Dear young women,
As Christian young ladies, you are princesses, because you are children of the King.
Let us, in this lesson, look at how you can be beautiful on the inside and on the outside.
If we must name one woman in the Bible who had outward and inward beauty in perfect balance, it is Sarah. Isn’t it interesting that her name meant ‘my princess’?
Dressing with discretion
Now my dear princesses, let us look at two examples from the book of Proverbs.
The virtuous woman of Prov 31
How was the virtuous woman of Prov 31 dressed? She maketh herself _________ of tapestry; her __________ is silk and purple (Prov 31: 22). She took the trouble to dress well and look nice. Does this mean that you must ask your parents for expensive clothes? The virtuous woman of Prov 31 bought wool and flax, spun her own yarn, and weaved her own cloth. She could also afford to buy expensive purple dye and silk. If you find yourself in a similar situation, by all means buy expensive clothes. The lesson we can all learn from the the way the virtuous woman dressed is the effort and thought she gave to a neat appearance.
Whatever be your status, you must dress with simplicity and dignity and in a manner that is fitting for the occasion. Especially when you come to a gathering of the church, be very careful to dress in neat simplicity, out of respect to those who may not have clothes as nice as yours. I know that every girl in EBA dresses in a dignified manner, but in a lesson like this, it is good to put down all the points.
Beauty is like a gold ornament. Beauty on a foolish girl is like putting a nose ring on a pig’s snout. The pig is going to wallow in the mud anyway. Is this an example from my mind?
Proverbs 11:22 says, “Like a ____________ in a __________ snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.”
So, if you are beautiful, you need to wear that beauty in a sensible way that is pleasing to the Lord.
The wicked woman of Prov 7
How was the woman in Prov 7 dressed? Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a ___________ and with crafty intent. She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home (Prov 7:10, 11)
What kind of dress is this? The dress, voice and behaviour of a prostitute is usually loud and flashy. She dresses to reveal more of her body and to be seductive. She may wear a lot of jewelry. She uses makeup to enhance the alluring look of her eyes and the come-hither appearance of her lips. In South India , prostitutes often wear a lot of flowers in their hair.
From 1 Peter 3
In stark contrast to this way of dressing is the instruction from the pen of apostle Peter. Let us read what the Holy Spirit tells us through Peter about how a godly woman should dress:
“Whose adorning let it not be that _________ 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 __________, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a _________ and __________ spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” (I Peter 3:3-6)
Is I Peter 3 saying that you must not wear jewelry?
No, because we know that women in Bible times wore jewellry. Even the church is described as the Bride of Christ adorned for the great wedding. Isaiah 61:10 describes a bride as one who “. . . adorns herself with her jewels.”
Is I Peter 3 saying that you must not look beautiful?
We know that many Bible women were beautiful. In Genesis 12:11, we see Abram telling his wife Sarai, “Behold now, I know that thou art a _________ woman to look upon.”
Not long after Abram said these words, some one else thought the same thing. You can find his name in the same chapter. _________. Can you imagine that she was about 65 years old at this time? Sarah was still beautiful at the age of 90. She was beautiful enough to be attractive to a king. Which king found her beautiful in Genesis 20? ________ Of Rachel, Gen 29:17 says: . . . but Rachel was lovely in form, and ________.
Of Abigail, 1 Sam 25:3 says: . . . She was an intelligent and ________ woman . . .”
What then is 1 Peter 3 saying?
Our passage in 1 Peter does not say that it is wrong to wear jewelry or look beautiful. Rather it points us to the inner beauty of a woman, which is far more important and lasting that outer beauty. While the Bible does not say that it is wrong to be beautiful, it does tell us that outward beauty can be a snare to those who are preoccupied with it.
Charm is ___________ and beauty is __________, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Prov 31:30.
Not everyone can afford jewellry. If you do not have jewellry, you are not missing much. Not everyone is born with a beautiful face either. But everyone can increase in inner beauty with the Lord’s help. Let every girl and young woman in EBA aspire to be beautiful with hearts for the Lord.
(Nahomi Dhinakar; Published in Youth Column of Dhyanamlar December 2006) Click here for other Youth Column articles