Our enemy the devil seeks to control our minds and influence the way we think. Because this is an ongoing battle we need to be constantly on our guard. Our thoughts about what is beautiful and attractive must be informed by the word of God and applied by the Spirit of God. We must determinedly set our minds against the pressure from outside forces to conform. "Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould" (Romans 12:2, J B Phillips).
Do not dress up to be noticed, to make an impression, or to follow the fashions. Scripture says that "women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control" (1 Timothy 2:9, ESV), that is to say, "enhance their appearance with clothing that is modest and sensible" (CEB).
Does modest and sensible mean old-fashioned and drab? It does not need to. It is possible to dress attractively and still be decently covered. It means that we will choose our clothes keeping in mind modesty toward men and reverence toward God. If there is a doubt about whether a garment is appropriate, think of how it will look to God.
Perhaps there are two rules to help us when choosing items for our wardrobes:
- Do not dress showily to draw attention to yourself.
- Do not dress seductively to arouse wrong thoughts in others.
"Christian women should be noticed for being kind and good, not for the way they fix their hair or because of their jewels or fancy clothes" (1 Timothy 2:10, TLB). Kindness and goodness are the accessories we should want to carry with us. It is not wrong to want to look nice, to present a neat and pleasing appearance, but our main focus should be on the heart of the matter, the inner character.
As created by God each person is unique. Someone has suggested that as we look in the mirror in the morning we should say, "I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Be content with what God has made! Develop that true beauty within which will be reflected in behaviour and appearance.