When you hear “to make-up or not to make-up”, you’re probably thinking about a conflict in relationships. However, for this blog post, I would like to cover something different: cosmetics and skin care and what the Bible says about these subjects.
I am a member/visitor of a few modesty groups on Facebook and recently conversations in these groups have related to cosmetics. Each debate has ladies on both sides of the fence. There are those who refuse to wear any make-up because they say that the Bible says that we are not to. Then there are those who won’t leave the house without their “face” on and almost make it a sin to not wear make-up. Is there a middle ground? What does the good Book say? I think it’s time we take a look.
The most popular scripture that I see quoted by women who think it is a sin to wear make-up is found in 1 Peter.
“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” 1 Peter 3:1-6
The scripture begins by speaking about marriage. Peter is saying that women really do have influence over their husbands and have had that influence as far back as Eve. If an unsaved husband is married to a saved wife, the wife can win him over by her actions. I have heard so many stories of women winning husbands over by just their actions alone, but, sadly, they can tear them down with those actions as well. Anyway, as the scripture continues into verse 3, Peter is speaking to the woman personally. What the verse is saying is that she has to find herself and her identity in Christ, not man and not in the external. The scripture doesn’t say that outward beauty is wrong, nor does it say that wearing make-up is wrong. What I believe this verse is saying is that when your outer beauty (i.e. clothes, make-up, hair) does NOT glorify God, then it is wrong. I believe the scripture is saying that those who focus on themselves FIRST, and are basically STUCK on themselves are sinning. If all I think about all day long is my hair, my nails and my clothes, I am not being a good keeper of my home. I am not being a good and Godly wife. I am not being a good mother. I am especially not being a good servant of my king.
Ladies, when we find ourselves IN Christ, He is hidden in our heart, with a quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. Look at Sarah in the Bible – she bathed herself in submission to Abraham, calling him Lord.
There is nothing evil or sinful about wearing a nice dress, wearing make-up, or even braiding your hair. Women must come to see that godliness is the ultimate measure of a woman. In the book of Esther, after she bathed, she anointed her body (Esther 2:9). In Bible days, amongst the Jewish women, there was a strong use of make-up and facial lubricant. There are several references where Godly women used perfume and cosmetics. We can read more about that in Proverbs 27:9, Song of Solomon 1:3, 3:6, 4:10, and Esther 2:12. God never calls make-up a sin.
“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; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
The key to dress and make-up according to the Bible is modesty and moderation. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5.
Another key here is Biblical headship. My sisters, if your husband has stated that he doesn’t want you to wear make-up, then you should abide by his desires. Remember in 1st Peter 3, the scripture begins by speaking about submitting. Young girls, teens and young women still living at home, you must seek your parent’s permission, especially your fathers. “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1. You could always use good skin care, even if you do not wear make-up. Another factor to think about is the Bible describes God as adorning His bride Israel. Scripture goes on to say that He adorned her with jewels, pretty clothes, and with perfume. God wants His bride to be adorned. In the book of Revelation, Christ’s bride is adorned for Him. God adorned His bride, Israel. If this is the case, could a husband not adorn his wife? I believe he can!
It all goes back to that word moderation. Women are to dress with sobriety and moderation. Women can wear too much make-up and thus make themselves look sinful. When I was in my tweens, I had an interest in make-up and my Aunt would give me some to play with, but I could never get it to look right. One day, my mother took me to get a complete make over. (This is by far one of my favorite memories). We spent the day together and I learned about skin care and how to correctly apply make-up and what colors would look best on me. She also taught me how to wear make-up while being in moderation. Let’s face it, I was becoming a teenager and more was better, right? My mom ended up buying the whole line for me and I was so excited. I have never forgotten those lessons I learned from her or the time she spent with me. Who knew many years later I would grow up, complete a special skin care class, graduate cosmetology school and work in that profession?
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7.
If anyone needs help with skin care or make-up, I am a licensed cosmetologist and a Beautycounter consultant. To look at my Beautycounter site, click here.
Now for what I wore (I actually wore this a couple of weeks ago but never got it posted:))
It was a lovely fall day with the leaves don’t you think? I just had to stop here. This is at the other end of our housing area.:)
Hat: Bought at Fred Myer
Jacket: Old Navy on clearance
Boots: Anne Klein boots on clearance at the Exchange boot sale.