“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:
*I called some sisters and explained to them that their dresses are too short, too tight or too revealing. Initially they argued and became defensive. They said that their mothers at home saw nothing wrong with the dresses. Some even told me that their own husbands complimented their outfit in the morning before coming to church. I did not want to argue with them. I do not want the dress to be a hindrance to our relationship. But the word was given. ‘Pray! Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God!’ There was nothing more to add. Later, I discovered that these same sisters had deep issues. Their marriages were not happy. The same husbands that complimented their ‘sexy’ dresses abused their wives at home. They did not trust them with money and did not respect them as women of God.
*The women who always come to church with dresses that are transparent, too short or too tight, are not committed believers. Most of them are just religious unbelieves. As a pastor, I have not seen spiritual fruits in them. They have a tendency to be lonely, rebellious and quarrelsome. They do not encourage me as their pastor. They make my work harder. They are thorns in my flesh and care not for my feelings. Of course, thru it all I learn to be patient and faithfully continue in the ministry of prayer and teaching. And the Holy Spirit strengthens me and for that I am truly grateful to God!
*Lastly, more good news: Many sisters have changed so much, inside and outside. Sometimes it is hard to remember how they came here. The difference is so great! The inward beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that is of great worth in the sight of God is already shining forth. This is pleasing to God and a wonderful encouragement to me as their pastor. To God be all the glory!
In Christ I declare:
I am a woman of God!
In Jesus name