Yesterday I began a short series of articles on the always-tricky subject of modesty. I’m sure this will not be the final word on the subject, and I cannot cover every aspect of it, but I do want to get us thinking and talking about modesty. At the very least I will give you something to agree or disagree with—usually a good way to stimulate your own thoughts. Thanks to all those who left comments and feedback. You should begin with part one: Modesty Matters.
Yesterday we looked at Colossians 2:20-23 to see that as sinful human beings we love to make and to break rules; when we come to tricky areas of life, we can very quickly take refuge in rules, and this is exactly what many discussions of modesty turn into. We also saw that the heart of modesty is dressing in such a way that you show love to others and bring glory to God, while the heart of immodesty is dressing in such a way that you show self-love and claim the glory for yourself.
Today I would like to begin with 1 Peter 3:1-4:
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 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.
In this passage, Peter is speaking to a very select group of people—married women whose husbands are followers of a different religion. He knows these women will face some very specific challenges and offers them some pointed guidance. What you and I do when we read passages like this is to try to understand what the author said to his original audience and then learn how we can apply those principles to our own lives. We find that the biblical principles always have wide application.
There are three things I would like to draw out of these verses. We will look at the first two today and wrap up tomorrow with the third.
We All Want to Be Noticed
The first thing we can take from these verses is this: sinful people want to be noticed. Peter writes, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing.”