Lindsay and Emily are at Grandma's tonight and I missed them so much during the study time! This online study started on March 1st and tonight was our 6th out of 9 weeks. You can read about it here.
Tonight Victoria was speaking about the many aspects of "What is an appropriate way for a woman to look and pull herself together?"
There are many views out there. My grandmother had been raised that wearing make-up was sinful, and that you couldn't show your bare arms, or bare legs (meaning no pantyhose) in church! There are groups like the Amish and some Mennonites who do not wear make up and dress very conservatively with cape dresses. They wear their hair up and under a covering believing it is only for a woman's husband to see her hair down.
Many of these beliefs come from scripture, some are man made rules.
Victoria shared tonight these verses:
Psalm 90:17 - And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us....
Ezekiel 16:9-13 - The I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, and earrings on your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You are the pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. Your were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty.
God is the creator of beauty and look at the detail He gave regarding His adornment of His bride Israel...
She went on to say that our goal should be to please the Lord and to please our husbands.
Taking the time to look nice is something we do for others. She read a portion of one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's' books; when Ma was making clothes for Mary to wear when she went to the College For The Blind. Laura told Mary she looked fine and when Mary asked Ma, she answered "No matter where you go, you will be a pleasure to every eye that sees you." I thought that was a beautiful thought. It wasn't "You will get lots of attention if you wear this dress." Ma's goal for Mary was that she bring pleasure by what she wore.
A great example of the extremes in modern dressing showed it self to Lindsay and I at Target today. There was a gal leaving as we arrived and she was dressed in short shorts and a low tank top. Right behind her was an Amish family - Mom, Dad, and all the little kiddies, in very modest clothing.
Victoria brought out that some of the words used in scripture that are translated beauty have to do more with character and behavior than looks.
The word tobe means : good, cheerful, at ease, loving, merry, pleasant.
She spoke about dressing appropriately for occasions. She shared how she used to be a bit of a hippy...very casual. But her husband some years ago began working in Washington, D.C. and that sometimes she would need to go with him to dinners and events like that. That meant she needed to start wearing nylons and pumps, and jewelry which she didn't much like to do, but it was appropriate to wear these things. She also said that when they lived in San Antonio for a few years, it is so hot there for many months in the summer that all the women wear open toed sandals. She said of course this looks better if you wear polish on your toe nails! Since she didn't consider herself someone who did that - "it wasn't her" she would wear closed toe shoes and she was so hot. She said when she stopped worrying about whether it was 'her' or not and started to trust the One who could enable her to do "all things" she started to paint her toe nails and now it is "her."
I thought she gave such a balanced view about this whole topic. There were some areas that were convicting to me - that I need to confess and work on. God is good and He is able!