Should Christian women use make-up? What about jewelry?
There are a few verses on the apparel of women in the Bible.
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likewise [I desire] also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands. (1 Peter 3:3-5)
For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7b)
It is well established that Christian women are not to emphasize their looks, but nurture their relationship with Christ. As a Christ-follower, a woman's worth does not come from beauty or wealth (often, the only wealth a woman could own was her jewelry). One passage that is often overlooked, however, is the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple … Strength and dignity are her clothing (verses 21-22, 25a).
The verses do not say that women must dress in fancy clothes. It says that a woman who is respected in her community, and whose husband is respected as well, will dress appropriately to her position. Beauty is fleeting (Proverbs 31:30), and God looks at the heart, but when interacting with the outside world, a God-following woman will dress for the situation. If it is a formal event, she may wear make-up and jewelry as a sign of respect for herself and recognition of her own dignity. If it is a more casual situation, the make-up and jewelry will probably be less ostentatious so that they won't draw attention to her for the wrong reasons. Even if the woman can't afford nice jewelry or is allergic to make-up, she can show dignity in other ways like being clean, having a flattering hair style, or having an open, friendly demeanor.
We are children of the King. We are ambassadors for Christ. As such, we should always be dressed with the dignity and poise that the occasion calls for. Sometimes that may mean make-up and jewelry, sometimes not. In every situation, however, we should present ourselves appropriately.
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