"In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh woman professing godliness) with good works." -1 Timothy 2:9&10
I want to talk a little about modesty - a very delicate issue to most women and girls. Here in 1 Timothy chapter 2, Paul is writing to Timothy about how women should be attired. He said the women should adorn themselves in modest apparel. (clothing) The women shouldn't be concerned about their hair, their jewelry, or expensive clothes. Of course, the LORD wants us to look nice, and present ourselves as imitators of Christ, but He wants us to me modestly attired. True godly women are supposed to be concerned about the work of Christ and the furthering of His kingdom. We are to profess ourselves Christian ladies through our works, not by how "good" we look. When we dress, we are to do it with shamefacedness and sobriety. But, if we don't know that meaning of those words, how can we? Let's see what the definition is.
Websters 1828 dictionary defines them as:
Shamefacedness: Bashfulness; excess of modesty.
Sobriety: Temperance or calmness.
Temperance means moderation, as in excess.
So there are the definitions. In dressing modestly we are not to be bold, but bashful, shy. We are to be moderate, not to excess in our dress. We are not supposed to look for attention to ourselves, but rather, to draw attention to Christ, and the godly woman He has designed us to be.
But, there is something I'd like to point out in these verses. When Paul is talking about braided hair, jewelry, and nice clothes, he is not saying that women are not allowed to wear nice clothes, jewelry, or even makeup. What he wants stressed is that those things are to be used in moderation and shamefacedness - not to go overboard. Jesus Christ Himself wants us to be imitators of Him, and He sure doesn't want us to be slobs. Therefore, we can look nice, dress up a little, wear a moderate amount of makeup to highlight our natural beauty - not cover it up. That is something all women struggle with. The outside looks. If something is wrong, oh man! We are devastated! How we wish we could change that certain thing. But, if we were able to change that one thing, wouldn't there be other things we would want to change as well? Of course. We are human and are filled with flaws. But God made us exactly how He wanted us to be. No changes can be made. Therefore, praise Him for that! He made us beautiful, each of us in our own way. Short, tall, skinny, full, small, big. All are loved by Him. Because of that, shouldn't we give Him the honor by dressing modestly? By wearing things that won't give us glory, but give Him glory? By loving ourselves for who we really are, and not covering our true selves up? I think we should. I myself have struggled with so many things, but by God's grace, I am trying to get on the right track. It isn't easy, especially in this day and age we live in where everything is based on how we look. But in God's word we can find help and comfort. Let us make a new statement today, instead of following the crowd, let's start our own trend, a trend that will make a difference! One that will give God all the honor and show forth the Christian ladies we are supposed to be! To God be all glory and praise forever and ever!