The matter of modesty has been on my mind lately. As a Christian woman, how am I supposed to present myself? What is considered right or wrong in terms of fashion, makeup, or figure? This question can be as simple as addressing what clothing we wear, or can run as deep as whether or not we should diet, paint our nails, or wear makeup.

I'm sure we all agree that what is on the inside, what our hearts are like, is what matters the MOST. But once you address what matters most, is it okay for all of the other stuff to matter at all?

1 Timothy 2:9-10 states that women are expected to "dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

Granted, there's probably some cultural context to that verse, but those are still pretty strong words. If as a woman you profess to worship God, modesty is a must! But what of adornments? What would "braided hair, gold, and pearls" be in today language? The Message translates this verse as the following: "not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it."

Personally I'm a pretty plain person. I've never been very fashionable, so I stick with jeans, t-shirts, sweaters... whatever is comfortable. I try to look "nice" when out of the house, but certainly don't go to any great lengths to "wow" the public eye. I wear very little or no makeup most of the time. It's just a personal preference... I don't want to look like a different person after I wash my face at night. And as far as accessories go, I pretty much stick to the minimum. No fancy purses or jewelry... just a simple bag, my favorite necklace & earrings (if I feel like wearing jewelry at all), and my wedding ring.

I guess I just don't understand the point of investing the time and money into the relatively unimportant outward appearance. I just want to be real. If people don't like me for who I am, then I'd rather not be around them anyway.

But are there reasons that we SHOULD be concerned about outward appearance? Well there are the obvious matters of health and hygiene. If I overeat and smell bad I'm not doing the kingdom of God any favors either. Not only am I not taking care of the body that God gave me, but it might be hard to get someone to listen to the message of Christ if they can't get over the distraction of the body odor. But beyond the basics, I don't know that we are necessarily given any Biblical reasons to worry about appearance. Jesus himself was said to have "no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." (Is. 53:2)

There are times when I wish I were prettier. Let's face it... I'm a woman and every woman struggles every now and then with her appearance. But when I question why it is that I would want to look different, I can never come up with a reason other than what the media and society pressures that I "should" be doing. Now I like to dress nice and feel pretty every once in awhile. There's nothing wrong with that. It's nice to fancy up a bit for a night out with my husband, and it feels good when other people compliment my appearance. But this definitely isn't something that consumes a large portion of my thoughts. I guess it's just never made sense to me to spend money, time, and effort in this area when it could be spent on things of much greater value in the eyes of God.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of fashion, modesty, makeup, and general appearance? Is it important to look pretty in the eyes of the world? Why or why not?
1 Response
  1. Kimmama Says:

    I am the same way. I think it's important to look nice and put together, but something seems wrong about spending half your paycheck on your wardrobe and makeup. I once saw a woman on TV who said she would rather have no furniture in her house than give up designer clothes. What!?


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