Let’s read 1 Timothy 2:9-10, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness” (NASB).

What do people see when they look at a Christian woman? Are they attracted to her because of her “physical appearance” or because of her “good works?” This is the subject before us in these two verses. It’s simply telling the Christian women to FOCUS ON HER INTERNAL BEAUTY instead of on her EXTERNAL BEAUTY. The Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKS AT THE HEART.” The Lord is teaching Samuel that the world is mainly occupied with one’s OUTWARD APPEARANCE, but the Lord is primarily occupied with our HEART. The main lesson for Christian women is this: Do NOT use the world’s measuring stick to measure beauty, but use God’s standard. The apostle Peter addresses Christian women with the same standard in 1 Peter 3:3, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle an quiet spirit” (NKJV).

Now let’s consider what these verses are NOT saying. They are NOT teaching Christian women to dress in shabby clothes and to take no care for their hair. Our verse exhorts women “to adorn themselves with PROPER CLOTHING” and it adds “MODESTLY and DISCREETLY.” The thought here is that women should dress “decently” and “in good taste.” It also includes the thought of dressing in “moderation,” avoiding expensive and gaudy clothes on the one hand, and avoiding drab and old-fashioned clothes on the other hand. In both cases she would be drawing attention to herself, and not to the Lord. Regarding her hair, I don’t believe “braided hair” excludes “simple braids,” but rather expensive and showy hairdos. When Paul wrote this the “fashion of the day” was to wear one’s hair in elaborate braids intertwined with golden jewelry. Nor should she neglect her hair and purposely make it unattractive. Again, a godly Christian woman should “avoid the extremes.”

There is one more thought in connection with the word “modestly.” As stated above, it carries with it the thought of dressing “decently,” and thus Christian women (AND Christian men) should avoid WEARING TOO LITTLE! A woman can also attract undue attention to herself by NOT covering herself appropriately. The world has set “unholy standards” here as seen on television and in magazines, and unless we are focusing on the “holy standards” set forth in God’s Word, we can easily be ensnared. Romans 12:2 tells us, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” and this certainly includes not conforming to the world’s standard of dress. The world wants to “squeeze us into their mold” by encouraging us to dress like they do and the only remedy is to experience “the renewing of your mind” through God’s precious Word.  (193.9)  (DO)