In the world today we receive a multitude of mixed and wrong signals of who we should be. Culture says one thing, and family says another. Media says one thing, and school says another. How can we not be confused?
But if you are a child of God, adopted and cherished, then you have the source that tells you who you are. You have the manual that directs how your behavior is to be displayed.
“Who can find a virtuous and capable [woman]? She is more precious than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10 NLT
Forget what the rest of the world tells you, Scripture says you are to be virtuous. It says a woman like that is precious!
vir·tu·ous: (adj.), having or showing high moral standards; (especially of a woman) chaste; exhibiting virtue; morally excellent
synonyms: moral, noble, righteous, honorable, upright, immaculate, pure, principled, reputable, ethical, exemplary
pre·cious: (adj.), of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly; excessively refined behavior; used to address a beloved person; highly esteemed or cherished
synonyms: valuable, priceless, cherished, treasured, adored, loved, special
So … it sounds to me like this is important, don’t you think? Just look at those two definitions and the synonyms! Don’t you want to be known as a woman of such character?
“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10 NLT
Now this isn’t saying you can’t dress nice or dress up. What it is saying is that you shouldn’t dress to draw attention to yourself. That is vanity. To make yourself “attractive by the good things” you do is simply if you are truly devoted to the LORD, your actions will reveal this beauty.
“A virtuous character is likened to an unblemished flower.” Dorothea Dix
Look at Ruth. She was humble and kind, devoted to Naomi and to God, and through her commitment to them, Boaz saw her character. She was caring and gentle, and yet she stood out. Ruth never tried to get his attention or the affection of anyone. She stayed moral and upright.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4 NLT
There’s that word again – precious.
I love the illustration of clothing yourself. To clothe means to cover. Not simply just in terms of modesty, but of covering yourself with the beauty that God says is virtuous and precious.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12 NIV
“But that isn’t what you have learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:20-24 NLT
“She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. … Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. … Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:17, 25 & 30 ESV
Despite the mixed notions culture says we should be, we already know that we need to be women after His heart. We are called to be women of a higher standard, clothing ourselves in virtues, and letting our devotion to God be what makes us beautiful. Everything about us should be about God, for God: our appearance, our behavior and conduct, our speech and thoughts. This is what makes us beautiful. This is how we honor the LORD – by being women who are precious in His sight and virtuous by His standards.