Peter 3, “Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”