(Synopsis of message delivered at Ladies’ Bible Retreat, 8 September 2015)

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
(1 Timothy 2:9-10)

The women of the world pay great attention to their outward appearance. Proof of this can be seen in the beauty industry. Pay a visit to Isetan at Tampines Mall and you will realise the first out of two levels is dedicated to cosmetics and lady shoes. In addition, one-third of the second level is devoted to the sale of female clothing and accessories. Female fashion is a lucrative business.

The Scriptures tell us that the Lord wants Christian women to be adorn with beauty. In fact, the expression “in like manner” in 1 Timothy 2:9 points to the preceding verse where Paul exhorts men to pray “everywhere”. Similarly, women are exhorted to be beautiful everywhere they go.

However, God’s definition of beauty is different from the world. The ladies of the world focus on physical attractiveness. As a result, they pursue after broided hair (or in modern context, rebonded hair), gold, pearls and costly array. These are material things which the ladies presume would make them attractive and beautiful. It is not about a Christian lady putting on branded goods or styling her hair, but if she is fixated on these transient goods, she is no different from the unbelieving women of the world.

What then is true beauty? Paul reveals that true beauty lies within the Christian woman. She is one who is Christ-like and godly in her conduct. When one is inwardly beautiful, it will be reflected in her outward demeanour and dressing. It is a beauty that flows from the inside out. When a lady is spiritually beautiful, she will naturally put on apparel that is characterised by modesty (i.e. appropriateness), shamefacedness and sobriety:

1. Modesty (Appropriateness). This refers to clothing that is becoming of a woman. Woman must not dress like a man!

2. Shamefacedness. This refers to having a sense of shame. Positively, it refers to a person conducting oneself with honour and dignity. When a lady wears clothing that exposes much of her flesh, she has no sense of shame and does not carry herself about with dignity and honour. She is also a stumbling block and temptation to the men around her.

3. Sobriety. This refers to one having moderation and control of her thinking faculties. This stands in contrast to one who is drunk and has no control of herself. A truly beautiful lady will take care that her appearance reflects godly thoughts.

In addition, the Bible states that a truly beautiful lady is one who professes godliness. Her life is a message of Christ-likeness loudly proclaim to those around her. She will be full of good works, doing something good for Jesus every day. She bears much fruit for Christ, and people are won over by her chaste conversation, and her meek and quiet spirit. This is what defines a truly beautiful woman in the eyes of God.

Dear ladies, are you beautiful in the eyes of God? May the Lord be pleased to raise up women of true beauty in Tabernacle BP Church!

Lovingly in Christ,
Preacher Clement Chew