“Devotions From the Heart”
“God’s Mercies for Suffering Saints”
“He hath made everything beautiful in its time: also He hath set eternity in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God hath done from the beginning even to the end.” Ecc 3:1
As “women of beauty” that have been purchased by Christ as His Elect Bride, we are lovely and glorious to Him and thus because we are empowered women by His grace and gifts, we are to portray that beauty in all aspects of our lives. We are to “BE” what we “ARE” in truth — the bride of Christ — glorious in all of our attributes because of what He has done and in how He has made us.
First and foremost, as that beautiful bride, we are to be biblical in our understanding of “outward beauty” by applying theological truth and the exercise of Christian liberty to others when discussing these practical matters and how we as Christian women reflect our inner beauty “outwardly” to both the believing and unbelieving world.
Second: We are to be gracious in our judgment and not to judge according to our particular culture and/or personal style/application but to include those women whose dress styles in various parts of the world are different from ours and not to cause our sisters to stumble. We are not to impose “laws or rules” of dress codes that are not taught in Scripture. The only mandate for attire in Scripture is to be “modest in apparel” and that modesty is defined by what is right and just for the culture, occasion, season and that which is good for our particular frame. We, as Reformed believers, have no dress code nor do we bind the conscience of our sisters with one. We know as God’s children what is modest and what is a reflection of our relationship with Christ. To one it may be a dress, to another a skirt and blouse, to another a slack suit, to another a long dress. Remember to apply your theology as you think on these things. A long dress can be just as exciting to the eye as a short one as many a man will attest. Don’t get too entangled with clothes and the wearing of them. We are blessed to have many excellent types of clothes to wear and using godly judgment will help us in our own culture to do what is good for us. If our sister wants to wear something less, we are not to judge her nor is she to judge us by our conviction of more. Be kind in your thinking here so that you do not lay a burden on a sister that is extra-biblical and not taught in Scripture. There are churches and groups that have erred in this, do not become entangled in it to your own hurt and worse, bondage to it.
Third: Regarding hair length. God has given women all differing kinds of hair, some with full heads of thick hair, some with very thin, or stubby, straight or bushy hair or some that are naturally balding, as well as those whose hair has been lost due to illnesses like lupus, or the results of chemo-therapy and/or the permanent loss caused in some cultures by starvation. Remind yourself that we have a Christian worldview; one that is biblical in all its application to life and that includes style of dress and hair.
Fourth: Remember that what we put on or how we wear our hair has nothing whatsoever to do with godliness or holiness. Our holiness is imputed to us by Christ by His work and not by our works. Long or short hair or modest dress does not MAKE the Christian woman but the inner women with a heart filled with Christ, doing good service to others, bearing good fruit and being a Titus 2 woman to all women, no matter where they are spiritually or culturally, a new babe in Christ or mature believer, is our calling and that is what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not confuse what you wear or how you style your hair with godliness. There are many women with the “right” clothing as we see it that are ungodly and children of the devil not submitted to anything but themselves and there are women who may dress unwisely but are God’s child.
Fifth: Do not bind yourself with “do’s and don’ts” and an incorrect exegesis and application of “covering” and “submission.” Our covering is Christ, our covering is our husband, and our submission is to God first, husband second. How we wear our hair or what we put on our heads has nothing to do with submission. I can wear a hat with hair to my waist but that does not make me a submissive and godly wife. Obeying Christ in His Word and loving Him and my husband, submitting to the role He has for me in Scripture, giving glory to God, makes me a submitted wife.
The bottom line is this: If we want to wear long or short hair, a hat or go bareheaded, we are at liberty to do so. We are under grace, not under a law, and especially not under a man-made, self-imposed law that is not Scripturally-based. If your husband wants you to wear long hair and a hat, do so; please him in this but not for “law keeping” reasons. If you want to wear a shorter bob and go bareheaded, do so, you are at liberty and you are not to be judged for it. If you are balding, or have lost your hair for other reasons, wear a wig, or not, put on what you are comfortable with, no man/woman can judge you in these things.
Beauty, the putting on of apparel, the way we wear our hair, our dress style, our demeanor, speech, graciousness, kindness, and patience should be exhibited in our walk as godly women. We are to be beautiful because we are the Bride of Christ and we want to please God and our husband. We are to do all things well, and that includes how we look and act. We are to be “beautiful to look upon” as was Sarah and that means we have to work at it. It should be a joy for us to look beautiful, not only on the outside but that the “hidden woman of the heart” shows on the outside with a countenance of grace and displaying an inward beauty that is Christ-centered. Let us remember to look with Christ-like eyes on others and remind ourselves that God has made each one of us perfectly, with the frame we have, with the coloring we have, with the style that is best for us, and placed us in the Kingdom in this time and place and culture for His own glory. If your sister is different than you, God bless her and thank Him for her. If she lives in Uganda and wears very little clothing but loves Christ, praise God for her. If she lives in Iran and covers completely, rejoice in her life that is hid in Christ. The glory of these things is that our God is sovereign and providential in them. We are here, where we are, what we are, by His command. Enjoy being a woman, God has made you beautiful in His time.
“In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, and gold or pearls or costly raiment; but (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works.”
“Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
WCF, Chapter 20 “Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Conscience”
Copyright ©2006-2015, TheologyGirl-ReformedWomen, The JoyPals Network, All Rights Reserved. This devotional is an excerpt from my ReformedWomen Bible-Book Study and article, April 2007: Source: “Heavenly Notes”: ReformedWomen-TheologyGirl
*This devotional is updated from my 2006 article for the book “Devotions of the Heart” 2015