“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (1 Tim 2:8-10 ESV).
“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 ESV).
Women Who Profess Godliness
Let me first state here that some of the specifics of what should or should not be worn or how the hair should be fixed could very well be cultural to that specific part of the world and to that day and time, but that the overall message being taught here is not something that goes away with time.
I am also going to state here that, although these Scriptures are specifically targeted mostly at women, that doesn’t mean that they don’t apply to men, too. There are many Scriptures with specific instructions to men regarding their conduct, and with regard to holiness, godliness, and purity, too.
As well, I am going to state that I am well aware that these passages of Scripture teach more than just what I am going to highlight today with regard to men and women and how they should conduct their lives with modesty, dignity, self-control, respect, and living lives above reproach.
But today I am specifically speaking to this issue of our outward appearance and how that impacts our testimonies for Jesus Christ. For, how we carry ourselves, how we dress, and our outward adornments may be all that anyone will see or hear, and they may not get any further than that.
So, what am I talking about?
I am talking about how our outward appearance can speak volumes of one message while our lips may be trying to convey another, but that the one may naturally cancel out the other. For if our outward appearance says “sex” or “come get me,” or “look at me,” it naturally cancels out talks of Jesus.
For example, if a woman shows cleavage, a normal man is going to have a hard time looking past the cleavage to hear any message about Jesus. So, dress modestly. Also, if you wear leggings as though they are slacks or slacks that are so tight that every form of your body is revealed, that also is not modest, and men’s eyes will naturally be drawn to your figure.
The point here is not to be legalistic about these things but to help us to understand that if we are wanting to bear witness for Jesus Christ that it will be hindered if our body is screaming “sex” or “look at my figure” or “come get me.” Or if we are posing in sensual poses.
And, this goes along with makeup, too. Keep it modest. Highlight your features, if you must, but don’t overdo them to where men are drawn to you and not to Christ. If men are telling you that you are “hot,” they are not thinking Jesus. They are thinking about your body.
Now, I understand that men are responsible for what they think, but women make it much harder for them when they flaunt their bodies or when they pose in sensual poses or have sensual “come get me” looks in their faces. So, women think about this when you dress yourselves or when you pose for pictures.
Think these words as you are getting dressed and putting on makeup or when you are posing for pictures or you are posting videos of yourselves:
• Respectable apparel
• Hidden person of the heart
• Imperishable inward beauty
• Not gaudy
• Gentle (meek) spirit – exercising God’s strength under his control
• Quiet (peaceful) spirit – divinely inspired calmness
• In God’s sight
Also, just think and pray as you get dressed or put on make-up or jewelry about what or who you are representing. Will people looking at you see so much flesh that they will not listen to you speak of Jesus? Is the image you are portraying with your body speaking flesh, or modesty and self-control?
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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