I remember walking into church feeling as if the way I looked was a sin, as if being pretty or attractive was a bad thing. Sixteen years ago, I married a pastor and fell into the "how a pastor's wife is supposed to look" game, because that's exactly what it is. It had nothing to do with God and everything to do with opinions, non-biblical rules and religion. I walked into church a confident, strong, independent, self- assured woman and within a matter of time was turned into this scared, insecure, low self-esteem "pastor's wife".
Having been a model for years, I went to church in heels and make up, not thinking for one minute that there was anything wrong with it. But the constant stares, whispers and comments started breaking me down and for years I was in a constant inner battle with myself. Sad to say, I started looking like all the other women in the church. Women with amazing potential who were nice, just not very stylish or fashionable. In other words, plain. I barely wore any make up, my dresses were a bit lose or a size bigger than what I should be wearing and my hair styles were very "safe". I called myself "modest", but in reality, it meant boring.
Soon I started looking at other women (in and out of church) the same way that they looked at me the first time I walked into the church. Criticizing and judging them on their way of dressing, their hair, make up, how they acted etc. I had become a major player in their judging game.
Instead of encouraging women making them feel welcomed, appreciated and loved I did the opposite. Started "suggesting" how they should dress and act to be more like a woman of God, the way I pictured the Proverbs 31 woman. Instead of teaching them how to love themselves and each other, I was telling them how to be insecure of themselves, their bodies and how to be critical and judgmental with each other.
This is a very common flaw that has been happening in churches for years. Pastor's, their wives, and women's ministry leaders all playing the game and making these non- biblical rules in the church and then saying that it comes from the Bible and God…. BOLONI!
All Bible scripture is meant to be understood in the context of what was said, what the culture was at the time and who it was said or spoken to. Last I checked, men and women were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Women were prophetess, judges and played a very important part in Jesus's ministry, important enough to be mentioned in the genealogy of David and Jesus (Ruth 4:17, Matt 1:5, Matt. 1:16).
Women sang and danced before the Lord, they were in governmental positions of authority. Some even had the opportunity to save their own people from death (Esther 8:11) due to their wisdom and faithfulness to God. So, why the concern with how we dress? If it was so important why didn't Jesus himself speak more about it in His word. Last I read, we are no longer tied by the law but have freedom in Christ.
Churches, I hate to tell you but you are concentrating on one of the most unimportant topics in the bible. You have missionaries going to remote areas in Africa ministering to women in tribes who are bearing their breasts. So, are they in sin for taking the gospel to the most remote parts of the world? What do you have to say about that?
When a woman walks into church she should feel safe, secure and free to be who she really is. It is not our job to tell her how to dress, act, feel. If we let the Holy Spirit do what it is meant to do then we will see great women like Ruth, Naomi, Esther. Women who are sure of themselves, who want to teach other women to be confident, have self- worth, good self- esteem, vision, poise. It's time that we STOP criticizing other women and allow the love of Jesus Christ to shine through our words and our actions so that those women can imitate the love of God.