God’s standard for femininity.
The world is an expert at teaching women what they need to look like and how they need to act. Across the centuries, the image of femininity has become more and more distorted. We all know the world is satan’s stage, but what happens when the church loses its voice when it comes to what it means to be a woman in today’s day and age? The tragic thing is that before the church had lost its voice it lost something even dearer- its standard. I know how afraid we can become at the thought of legalism, or the keeping of specific rules in order to gain a right standing before God. Allow me to dare to say however, that God’s standard for womanhood is timeless, and it is not legalistic to fix our gaze on what He says instead of what the world says. I have seen at what incredible pace the image of women is changing within the church and how subtly the enemy convinces us that it is better to fit in than to choose not to compromise our standard. I also know how the church has tried throughout its history to somehow control the image of womanhood by using oppression and force. I stand strongly against any such tactic. In seeking to understand God’s standard for femininity, we need to return to Scripture. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. The Word of God teaches us that as women, we shouldn’t find our value in the way we look, but rather, in the way we are. The world calls us to boldly parade ourselves through the clothes we wear or the way we apply our makeup. God calls us to be humble in the way we carry ourselves. This kind of humility is not something that can be worn through plain clothing or the lack of any trace of makeup, it is rather something that starts in the heart first and then it cascades in the way we look. When we understand that true worth is found in qualities of eternal value that only the Holy Spirit can nurture within us, we will no longer find our identity obsessing over the latest fashion or makeup trends. The world is never the standard for the woman who looks to Christ as her identity. The beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is imperishable and it is only found by following Christ’s example of humility. A woman that wears the adornment of heaven will carry herself with dignity and modesty, not using her appearance or behaviour as a means of drawing attention to herself, but she will always point others to Christ and desire to bring Him glory. May our adorning always be the hidden person of the heart!