Last Updated on : Saturday, October 11, 2014
The real secret of charm is not purchased with money nor contained in external embellishments.
"Beauty of mind is beauty of Face,
The cheerful countenance, the noble brow, the sunny smile the compassionate eye, who is not attracted bv these powerful charms? A happy face may be a very plain face, but who, with discerning judgment of these matters, would exchange it for the soul-less artificial beauty, so called, of the vain daughters of men? "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears Yahweh she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30). -Virginia Vigilant
The fashion of the world is ever changing, but that does not permit us the liberty of setting our affections on the changing world and its fashions. Nor is it to be denied that in recent years the pendulum of dress and style has swung toward the borderline of vulgarity, bringing blushes to the cheeks of the prudent. There is an attempt to cheat truth by dressing so as to disguise age, and mothers have externally spurned their matronage and bedecked themselves as their daughters! There is an excess of time and thought devoted to personal adornment, making it apparent that many opportunities are bestowed on that which is "pleasant to the eyes". If senior sisters take advantage of the world's goddess, what can be expected of the younger members? They promptly annex the licence exhibited by the elder sisters. And, again, how much observation and no small amount of comment is sometimes expressed regarding the new attire of sisters present at the breaking of bread meeting. The memorial feast tells that these are the days of our fasting in the Master's absence, and we need to remember that Israel was rebuked by God for finding pleasure when they professed to be fasting. All these things were written for our admonition and learning, on whom the ends of the ages are come. Often and often the prophets were directed to condemn the excess of external beauty which the women of Israel indulged in, and the Apostles declared how the holy women were to adorn themselves. Sisters have great powers of good, and in view of the Lord's approach, we believe it would be acceptable to him if they abandoned the world to its own follies and study that separateness or holiness without which none shall see the Lord. -For Christ's Sake
The subject of dress is a theme constantly touched upon in Scripture. Apparently the form of adornment of sisters has frequently been a matter of concern. Through Zephaniah, Yahweh declared: "I will punish all such as are clothed with strange apparel." Rotherharn renders this: foreign apparel, that is, Gentile dress!
The immodest extremes current among Gentiles today are surely foreign apparel as far as Christadelphians are concerned. Therefore, we must heed the warning exhortation of the prophet that Yahweh declares that He will punish all such as are clothed therewith. The people of God are called upon to be restrained in their ways and habits. As Yahweh's peculiar people, consecrated to His service, Israelites were required to be most careful in dress. They were commanded to attach to their garments a fringe of blue, to remind them of their heavenly calling. This border encircled their feet so that they walked within its bounds; teaching them that their spiritual "walk" should be governed by the restrictions of the law. The instructions are recorded in Numbers 15:37-41:
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue; and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of Yahweh, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye used to go a whoring: that ye may be holy unto your God. I, Yahweh, brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God".
In very dress, the Israelites were called upon to exemplify the holiness of Yahweh, and show that they obeyed His commands. Do we display that in the clothes we wear? Moses declared that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to be their God, and, He required them to be holy or separate because He is holy.
The instruction of the Law is supplemented in the Epistles. Paul and Peter write to some extent upon this theme. Peter points out that the true adorning of a sister, and one which will commend her to both God and man, is "the hidden man of the heart .... the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit" (1 Pet. 3:1-6). He calls upon sisters, and particularly upon wives (and Peter was married - 1 Cor. 9:5) to seek to appeal by the beauty of their character, and not by a lavish, gaudy display of jewelry, nor by conspicuous, immodest dress, nor elaborate latest hair styles. Not that sisters need or should be dowdy; in fact they grace their position by looking neat and pleasant; but in the choice of dress, ornaments, hair styles and so on, they should be guided by the principle that the chief and basic adornment must be the Lord Jesus, and that external dress etc. should be in keeping with the sweetness, simplicity, purity, meekness and quietness of spirit of the follower of the Lord. The dress of such a person will be attractive without detracting from Christ, whose excellence of example she will manifest.
Paul likewise commanded: "in like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety which becometh women professing godliness, with good works" (1 Tim. 2:9). Each of these expressions is worthy of consideration in the light of current fashions. "Modest apparel" is becoming apparel according to the Diaglott. It is dress that is becoming to one understanding and professing the doctrine of God manifestation, or Godliness. God manifestation is the revelation in action of Divine characteristics.
"Shamefacedness" is better rendered in modesty or with reserve. It is the very reverse of that attitude which hankers to follow the latest fashion, no matter what it requires.
"With sobriety" is from a Greek word signifying soundness of mind, and judgment. It denotes dress that is selected by one whose mind is exercised upon the Word, and desires to please her Lord in all things.
Certainly the provocative dress of today does not answer to that description, and because it does not, it should be avoided by all who desire to please Christ. Again we stress, that we are confident that any who may have followed the fashion in modern dress, have done so out of thoughtlessness, and doubtless this reminder will be sufficient to cause them to aim for standards set by the Word.
Unfortunately, in Israel, the women ignored the appeal of the Law and the Prophets, and pleased themselves. Consequently they felt the full force of Divine judgment that destroyed the State and ruined many families. Isaiah indicted them for their rebellious ways:
"Moreover Yahweh saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk holding their heads high, ogling with their eyes, walking with mincing steps, their anklets jingling, therefore on that day the Lord will deprive them of their finery, of anklets, tiaras, necklaces, ear-rings, bracelets and veils, headbands, armlets, sashes, scent-bottles, charms, signet-rings and nose-rings, robes of state, mantles, shawls and purses, gauze, linen turbans, and wrappers. For scent they shall have stench, for ropes they shall have girdles, instead of curls they shall have baldness, instead of silk they shall be in sackcloth, instead of beauty they shall receive the brand of slavery. . . ." (Isa. 3:16-24 - AN. and Moffatt).
For a time, these women in Israel continued on their way completely indifferent to the requirements of the law or the appeal of the prophets. They preferred to please themselves. They stood before their mirrors and admired the beauty that they saw reflected therefrom, they did not see the hidden ugliness of the heart: the spirit of rebellion that made Yahweh sad and angry. The day came however, when they learned to regret the folly of their actions. It was the day of judgment, and they were held accountable for the manner in which they had defied the requirements of Yahweh, and had influenced others to do likewise.
A day is approaching when all matters shall be brought into judgment. Paul, commenting on this wrote: "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Cor. 5:11). How much better it will be for us in that day, if we heed the exhortations of the Word now. The words of Moses, Isaiah, Zephaniah, Paul and Peter, remind us that Yahweh is not indifferent to the way in which we conduct ourselves in relation to current fashions, and we appeal to all to give an example of consistency in that regard.
It Will Show On Your Face
You don't have to tell how you live every day,
If the Truth, or deceit, you would hide in your heart
If your life is unselfish and for others you live -
"And Jezebel painted her face and tired her head." How often she is noted throughout the Scriptures as a character of abomination. Her family characteristics have increased. Her offspring are now numerous. Do they even enter the sanctuary of God's House? Let each consider and beware! A more obedient ruler than Jehu is about to appear! Compare, and consider well Isaiah 3:16-24.
The Dress of A Young Sister
An engrossing concern with young Sisters naturally is their appearance and dress; and excess in mere outward adornment is among their besetting sins. The young sister is at liberty to adorn herself; but she must be careful to have her ornaments chosen and adjusted according to the fashion book inscribed by the spirit. This requires that she be richly adorned with good works, and modestly attired as regards dress. If she be rich in good works, she will of necessity cripple her ability to gratify the fleshly desire to be richly apparelled outwardly, which desire, if indulged, would cripple her ability to adorn herself spiritually. If she be moderate in her expenditure upon herself, she will doubtless be able to have something to expend in the service of Christ. He asks of her the first place in her affections. If she loves him, and at all appreciates the high destiny to which he has called her, she will make it a rule to let his claim have her first consideration in all matters. To begin early in life thus to train herself, will make many things easier of accomplishment in years to come, than if she should live the best part of her life, and then begin to try to crucify the natural desires. -Jane Roberts
It is still painfully true that the world sees nothing either in Christ or His Words. The beauty and harmony of the scriptures is overlooked, and that which tastes as sweet as wafers of honey, and is like fresh oil to those that love Christ, is distasteful and unpalatable indeed to those who reject Him (Num. 11:8). They of the world still enquire: "What is it?" And still to the incredulous Jew "There is no form nor comeliness" but in the approaching dawn, the Branch of the Lord's planting will be glorious in their eyes (Isa. 4:1-3).
Neither Christ or His brethren have any of that beauty which the vulgar eye admires, nor any of that external glory which ambition courts; and we look forward to the time when man's renovated taste will recognise what true beauty is, for the regenerated heart will see that it is not looks, nor outward appearance, but thoughts, desires and deeds, that are beautiful in the sight of God. It is moral beauty that is real beauty: external and material beauty is only a transient type, an evanescent shadow of that which is real and enduring forever, therefore, to us, Christ even in His humiliation is altogether lovely, and our All in All. True beauty is all from within and not from without, for under a very fine form there may lurk a very bad heart. It is the inner work that is beautiful. It is the light, radiance and warmth of the inner man shining from the countenance that constitutes true beauty. May the Lord grant us the beauty of holiness and the adorning of a meek and quiet spirit. -Lessons From Nature, Alice Hopkins