A Chat Between Two Friends
Not to “stir the waters”—we have nothing against you… but my friend Julia Garrison and I were chatting and we thought it would be good to put in your magazine. So read and enjoy! By the way, I’m circlefriends and she’s jewelsmaria.
jewelsmaria: Now I just got done reading an article/letter from Abigail Spinks about make-up.
circlefriends: Just out of curiosity (and speaking of make-up) are you the type of HopeChest reader who wears skirts and headcoverings, or are you the type that wears a modest amount of make-up and blue jeans?
c: What did she say?
j: I didn’t agree with it.
c: I wear make-up, too, and blue jeans.
j: Same here.
c: I don’t agree with her on most things.
j: Yeah, I wear a modest amount of make-up.
j: I know…. I’m sorry, but it almost is too cultish. If you know what I mean….
c: I have her latest issue of Foundation Truth… but I haven’t read it!
j: That is what I read. It is in the back of the magazine. Tell me what you think when you read it.
j: It is not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside.
c: Okay, I went and got the issue.
j: Maybe I took it wrong, but it seemed that she was basically saying that if you wear make-up and jeans and don’t wear head-coverings that you aren’t really a Christian.
c: Wow! What’s the name of the article?
j: It is on the second last page, I think. She seemed a bit condemning.
c: It is!
j: Which is sad.
c: I’m reading it now! It is sad… and I’m still in the first paragraph! I’ll finish reading and tell you what I think….
c: Whoa! It does seem cultish!
j: Yeah. I couldn’t hardly read it.
c: I know… me either.
j: I feel so bad for how many girls will be reading that and believing that.
c: Me, too… it seems to encourage the fact that God is pleased when we are plain. The goal is not to look holy—the goal is to be holy.
j: That seems like Pharisee. I don’t mean to come down hard on her. But where does it say in the Bible “Ladies must wear dresses, and you must wear no make-up”?
c: It says to make pure your heart and to be Christlike.
j: And the word modest means? To not stick out. Well when you are wearing dresses, no make-up and no jewelry… you stick out….
c: And I believe that God does not look down on jewelry or make-up as a hindrance to knowing Him. That would be the only reason not to, and it doesn’t! Wow—it really is like showing off because you do stick out! Good point!
j: Yeah. Exactly.
c: I totally agree with you.
j: Well God doesn’t want you to look ugly. Just like you (not you, but you know what I mean) want yourself to look nice for them. That doesn’t mean gaudy.
c: Exactly. Wow, you and I are really like-minded on this subject.
j: And then what guy/girl off the street would want to be a Christian if he had to change all these areas?
c: No one. I wouldn’t have before I was a Christian.
j: It is enough giving up our worldly pleasures (such as drinking, smoking, chewing, sleeping around, etc.) let alone how we dress, etc. I mean, to them….
c: They mentioned something in that article about loud colors—I was just thinking of the Proverbs 31 woman—she makes clothing of scarlet and wears purple. Isn’t that loud? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bright red or purple clothes.
j: Yeah. Purple means royalty. And that is what the kings wear, so she is honored and quite beautiful. I mean, another example is Queen Esther.
c: Yes—she went through two years of beauty treatments!
j: And what guy would want to marry an ugly-looking girl?
c: No guy would unless he was crazy.
j: Make-up is to enhance your appearance, not to make you look like somebody else, you know?!
j: Of course, I don’t think that you should be possessed with your appearance.
c: Of course.
j: I really don’t see where she is coming from. I tried the whole time, while I was reading the article and I couldn’t.
c: Abigail? Yeah—it seems to be without foundation. (LOL, no pun intended!!)
j: She used the scripture out of context. Well I am glad we both agree on this topic!
c: Me too. Well, unfortunately, I have to go!
Dear Angela and Julia,
When I first read your chat, I wanted to write back and explain more fully why I believe what I do about modest dress. I wanted to point out the scriptures, share with you the blessings and why God made it the way He did. I wanted to correct the misunderstandings y’all read in the article I wrote. But after prayer, and much waiting, I’ve realized that without an open mind and heart from all parties involved there is no way we can discuss this to any profit. I am sorry this is true.
You are believing what seems good to you; to be beautiful outwardly so you can be a good “witness,” to attract a husband, etc. This seems reasonable to human thinking. But what does God say? “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) What seems good and right and reasonable to us is not always correct. Likewise, if we, in our own understanding, try to interpret the Word of God, His Word will seem strange to us. No wonder Paul counseled Timothy to rightly divide the Word of truth, being “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.” (2 Timothy 2:15) If we do not have the spirit of God to help us, we will easily misconstrue the meaning of the Bible.
Also, it is important to really want to know what is truth, and obey God’s commands whatever the cost. God does not reveal His truth to those who half-heartedly seek. God will let us settle for less and be in error if we want. However, if we are truly hungry and will obey no matter what may hinder, He is faithful to shine His light upon us. But we must dig first and show our sincerity. I guess what I’m saying, dear girls, is: have you really looked? Have you truly searched? Have you gotten down on your knees and said, “Lord, I’m going to find out what Your Word teaches regardless of my personal feelings or preferences or what seems right on the surface”? Or are you really saying, “I’ve given up enough of my worldly pleasures—this is it. I’m not going to look strange for Jesus”? You likened modesty to not sticking out. Dear girls, is this really what the Bible teaches? I beg you to look further. I’m not interested in you matching up to my beliefs—but is this truly what Jesus taught? Suppose you’re in a group where they’re smoking—you stick out because you’re not; does the Bible then give you liberty to smoke? Would it be “modest” to smoke or drink or gamble if you’re in that kind of company? I pray that you would consider this subject more fully.
I guess I could write point for point the things you mentioned, but I feel it would do little good to get into verbal ping pong. I only want to mention a couple more things here to clear up:
1. You mentioned that we said that unless you wore headcoverings you weren’t a Christian. This was a most surprising statement since we ourselves don’t even wear the external cloth headcoverings you were referring to. We believe in long hair and in putting it up responsibly.
2. Again, to set the record straight, we don’t recall having written anything about not wearing bright reds or purples. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable in bright red—I do feel it definitely makes me stick out! I have nothing against purple and cannot find any where in the Bible that teaches against wearing any specific color.
Before I close, I’d like to mention that I don’t dress modestly because I feel I “must”—I don’t wear dresses because I feel the Bible teaches it and I’ll be damned otherwise. I do it out of love to Christ (“All Thy mandates love betoken…. ’Tis delightful to obey”*), and what could seem a duty or bondage, is nothing but a love cord that binds me close to Jesus.
I recall to my remembrance an occasion when I was a child. I was standing in a department store and gazing at a counter of beautiful jewelry. Diamonds sparkled, rubies shone, gold necklaces lay delicately upon velvet pouches. To my eyes it was the most beautiful sight a beauty-loving girl could see. There was nothing I wanted more than to adorn myself, but it was out of the question, as my parents would never have allowed it. I didn’t ask out loud, but my heart certainly wanted it on the inside! I remembering thinking, “When I am grown, I will be beautiful. I will wear all the jewelry and make-up I want.” As I grew older, the desire for vanity grew as well. And then Christ got a hold of my heart, and I yielded to His call. Living with Jesus gave me a different perspective; the jewels lost their glamor. What looked so lovely before, looked empty now. I lost my taste for the world. I didn’t care if they thought I was beautiful or ugly. It didn’t matter. Out of love for Christ, I gave up all ambitions of adorning myself outwardly, and found the sacrifice small in comparison to what He gave me. It wasn’t something “big” I gave up, but incredibly small. Christ died for me—how could I not give whatever He asked? If you were in love with someone, would you not go the extra mile to please them? Nothing, it seems, is too hard or too much to do for the person when you’re in love with them. Sacrificing your time or money or desires seems almost a pleasure knowing they are gratified. Are you in love with Jesus, dear girls?
In closing, I just want to say I’m praying for you both. I hope this has cleared up a few things and also answered some of your questions. If you have any more, I’d be glad to answer them. God bless you.
Love in Christ,