Don’t Waste Your Womanhood Pt. 2

Posted: February 11, 2009 in Theology and Doctrine
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In Part 1 of this series, we introduced biblical womanhood by looking at the creation of the woman and how the distinctions between manhood and womanhood display the glory of Christ in relationship to His blood-bought bride, the church. In this part, we’ll examine further what it means to be a woman who displays biblical womanhood by looking into what the Bible says about the conduct, dress and beauty of a godly woman and I pray that as we look into God’s word, He will open the eyes of our hearts to see wondrous things from His law.

As women of God we should conduct ourselves in a way that is pleasing to God and that gives us a reputation for being women of godly character and moral virtue. The dictionary defines the word virtue as moral excellence, goodness and righteousness; conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles (dictionary.com). The Bible is filled with the lives of women who should serve as role models for all Christian women. One woman that springs to mind is Ruth, the Moabitess. She stands in history as a model of true womanhood; she was joyfully willing to break with her past and faithfully follow God. Boaz and all the people recognized her as woman of virtue…

“Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.” (Ruth 3:11-12).

And who could forget the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31! We are not told who she was, but what she was. Now, admittedly, she is a woman who appears to be the embodiment of perfection but I’m sure that was not the case; she was only human after all. She probably had her “off” days as we all do. But she was a wise and kind woman of virtue. Proverbs 31:26 reads, “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” As we read through Proverbs 31:10-31, we see that this woman was an epitome of virtue; she was trustworthy, industrious, organised, kind and loving. What stands out most, to me, about this woman was that she feared and reverenced the Lord. I believe this was the key to her “success”. Proverbs 31:30 reads, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a womanwho fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…” (Proverbs 31:28). What a woman!

Godly women should also preserve modesty in the way they dress. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 reads,

“…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”

First, let’s look at these verses in context. When Paul instructed men and women in his epistles, he mainly addressed disturbances within the worship assembly and one source of disturbance caused by women was their dress. One commentary suggests that…

“Some women might have been dressing in a flashy, even sensual, manner acceptable in their former pagan lifestyle but out of place in the church. Others might have been dressing to reflect their higher social status. For the great majority, who were from lower classes, this ostentatious attire could have proven a barrier to their sharing in the life of the church.”

So how does this relate to us today? I’ll be the first to admit that most of the fashion trends today don’t make it easy for women to dress modestly. In fact, we live in a culture where modesty seems non-existent. Women dress in ways that draw attention to their physical bodies and this is seen as normal. I’m not going to go into too much detail but I’m sure you know what I mean. As Christian women, we should not conform to the world’s ideas about beauty and fashion. We should avoid the ostentations and extravagances that call attention to ourselves or that cause people to be distracted from the Lord, especially in the church assembly. Godly women should not dress in a way that encourages men to have lustful thoughts and desires. The wardrobe of a godly woman should portray a spirit of moderation and purity; her clothing styles should draw attention to the heart and spirit of Christ within her.

Apart from dressing modestly, we should also ask ourselves this question; do we focus all our time and energy into looking good outwardly rather than on cultivating inner spiritual beauty? 1 Peter 3:3-4 reads,

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

This is not to say that the outward appearance is unimportant and that we should let ourselves go and not look good, but that the inner qualities are more important. Some of us spend hours “getting ready” – plucking and primping and grooming and applying our make-up and what not – but find it difficult to spend even half an hour in the presence of the Lord, studying His word. Ladies, this outward beauty is corruptible and will fade as we grow older. A woman who is truly beautiful is one whose beauty radiates from within. This hidden beauty of the heart is displayed by a “gentle and quiet spirit”. This has nothing to do with your personality traits – some people are more outgoing than others, and some people never say much – but it is the inner attitude of heart of a woman who trusts completely in the Lord. A gentle and quiet spirit is one that is not anxious about anything but knows that God is in control over everything. She is very precious to God and is also a joy to those around her. She is more concerned about growing in her relationship with the Lord than about being fashionable, stylish or physically attractive. She desires to please God more than she desires the approval of others. She has an inner beauty that is as a result of a spirit that is yielded to and trusts in the Lord and that lives constantly and consciously in recognition of His presence in her life.

Modesty is so much more than just about what we wear; it’s an expression of the heart. The clothes we choose to wear are a statement of the motivation of our hearts. Revealing, seductive, extravagant and flashy clothes are the attire of a woman who wants to draw attention to herself rather than bring glory to God. Pastor John MacArthur puts it like this:

“How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the centre of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshipping God? Or is it to call attention to herself and flaunt her beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshipping God will consider carefully how she is dressed because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.”

Ladies for the sake of every man on the pursuit of holiness and purity I urge you to be modest. Not only do we honour God when we dress modestly, we also serve our brothers in Christ and protect them from sin. This is not to say that what a woman wears is solely to blame for the lusts of a man, but we must make sure that we are not stumbling blocks to them or the fuel that intensifies the fire of their lust. Our modesty brings glory to God and testifies to the power of the gospel of Christ in changing our lives. Don’t waste your womanhood by being immodest or by focusing too much on your outward appearance. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30).

HT: 4 Christ’s Sake

Related Posts:

Dont Waste Your Stage

Dont Waste Your Womanhood

Dont Waste Your Brain

Dont Waste Your Time

Dont Waste Your Stage – Part 2

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