- Fashion and Beauty
Controversy: Should Christian Women Make-Up?
Even in the bible, women who make-up looks more beautiful
Should Women Make-up Their Beauty?
What do you think,
Should women hide their beauty?
Are women who add to their beauty with the use of artificial articles sinning against God? Is it a sin when women adorn themselves by adding to their beauty with the use of artificial materials like, rings, jewelries, hair extensions, cosmetics, ornaments or expensive clothes? In fact, who right is it to determine what constitutes sin, God, religion or science?
This topic have been a burning issue not only in Christendom religion but also in many other religion world over, with so many denominations offering and sticking to their opinion while judging and nailing others on a stake of guilt as it were.
Over seven years of my theological studies, I have taken a closer look at varieties of opinion trying to argue for or against some certain female adornment both in Christian religion and some others. This moved me to take a keener look at this minor topic of the bible, I have investigated biblical accounts and have come to a pivotal point, what we can call the biblical truth on God’s view of female adornment, personal opinion or conviction does not count.
Some of the headings of this discussion, in the course of this detailed examination of this topic include but not limited to:
- Do not go beyond what is written
- The similarity Today
- Things that are written is God’s view
- What can defile a person?
Examining the burning passages that causes crisis
And some more to be featured. So please if you are not the type that love reading , you can only do three things, 1. Scroll down to take a look at the images, 2. Read a little and come back to finish, or 3. Give up now.
Some Leaders In Corinth Condemned Others Unnecessarily
Do Not Go Beyond What Is Written
“Do not go beyond the things that are written” says the bible (1 Corinth. 4 v 6)
Why did the bible sound this warning? It seems some in Corinthians Church have set their own rules or standards and then judge and condemns any who do not meet up to such self-set standards.
They do not mind any more ‘what is written’, nor do they care to wait for divine instruction from the apostles before determining matters. In effect, they have forgotten the “rule” of judging and now criticize people according to their personal opinion, feelings or convictions. Thus Paul’s counseled; “do not judge anything before the due time…learn the rule” (verses 5a and 6a).
Many of them, due to personal feelings or opinion on matters have become “puffed up individually” on a personal level-preferential view on matters (verses 6b). While they do not consult anymore God’s written word (then the Greek scripture or New Testament had not been written completely but the old or Hebrew scripture had been completed and warrants their consulting) nor do they care to wait on the apostles to determine what God’s view on a matter is. What a wrong bases for criticizing others!
The Similarity Today
Today, in the name of religion, personal view, opinion or convictions, some have cast negative light on matters without properly consulting ‘what is written’-the entire written word of God.
Therefore, some have cast negative light regarding female adornment, they say;
“Women sin against God who anoint their faces with cream, put on earring, lengthen their eye brows, put on attachment, necklaces”. Some religious leaders even go as far as to forbid their members from putting on any ornament, jewelry, makeup or colorful clothes.
However, by setting such rules, based on their personal view, they set and enforce standards God did not establish. In effect, proving they know better than God, even as Satan implied knowing better than the Al-mighty in Eden. Such teachers, by forbidding what God has not, gone ‘beyond things that are written’.
These teachers judges and condemn others like some in Corinth did, by so doing sinning against God, knowingly or unknowingly.
To such people, the Apostle Paul warned; “judge nothing before the lord comes, who will bring to light the hidden thing of darkness”. (1 Corinth. 4:5).
What do you think are the hidden thing Paul meant? Some of the so-called ‘men of God’, who always judge others out of biblical context, are only putting on an outward appearance while some of their hidden practices are even shameful if related publicly. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote against such teachers;
“quit sharing with them in the unfruitful works that belong to the darkness, but rather, even be reproving them, for the thing that take place in secret by them it is shameful even to relate”.-Eph 5:11-12.
“Keep reproving them”? it is important then to give an imperative answer that reflects God’s personal view or standard regarding female adornment, basing our convictions purely on ‘things that are written which may be against the thousands of self opinion flooding the internet today.
Things That Are Written Are God's View
While the bible did not directly, or specifically discourse the topic of ornamental use or female adornment in old Testament, by giving specific rules and regulations (maybe due to the matter was clearly understood by God’s servants during the bible time). However, there are enough information and evidence to show what God’s view on the matter is, and to know if he condemns and term as sinful the use of artificial materials as listed at the onset, and other female adornment materials.
What is the need of this thorough investigation? Because God want you to be concern of what is ‘acceptable to the lord’.-Eph 5;10.
So what are the examples of ‘things that are written that will help us understand God’s view on female adornment?
When describing the way he blessed Jerusalem, as if that city were women, God said to her;
“I went on to deck you with ornaments and I put bracelets on your hands and a chain on your neck (necklace) and I put a ring on your nose and I put earrings in your ears”- Isai. 16:11-13.
The point here is, God alluded to using these ornaments himself to beautify a woman (Jerusalem representing its inhabitants)
By alluding to beautifying a symbolic woman with jewelries, God thus acknowledged, recognized and sanctioned the purpose and important of these artificial materials to women- that of using it to add to their beauty. Who dare argue against this!
Please note: where these objects or the use of them for external beauty to be sinful, God would never had alluded to using them for the same sinful purpose. God do not and can never allude to doing things that are wrong, things that fell below his own standards for human.
For example; God completely condemns and forbid any form of divination or sorcerer. (Deut 18:10-12) and imagine God alluding to practicing divination or magic, will it be reasonable?
Therefore, God alluding to his use of ornaments to beautify a woman is a clear evidence of how he feels, and what his view on the matter, namely, the adornment of women is. Thus, God is not against females adorning themselves literally with jewelries to add to their beauty, not then and not now.
Will you argue that this is in old Testament as some will? This is “things that are written”. Well, this is just one instance, we will take a more critical look at it. But before that, let us look at this first.
What Can Defile A Person?
“Sin is not in ‘thing’ but in wrong use of ‘thing’ says one proverb.
Before shading more light on the above proverbs, can you answer the question raised above?
The bible gave the answer at Mathew 15:18. The bible described what constitute a sin that could defile a person when it says; “but those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile a man”. Thus, not merely things one eat or wear that defile a person or make the person sinner, but the heart condition of a person, even when making use of the right things.
For example, the ancient Israelite some time misused ornaments and cosmetics and used them for wrong purposes rather than it God’s approved purpose-adding to a woman’s beauty. They often commit spiritual adultery-idolatry-with it, exactly what the bible listed that could defile a man in the sight of God.
For this reason, many so-called men of God are saying that the use of ornaments and hair extensions is wrong for a religious person. But sin is not merely in a thing but in wrong use of thing. In fact, in God’s dealing with ancient Israelite as found in the Old Testament, God did condemned not female adornment-the use of artificial materials to add to women’s beauty-but the wrong use of this materials. He was completely against the wrong purpose the nation used it for, not the ornaments, not the hair extensions and not the use of cosmetics but the wrong use of them.
The above reasoning will be meaningless if we fail to see for ourselves some of these bible verses that have caused crisis of differing opinion in religion today. Which various Christian teachers around the world are tittering around when nailing others on the stake of guilt, some even going to the extent of teaching that those who makeup with external articles will burn in the so-called hell. Please follow along as we briefly consider some of the burning biblical accounts on this topic, see for yourself if in them God condemned female adornment.
Burning Passages That Causes Crisis
The following biblical passages are some of the passages that are often misunderstood by the advocates of a total abstinence from ornaments, jewelries, cosmetics and hair extensions by women. Now is the right time to examine it and reprove their unbiblical opinions on these verses.
- Genesis 35:2-4
“then Jacob said to his household and all who were with him, put away ( the images of) strange gods that are among you, and purify yourselves and change (into fresh) garments; then let us arise and go up to bethel……so they (both young men and women) gave to Jacob all the strange gods they had and their earrings which (worn as charm against evil) is in their ears; and Jacob buried and hid them under the oak tree near Shechem”(the Amplified bible)
Many who point to this account when arguing against female adornment often fails to take notice that the passages talks about “all who were with Jacob”-male and females. Are these people Israelite? No.
These are people he possessed while in Paddan Aram. (Gen 28:2) Bethuel who is the father to Jacob’s mother and Laban, who is Jacob mother’s brother were all not worshipers of Jacob’s God. Laban and his children-the wives of Jacob-even own idols or foreign gods, which Liah, one of Jacob’s wives took one along while journeying with Jacob back to Bethel.-Gen 31:19, 30.
In this account, the earrings worn by these people who were not even formal worshipers of Jacob’s God were used for a purpose different from God’s purpose of ornaments. According to the above version, the earrings are not just there for adornment but were used as ‘charms or magic; a thing condemned by Jacob’s God. Certainly this is the wrong use of ornaments! But it should not surprise us, these people are not Israelite, they are all Syrians but Jacob, and do not know the right and wrong use of a thing.-Gen 31:24.
Thus, the topic in the above bible passage, is not that ‘God or Jacob condemned the wearing of ornaments like earring’ but they condemned idolatry or the wrong use of a ornaments. We could see nothing here pointing to abstinence from makeup, for they were also told; “change into fresh garments”. Therefore, is anything wrong if they should also change into fresh earring?
Do you think the above bible passage forbids godly women from putting on earrings?
Illustration To Help You Understand
Let me tell you a little story to help you understand the above bible passage.
A man was a member of a religion that does not see anything wrong with magic practices. In that religion, they use mirror and cell phone as magical objects. One day, this man converted to Christian religion. But was told that before he could be allowed to a Church to worship, he must put away both the mirrors and the cell phones he used for magic, and also change into new clothe.
Now does this requirement means he will never again make use of any other mirror or cell phone, does it mean he has being forbidden of this objects entirely, because he once made wrong use of them, What do you think?
Do you recall that at the onset we saw in the book of Ezekiel how God describe Israel as a woman whom he adorned with many ornaments to beautify her? That same account tells us that God is against not the use but the wrong use of ornaments when it says;
“And you took your beautiful jewelries, which I have given you, and made for yourself images of men and play prostitute with them” (Eze. 16v17) The wrong use, isn’t it?
The right use of ornaments is not a sin
Penitently Leave Of Your Ornaments
- Exodus 33v4-6
“When the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned and no man puts on his ornaments. For the Lord have said to Moses, say to the Israelite…. (Penitently) leave off your , that I may know what to do with you. And the Israelite left off their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward”.
Again, why is God indignant at the people regarding their ornamental wear here, since earlier on, while leaving Egypt, God had commanded them;
“But every woman shall (insistently) solicit of her neighbor and of her that may be residing at her house jewels and articles of silver and gold, and garments, which you shall put on your sons and daughters”? (Exod. 3v22. 12v35,36)
Again, the problem is not the use but the wrong use of these articles. Do you not agree? We can see this if we go a little back to chapter 32v2 of the same account.
Israelite misused these things, and God’s anger came upon them. At this moment how will they show respect for God and prove how sorry they are? If you are among them you probably will not continue to beautify yourself at this moment, like one who cheated on his spouse and while the spouse is so angry, she still dressed up romantically and went out before him.
That is why Israel “mourned and no man put on his ornaments”. They were moved to respect the one who has given them that articles-God. But to argue that from then on God banned the wearing of ornaments is to say that he made a mistake in the first place when he commanded them to collect these articles from the Egyptians.
According to the Amplified bible version, they are to “penitently leave off” their ornaments, till God’s anger passed away, in this way they show respect for him.
In ancient time it was a common practice for those who mourn to usually put off their beautiful attire and put on bad ones, sometimes even sitting in among the ashes to show how sorry they were for their wrong action. They may do that for an appointed period of time. (Jonah 3v5-9)
Thus, “the Israelite stripped themselves of their jewelries from mount Horeb onward”. Onward till the end of their mourning period. How long they mourned that sinful act we do not know, but all we do know is, as soon as that period was over, they put on back their articles as biblical account proves, since God is not against the ornamental wear, as long as it is not misused. No one did he forever banned of it, at least there is nothing like that found in the entire Old Testament.
You are still not sure and convinced? Let us now dig deeper.
Digging The Deeper Answers
Were the Israelite and thus we all forbidden from wearing or using garments, ornaments or artificial articles after the events of Exodus 33 discoursed above?
Many centuries after the Israelite have entered the promised land, have lived in it centuries, the bible tells us that they were still much wearing ornaments, and thus were not forbidden of it in the above account. Evidently, after their mourning was over, they continued using ornaments even though they did not stop the misuse, and that is the problem God always had with them.
By the time of prophet Isaiah who serves as a prophet during the reign of king Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah (Isai. 1v1) The people were still using ornaments and many other articles of beauty as we can now see at Isaiah 3v18-23
“In that day, Jehovah will take away the beauty of their bangles, the head bands, and the crescent-shaped ornaments, the earrings, the bracelets, and the veils, the headdresses, the perfume receptacles, and the charms, the finger rings and the nose rings, the ceremonial robes, the overtunics, the cloaks and the purses, the hand band mirrors and the linen garments, the turbans and the veils”.
Again, the Lord taking away of these articles from them does not refer to a literal removal or banning of these articles. It was just referring to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Here has provided us with the bases of believing that the nation still was making use of ornaments even after the account of their Exodus.
There are teachers who use the account of exodus to teach total abstinence from ornaments, cosmetics and hair extensions, saying that these things are evil, and yet they do not see anything wrong in using ‘veils, headbands, perfumes, fine robes, caps, wallets, purses, mirrors and garments.
If literally the use of this articles is what God is against, then wearing of clothes or garments is also an evil, using perfumes is also evil and many other articles mentioned by name herein should all be taken as evil isn’t it? But no. Ornaments and makeup add to a woman’s beauty, and the scripture recognizes it as such. In fact, the same Isaiah 3v18 called these ornaments “the beauty” of it wearers.
In fact, many biblical accounts links ornamental make-up with beauty, well approved and recognized by God. Briefly, let us see how the link goes.
Ornaments and Jewelries, Linked To Beauty
These biblical links shade more light on God’s view of female adornment and the purpose of ornaments to women. For example, concerning the beauty of discipline the bible links it to;
“an attractive wreath for your head, and a fine ornament for your neck”-Prov. 1v8, 9.
Again here, the bible alludes to ornaments as things that add beauty to the wearer. Consider another account.
Isaiah 61 v 10 says;
“I delight greatly in the Lord. My soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels”.
The things that are written, God’s word continues to shed light on God’s view of adornment. That does not mean that God did not condemn the wrong use of these things, just like what he now tells us at Ezekiel 7 v 20.
“They took pride in the beauty of their ornaments, and they made with them their detestable images, their disgusting idols. That is why I will make it (the images) an abhorrent thing to them”.
What is God against here, the right or wrong use of ornaments? To answer this question, let us see what happened when this word of God fulfilled.
“They will no longer defile themselves with their disgusting idols,…and I myself will be their God”.(Eze. 37 v 23)
Thus, there is no evidence that it was the wearing of artificial articles that defiled them but the wrong use of it.
Do You Make-Up? Do You Like Women More When They Make-Up?
Do You Have Crisis In Your Conscience?
Should we then blame God when people misuse his gift? Today, there are also many thing people misuse, including alcohol, sex, drugs and blood. Should God be blame? Should we stop making use of things because some misuses it?
As we have seen, though no were in the Old Testament did God banned women adornment. Yet there is still a problem. There is a modern superstition in some parts of the world, mostly in Africa, regarding the origin of some artificial articles used by women today for an adornment. We will clear that air of opinion differently, and also take a look at what the New Testament says regarding makeup and women adornment.
Have no crisis of conscience when you makeup provided you do not misuse it, and do not judge others when they makeup, because “sin is not in thing but in wrong use of thing”.