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What does the Bible say about woman's appearance?

What is the Bible’s view on a woman’s appearance?

God created man (that is mankind or human beings) in His own image; He created them both male and female (Genesis 1:27). So right at the outset of the Bible we see that women are of great value to God. Wearing make-up or having elaborate hair styles won’t add or take away from this. Jezebel in the Old testament, a wicked Queen, is reported to have painted her eyes and adorned her head (2 Kings 9:30). In the book of Esther however, we see that Esther and the other women in the palace were also given 12 months of beauty treatments before they went in to the king.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 is probably the most important verse for us on this subject: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” So we should do what is appropriate for those who profess godliness. Good works are better adornment that endless hours and expense on make up. What a woman does with her hair or make up is personal preference, but as Christians we must think about our reasons and motivation for what we do.

Draw attention to yourself?

Do we want to attract a man’s attention sexually, or draw attention to ourselves? Outside of the church, the unbelieving world is very promiscuous. Flirting and attracting men in ways that are not honouring to God is an everyday occurrence in movies, night clubs, and other such places. Motivations such as these are definitely not acceptable for a woman who desires to live for Christ or bring glory to Him.

Is God pleased with it?

Is God pleased with what you are doing? You know what is going through your mind, but God also sees, hears and knows what is going on. The most important thing for any Christian woman is to first present their bodies as living sacrifices to God (Rom 12:1). God’s word must show us what is appropriate and acceptable to God, not to us, the peer group or the world.

Are you bringing glory to God?

1 Corinthians 10:31 says that whatever we do, we should do for God’s glory: to please Him, to obey Him, to reflect Him, to bring others to Him, to show that we are His people, and to be an example of what it means to be His child. If what we want to reach with our make up is not glorifying God, our motives are wrong.

Are you being rebellious?

Many young people see the fashion of the world, the movie stars, the magazines, the pictures of models, and these become the standards by which people live – they have no other example, and are not interested in what God desires of them. Very often Christian young people follow these examples, even though deep within them they feel slightly uneasy, an indication that we know what is right but actually don’t want to follow it. If we follow the world and its standards instead of following the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit, then we are being rebellious and this is a dangerous road to follow. Check your motives.

To summarise: what you wear and how you wear it is not half as important and why you wear it. If your desire is live for God, love God, obey God and bring glory to God you will find that He will guide you in the issues of make up and doing your hair. Listen to Him, not to the voice of the world, TV and advertisements.

What does the Bible say? Read 1 Peter 3:3-4, 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 John 2:15-16 and 1 Peter 3:1-22. These are just a few verses that emphasise how a woman should live.

How does this Bible passage speak to you? Please share your thoughts below!

Also read What does the Bible say about being a wife?

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Eunice Burden

Eunice Burden

Eunice comes from UK and has been in Thailand 25 years. She and a Thai co-worker wrote a 4 year curriculum for all age Sunday Schools and they also did Sunday school teacher training seminars. She went back to UK for 8 years. Whilst in UK she did various courses including a theology degree and came back to Thailand with OMF in 1999. For most of her time since then she has been involved teaching lay leaders of the Thai, supporting and advising, speaking and teaching in various churches. Gradually over the years she has been invited to join various facilitator teams of the OMF.

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