For a lot of women, the outer appearance means everything. So much time, effort and money goes into clothing and makeup that we don’t stop to think about what’s on the inside in our hearts. Sometimes we place our focus on only our apparel to please others or feel as if the outer appearance will determine our beauty. However, in the eyes of God, He cares nothing about our appearances, but what’s within us. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Whatever is going on inside of us ultimately determines who we TRULY are–good or bad.
The apostle Peter wrote to the women of God struggling with this issue of trying to be beautiful; which is why he wrote in 1 Peter 3:3,4: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair or gold jewelry or fine clothes, but from the inner person of your heart, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.” He tells us outer beauty will eventually fade, but if we’ve established ourselves in the word of God and are humble, loving and patient then our inner person will always be beautiful and incorruptible, and the Lord will see us as precious. Not only will He, but so will others.
Likewise Paul wrote to women who were not showing respect for themselves because they were dressing inappropriately, which is why he wrote in 1 Timothy 2:9,10: “I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women who profess to worship God.” Modesty is also a quality that godly women must possess. To be modest is to behave or dress in a manner that avoids any indecency. In some cases, how we dress essentially gives a person an idea on what our heart reflects and what our intentions are; we do not want to be stumbling blocks to males who struggle with lust and neither do we want to give people the wrong idea about not having self-respect.
God’s word is not saying that we shouldn’t wear nice clothes; what it’s saying is that we should not let that not be the determining factor of our beauty and neither should we dress contrary to what we profess. If we’re going to wear makeup and nice clothing, it should be done in a way that is modest and a reflection of who we are internally as Christian women because the outward beauty is perishable, but the inward one is eternal.