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by Sylvia Todd in General Questions about January 3, 2019 open - report

Wearing Makeup

We received this question in our emails the other day: "What does the Bible say about women wearing makeup?".

Since it's a question that comes up now and then, and Dion took a bit of time to give a full answer, thought I'd share it here (answer will be posted separately). 

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    by Dion Todd about January 3, 2019

    Moderation... that is the key to enjoying all things. There is a lot of scripture about what we wear, but the key was to dress appropriately and not like a harlot, or like the opposite sex. The Bible does not condemn the wearing of makeup, jewelry, or other forms of adornment, or discuss it in detail, but it does teach that “the incorruptible adornment of the quiet and mild spirit” is better than outward adornment (1 Peter 3:3). 

    My pastor used to say "If the barn needs painting, paint it." Here are a few key scriptures and thoughts on outward adornment: 

    The most common reference to makeup in scripture was Jezebel, and it does not say that the makeup was bad, but just that she was bad.... really bad. She was judged because of her wicked deeds, murder, sorcery, manipulation, not because of her appearance: (2 Kings 9:7, 22, 36, 37). "When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window."  2 Kings 9:30-37 ESV.  Many take this verse and use it to forbid makeup, but that it not what it teaches. Jezebel probably put on sandals, and underwear, but no one is forbidding those... 

    Esther went through months of beauty treatments and dressed in her royal robes when she went into to see the king, because that was expected of her (Esther 2:7, 9, 12). "On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, in front of the king's quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight,"  Esther 5:1-2 ESV

    Many faithful women adorned themselves: Rebekah who married Isaac wore a gold nose ring, gold bracelets, and other expensive jewelry that were gifts from Abraham (Genesis 24:22, 30, 53). 

    In Ezekiel God adorned Israel as a husband his bride: "I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your hands and a necklace around your neck. I also put a ring in your nose and earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head."

    The Bible teaches us to focus on inner beauty, keep the external appropriately balanced, don't dress to draw attention to yourself: (1 Peter 3:3-6 1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 11:22; 31:30; 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." 1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV

    "Likewise 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 ESV 

    “A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak" Deuteronomy 22:5 ESV
    "Likewise 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" 1 Timothy 2:9 ESV

    And one of my personal favorites from Solomon:

    "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion." Proverbs 11:22 ESV

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