HONORING GOD IN MY OUTWARD APPEARANCE
Extra from Volume 10#3
by Sarah Beth M.
With a large red blanket draped around my waist, it was easy for me to imagine the beautiful princess dress that I was “wearing” as I played “house” with my sisters. That was many years ago, and I haven’t played dress-up much since then. However, I still enjoy finding beautiful clothes - but what exactly is “beauty” and what defines “modesty?” How do I honor Christ in my outward appearance? I’d like to share some of the things God has shown me through His Word.
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
As in the passage above, the Bible says that inward beauty is so much more precious than outward beauty. Reading over the passage about the “Proverbs 31 woman,” I noticed that is says “strength and honour are her clothing.” (Proverbs 31:25) Verse 17 says something corresponding with that. Another well-known and important verse is Proverbs 31:30, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
But something else I noticed is that verse 22 says, “She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” This passage does not deny that her clothes are made of beautiful fabric, but it also seems to make a point that outward beauty is not her priority. I want the same to be true with me.
Just as God delights in beauty, I delight in beauty also because I’m made in His image. If I did not desire to be the least bit beautiful then I might not take care of and groom myself. As a temple of the Holy Spirit God gave me my body to take care of, while making sure I do not make beauty an idol.
As I choose each outfit that I wear I must allow God to search my heart. Am I dressing a certain way because I want to draw attention to myself? Do I fear what others think of me? “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
If I am truly seeking Christ on a day-to-day basis then I will desire and delight to honor Him in how I dress. Modesty is not something that Christianity is based on (for I am not saved by good works), rather, modesty is an overflow of my desire to honor and glorify Jesus. If I really am seeking to honor Him then I will not only submit to my parent’s guidelines for dressing modestly, but I will do so with a willing heart.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)