Sometimes it is just so difficult to find an outfit to wear in the morning. I suppose I’m the typical female. There’s been many a time when I’ve strewn my room with clothes, trying on one thing after another. But nothing looks right! Ah! Can you feel my stress?
My teen brother asks me: Who are you trying to impress?
Well, sometimes I am trying to impress some guy, I suppose. As I woman of God, I want to dress in a beautiful, decent way that reflects and honors Him. And I want to save the sexual and sacred and private for my future husband. But still, there’s that desire for men to find me pretty or even well put-together and fashionable.
Other times, there aren’t any young men I’m trying to impress. But I still feel this pressure when getting ready for an event. Like maybe I’m trying to compete with the other women who will be there. I have to look good, and feel confident about my external appearance. I have to measure up to them. I’m not necessarily trying to make myself better than them, but I’m still dressing in a competing way. I’m comparing myself to other women in my mind. I want them to approve of/be impressed by my appearance. I want them to accept me.
This causes stress. This incites anxiety. This fuels insecurity. This tempts me to dress immodestly because it’s more trendy or flattering.
But this is all wrong! We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to other women. And we certainly shouldn’t be competing. We should be a loving, serving, helpful, grace-filled community, especially with our sisters in Christ.
We don’t look down on girls we deem “unfashionable” or “unpopular”. We don’t feel insecure around women we deem “trendy” and “stunning”.
For one thing, fashions and trends change like crazy. They mean nothing. Secondly, beauty is not the all-important factor in God’s kingdom. In fact, it is fleeting.
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Perhaps you wear makeup and she doesn’t. Maybe she dresses super stylish and you dress more plain. Dresses, pants. Long hair, short hair. Lots of makeup, no makeup. Trendy, classy. Jewelry, no jewelry.
It all comes down to personal sense of style and, sometimes, lifestyle conviction. But in the end, fashion and beauty do not define who we are as women.
Not to say how we clothe ourselves is of no importance. I believe as women of God we should dress modestly and femininely, with decency and beauty. But this cannot consume us.
We are not the extent of our beauty or popularity.
We are daughters of God, and need to more preoccupied with having the fruits of the Spirit than having the perfect clothes and accessories!
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
We need to be more preoccupied with loving each other than “measuring up” to each other! We need to remember that these women we’re competing with and comparing ourselves to are precious souls, made in the image of God. And if they’re believers, they are our sisters! Our family. Dearly beloved by their Father God.
And you. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. If you are a woman, you have the gift of femininity. You don’t have to follow all the fashion trends and have all the perfect accessories to live out your womanhood and femininity beautifully.
So next time you’re getting ready to go out, and feel anxiety welling up, stop and consider:
Am I trying to make sure I measure up to Emma?
Am I too desperate to impress James?
Confess those things and ask God to help you overcome them. Accept yourself as you are. Accept Emma as she is. And remind yourself that if James is a good man, he won’t be looking for perfection, but authenticity and a love for the Lord.
Dear woman, you don’t have to impress men. You don’t have to impress your fellow women. Simply live for the Lord. Love Him. Love others.
As for fashion, choose decent, classy, and feminine! Choose what’s you as a unique daughter of God! 🙂