Holy Women ARE Beautiful!

March 23, 2013


1 Peter 3:1-6

We live in a society where sex sells and sells big. Sex is used to sell everything from acne medication to every type of material possession imaginable. Everyone wants to be one of the “beautiful people” and will buy, sell or sacrifice all to be in that select group. To be sexy is everything and even eight and ten year olds seek that look. I have seen ten-year old girls dressed up and made up to look like cheap harlots. They are already trying to be sexy before they even know what sex is all about. Sadly, pedophiles do know and when we dress up children up like adults we just whet the appetites of the perverse and place our children in jeopardy.

It is no wonder for even Barbie and Ken and friends are babes and hunks. If I have seen the new more realistic Barbie I have not noticed much of a difference. They were supposed to make her more portioned like an average women to prevent young girls from becoming anorexic trying to achieve an unrealistic goal for their bodies. I guess I missed the change. I like the bumper sticker I saw that says, “If Barbie is so great why do you have to buy all her friends?”

What causes this is an over emphasis on the external and a total rejection of the internal or spiritual. The flower of youth soon fades, but the soul is eternal. It is far better to have a beautiful soul than a body that will wither in forty years and then left to decompose until the return of Christ.

Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Vanity Fare and all the rest of those magazines do not desire you to be truly beautiful. Their only goal is to make money and they do it through the promise of great sex. Worldly beauty totally revolves around that concept. Just read all the advice articles in those magazines. Sex is everything and if you want to have sex you have to be desirable or beautiful and the designers and counselors of this world will show you how to become that.

Sadly, many Christian women fall for the same illusion the world creates while they would not seek its solution in unbridled or illegitimate sex. A point in case would be the mini-skirt. It is making a comeback in some areas. The designer of the mini-skirt said that she designed it to tell the world that she was ready for any man, anywhere, and anytime. That is not exactly a spiritual goal. Yet, at a homecoming in a NC church they had photos of the church and members from the sixties. In the front row of one of those pictures was the wife of one of my college professors. She was wearing a mini-skirt. Not a micro-mini, but still a mini-skirt. I know that neither she nor her husband would espouse or endorse any such philosophy as that designer’s. Nevertheless she was wearing the uniform of the philosophy thinking it harmless and just fashion.

When I was in college in the early eighties, the slit dress was just becoming popular and many Christian women picked up on the fad. I told you before that the college had a rule that the slit could not go above the knee and one young lady in Pharisee or lawyer fashion tacked it at the knee since the rule did not mention holes and now she had a slit and a hole.

When I did a study on I Timothy 2:9 and the concept of modest apparel I found that the slit dress was not a new design. The author of the commentary I was reading had been dead about a hundred years and thus had no vested interest in the current controversy. He described the various types of attire during the time of Paul’s writing and one fit the description of the new fashion. It was only worn by very young children for ease of elimination and by prostitutes who were given a long Greek name that translates as showers of the thigh. Solomon was right when he said there was nothing new under the sun. Human sexuality without God has not changed since the fall and will not change until conversion or the New Jerusalem.

The school was considered legalistic by many of the students because of the rule banning that style of dresses. However, if we stick to our belief that we interpret Scripture by its historical context as well as the grammar than it would be very easy to see that if Paul would have considered that type of attire immodest in his day it is most likely still immodest. There are other artistic things like vanishing points and subconscious symbolism and even the concept of neon signs that could be used to show that style and others are really not modest apparel. Paul says that men are to treat women “as mothers and sisters in all purity.” I Timothy 5:12. When you buy into the fashion that passes away and is certainly not of a godly viewpoint you make it much harder for men to do this. I Corinthians 7:31

I grew up lost in the sixties. I have been in three branches of the service and have served in Europe and Asia as well as stateside. I have worked in several career fields from unskilled to skilled and professional. I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms and sat around many lunch tables. I think I have a fairly decent idea as to how the average lost man thinks and how he views women. Trust me, it is not good. I would be greatly embarrassed if I went into any great detail. Being exposed to worldly and sensuous attire in the workplace is bad enough, but it is disheartening to see it in church or on Christian women who should know better. Maybe they do not know better and there is a need for such training. Older women are to teach the younger and maybe they have failed or they have been ignored. May God dispense a fresh level of discernment to His people.

To borrow a phrase from the sixties, we march to the beat of a different drummer and the world or kosmos is not to dictate beauty to us. Indeed, the world is fickle and commercial and what is hot today is not tomorrow, but if you hold on to your old clothes they will be back in style in about fifteen to twenty years, even quicker if you are talking about ties or lapels.

If you are to be beautiful, you must do it God’s way and thus my contention that holy women are beautiful regardless of their lack of worldly attire or their physical attributes. Let us look at what God says through Peter. Peter starts off in verse one by repeating that non-nineties antiquated concept of submission and to an unbelieving husband at that. You say, what has that got to do with beauty. This is an introduction to a concept and we will get there.

How many women have made the mistake of marrying an ungodly man despite the warning of Scripture and then tried to whip the guy into salvation by nagging and beating him with a Bible? You do not correct a mistake by making more mistakes. Some married a saved guy, but he is not real mature in Christ and she is determined this boy is going to grow or else and she shoves books in his face and drags him off to deeper life seminars. You have to ask the question of motive. Do they want their husbands saved and mature for the glory of God and the good of their spouses’ souls or to alleviate their embarrassment or to improve their home life? If it is a selfish desire, they are neither helping themselves or their spouses and without the grace and mercy of God will never see their desires come to fruition.

God leads like the Shepherd that He is. He does not drive like a trail boss. He wants you to lead in submission. And all the ladies said Huh? You heard me correctly. If you want your husband saved or to become the spiritual leader he was meant to be you have to show him what a godly woman looks and acts like. When your husband sees your obedience to God by your submission the Holy Spirit will use that to convict the fire out of your husband.

When the passage says the conversation he does not mean mouth conversation. He is referring to your behavior. You cannot talk a good fight. You must fight the good fight and I don’t mean with your husband. Your walk goes further than your talk. If you still follow the admonition of Ephesians five and submit unto your lost or carnal husband as unto the Lord you will stand a better chance of winning him to Christ. You will cause him to thirst for more of the living water by your walk than by just irritating him with your nagging about what he ought to be and how he is going to bust Hell wide open one day.

I will share a personal experience here. When I worked for the assembly line of Strick, Inc., I had small Bible studies at supper and witnessed to folks on breaks if the opportunity arose. I worked when I was supposed to and I had no problems with the company. The plant foreman saw my Bible one evening and wanted to know if I was having church. I told him we talked about things at supper. I said if I could get these guys saved, I could save the company a lot of money. He looked at me strangely and I explained that if I could get the guys to stop their absenteeism and stop coming to work drunk thus lowering the accident rate, etc it would benefit them and the company. He may have thought I was nuts, but he did not stop me and he would have promoted me into a management position had not the economy forced the second shift to close down.

One of the guys that listened to me told me that his wife was trying to get him to go to the church she was going to, but he was not sure it was any good. He said he would go if I went with him. Well, I took the family and we went. His fears were vindicated. The church was pretty wacko.

Afterwards, we went back to his house and his son came in where his daughter announced that Dad had gone to the service designed to get the sinners saved. They talked about him and around him, but I never felt like they talked to him and he wasn’t Dad or Hon anymore. He was just that stinkin’ sinner they were trying to get saved. It appeared they had no respect for him at all and if that pastor caused or assisted that attitude I pray God convicted him or ousted him because he was in great error. I talked to the man at work and said that while his wife’s church was a bit crazed he should still seek the Lord and get saved. He could then lead his family to a better church. Sadly, the second shift layoff meant that I never saw the man again, but if he never got saved, his wife and children share some of the blame.

That woman and children did not have a chaste or pure lifestyle mixed with fear. The word here for fear is phobos where we get phobias. It is the same word used in I Cor 7:1 where we are to perfect our holiness here on earth in the fear of God. God and your husband are watching your walk. If you are truly seeking holiness you are aware that you are always being watched by God and this gives you incentive to do well. When we forget this or lose our fear of God we get sloppy and our walk shows it.

Likewise, if you are truly seeking to win your husband or encourage him to be a leader you cannot be sloppy in your walk. Being the super holy woman at church and the nagging frump at home won’t cut it. Your husband will see it consciously as hypocrisy and subconsciously will see it as disrespect or lack of love for him and there goes your testimony. You should show as much reverence or fear before your husband in your godliness as you do for God. Slipping up before either one of them is a serious thing. God will forgive and strengthen you, but your husband may not. While he will ultimately be responsible for his rejection of Christ or his role you do not want to give him an excuse or a crutch by not taking your role and responsibility to God seriously.
In verse three we get to the beauty issue, but unless you can see the necessity of living a chaste and submissive life before God and man you will miss this teaching. You will either dismiss it out of hand or misunderstand it and still justify much worldliness.
The women in Peter and Paul’s day were just as human as you all. They came to church wanting to put their best foot forward. Like many in traditional churches they felt it was disrespectful to not come in their Sunday best. And as today some came to show off their wealth and finery. They wanted to be beautiful and have folks comment on their beauty.

Peter redirects them away from the temporal outward to the eternal inward for true and lasting beauty. You are beautiful when you adorn your soul. If beauty is what we put on then many of us will never be beautiful for we cannot afford Neiman Marcus or even a few steps below that. Wal-Mart is the Baptist Neiman Marcus and I fit in there quite well.

You have something that lasts when you do it God’s way. Gold can be stolen and even the most expensive clothing wears out though it is often thrown out long before it wears out. The hidden man of the heart is not corruptible. It will not wear out and no one can steal who you are unless you allow them. Psalm 90:17 says “Let the beauty of the Lord be upon us” not Vogue or Mary Kay’s beauty.

You have the favor of God when you adorn your soul. You want expensive ornaments? How about a humble and quiet spirit which in the sight of God of great price? Do I care more about how humans see and value me or how God values me? Do I want the changing value of men that fluctuates worse than the prime interest rate or the enduring value of God? “The King’s daughter is all glorious within.” Psalm 45:13 How do you value yourself? You will be in despair if you use the world’s standards. “He has made everything beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 Ladies, He created you and He thinks you are beautiful and will make you even more beautiful if you let Him.

Meekness is not weakness or being a doormat. Moses was called a meek man and I would not have stood up and called him weak. He was not self seeking. He sought the will of God and did it. A quiet spirit does not flaunt itself, which is how love is described in I Corinthians 13. If that is good enough for the Holy Spirit, it should be good enough for us. He does not speak of Himself, but speaks of Christ. Ladies, having that kind of spirit is how you lead your husband to Christ and maturity. You seek to be in the Spirit and have Him control your spirit and your husband will either turn or be without excuse. My belief is that more will turn. Seeing a wife with these qualities is indeed rare and jarring. The love of the Spirit flowing through your submissive, meek and quiet spirit is a knock out blow to all but the most hardened man. We know how God values that. How do you value it?

You become more holy and beautiful when you trust God. You have the example of women before you in the Scripture. When you trust God to direct your husband you become like Sara. Abraham, the friend of God, was not always wise in some of his decisions concerning his wife. When he failed to trust God to protect him he caused Sarah to be placed in a harem. Sarah called Abraham lord and did his will in this very serious issue. God rewarded her obedience to Him by submission by delivering her from the error of her husband’s judgment.

If you do the same and do not live in terror or amazement than God calls you Sarah’s daughter. I believe that He is promising to do the same for you as he did for her. God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Neither His principles, His character nor His promises change. We change usually to our hurt before we change to our benefit.

It is interesting that even after Sarah saw God’s hand in her protection that she also failed to trust God to provide a child and caused Abraham to follow a worldly method of attaining an heir. Her failure to trust God to remove her fears brought her grief in her own life and has given us the Israeli-Arab conflict today. She may have believed that Abraham was not hearing God correctly because of his previous errors and thus failed to leave her husband in God’s hands and direction. It was a very costly mistake.
Many women make the same error and figure they can do a better or quicker job than God. They lose their holiness, their beauty, and often their marriage. Follow Sarah’s positive example and not her failure.

There are some women who may be thinking that they cannot be beautiful since I have been talking mainly to married women. If you are single or divorced God tells us in Isaiah 54:1-5 that God is your husband. You can still walk in the beauty of holiness and submission to Him. As you perfect this and your godly beauty increases you will attract a godly man and be able to fulfill the instructions of this passage because you will have been God trained and not man pained.

What beauty secrets are you using, God’s or the world’s? Why struggle to achieve the temporal and vain when you can submit to God and gain the eternal and priceless beauty. God made you. He made no mistakes. As God asked Adam in the garden who told you that you were naked, I ask you, who told you that you were not beautiful? Obviously, it was a fickle and wicked world that said that. God has said that, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” Song of Solomon 4:7 (KJV) Dear Sisters, won’t you believe it and rejoice and leave vanity behind?

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