For Ladies … Women Professing Godliness
Women who profess, lay claim to, godliness are expected to look and act a certain way, according to God (1 Tim. 2:9-10). Therefore, navigating through our peer-pressure crazy world requires Christian women to exercise extreme caution and choose wisely in order to maintain their claim on godliness. The eyes of the world are always looking for ways we fall short so they can call us hypocrites and somehow excuse themselves from obedience to God. The eyes of God are always upon us, too, and it behooves us to look at ourselves through His eyes so we know what image we are projecting on His behalf.
Myriad voices try to convince us that how we look on the outside does not really matter; it is what is on the inside that counts. Okay, but only to a point. First impressions really do matter; ask any employer interviewing job applicants. A sloppily dressed, unkempt person does not easily land a job. Character judgments are made by our dress also. Judah thought his own daughter-in-law was a harlot when she put off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil (Gen. 38:14). When Jesus asked the woman at the well in Sychar for water (Jn. 4), she knew immediately He was a Jew! How? Possibly, she knew Him by His clothes. Yes, she prejudged Him. Which of us has never done that to somebody we have just met? Our clothes really do matter that much!
Cities of the 1st century Roman world were overtaken with idolatry. Sexual acts were included in the worship of many of these idols. The Holy Spirit instructed the New Testament writers to warn both men and women to keep themselves pure and distinct as followers of Christ. One of the ways was to dress differently from those who were the performers of sexual acts and worshippers of these idols. Notice, Paul beseeches these men and women, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: that no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath given unto us his Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 4:3-8). The word ‘man’ does not appear in the original; the word ‘brother’ is a generic term referring to both men and women. “This is the will of God” is a command, not an option. We must examine ourselves and be sure we do not “go beyond and defraud” any one else.
In Strong’s, “defraud” means, “To exploit, take advantage of, outwit.” “Go beyond” means, “to wrong, transgress against, sin against.” Vine’s says the reference refers to the 10th commandment. It is the one about not coveting thy neighbor’s wife.
Ladies, both young and old, study carefully what the Bible says about clothing and nakedness. Paul tells us we should know how to possess this vessel, our body, to keep it pure. A good case can be made for God covering us (both men and women) from the shoulders to at least the knees and that it is required to meet HIS HOLINESS (Gen. 3:21). Women professing godliness should desire to dress honorably in God’s eyes, sanctified, set apart for His work. In fact, if we are not holy as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16), we are not professing godliness!
The last time I checked, breasts, bellies, backs, and thighs are all in between shoulders and knees. Ladies, if we love the souls of men in our circle of influence, we will cover our bodies in a loose, yet attractive way, knowing that the passions of men are first reached by their eyes (Matt. 5:28). Mothers, please look at your beautiful daughters through the eyes of God’s Word. Lead them by your example, and strive to instill a desire to please God above family, friends, and fashion. Please think on these things. -2016 Stonemill Dr., Jonesboro, AR 72401. firstname.lastname@example.org
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