“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves (1Pet 3:3-5)
Sarah was a ‘holy woman of the past’. But the Bible is not just a history book. It is the ever living Word of God, a present help in times of need. By the grace of God, we shall study how to become ‘holy women of the present!’
I am very grateful to God for my ministry as the pastor to the women in our church. Some time ago, in our women fellowship, we’ve discussed the topic of how our outward appearance affects our testimony. We called that sermon ‘The fashion of godliness’. I want to share some personal observations following that sermon. I shall not call names for we are only interested in applying spiritual principles. When there was an opportunity for me to rebuke or advice, I called the particular sister alone to my office for a private talk. When there was need for prayer, I prayed. These are some of my personal observations:
*Some women want to do it right, but they are ignorant. Many come from families where there was no proper teaching on behavior, manners or proper appearance in public. Some sisters told me that their mothers ‘pushed’ them into sexual immorality. Many grew up thinking that without seduction they will never marry. Their dresses reflect such lies. It is our duty as pastors and mothers to teach the younger women how to behave and how to dress. It is not an easy or quick work. But it is a necessary work. After the sermon on ‘fashion’ some sisters told me that now they see the need to change in the way they dress. I prayed with them and I saw the changes since then. They dress more modest, simpler and they even look happier.
*The majority of the women in our church dress properly in a way that gives glory to God. They do not over-dress to impress, seduce or intimidate others. Their dresses and hair styles are not too flamboyant, too expensive or too provocative. This is a good thing! I thank God for their wisdom! From my experience over the years, it is rare to find such balance and maturity in this part of the world. In many churches, the women are under pressure to dress fashionably. The world dictates the standard of fashion even in the churches. The dress code for the workers in the oil companies and the banks lead the fashion for others. Many women desire ‘a good job’ so that they can dress ‘corporate’ when they leave their houses in the morning. They feel the need to be admired by their neighbors. This is the spirit of the world and it has crept into the churches too.
*For many women the church is a fashion platform. They come to church to compete with one another and even with the pastor’s wife. They all want to look good in the pictures or on the TV. It is often hard to see any difference between a church and a social club. The latest fashion is worshiped everywhere. That is why I am grateful to God that the Holy Spirit who restrains such immature behavior dwells in our church. We are not legalistic and do not insist on any particular style of dressing. We depend on the Holy Spirit who teaches us all things. His will is done without complaining. As a pastor, I give all the glory to God!
In Christ I declare:
I am a woman of God!
In Jesus name