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Friday, May 29, 2015

Why Did God Get Angry with Moses?


I was reading in Acts not too long ago, and I came across this verse: And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds (Acts 7:22). Hmmm . . . .

Why does it say he was mighty in words? I mean, I thought he had a speech impediment, like a lisp or a stutter. This is the same man who said, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue (Exodus 4:10). Was he lying? Was he really a powerful orator—in the Egyptian tongue?

God answered Moses and said, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say (Exodus 4:11-12).

That should have been the end of the excuses. Moses should have understood that God could help him in every way. After all, God had made his mouth—and ears and eyes.

But Moses tries another tack: O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send (Exodus 4:13). He asks God to send someone else.

Now, we see God’s angry and just reaction. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God (Exodus 4:14-16). In spite of God’s anger, He provides Moses with Aaron as a mouthpiece.

I’ve often wondered about God’s anger. If Moses had indeed had a physical difficulty with speaking, wouldn’t God have understood his reticence about representing the Hebrews to Pharaoh? I think so.

So, why did God get angry with Moses?

My thoughts: 

  • Because Moses was perfectly suited to his calling! 
  • Because God had already prepared him to be a powerful orator in the Egyptian language. 
  • Because He was the best person for the job.

But, not only that! God always equips those He calls. It’s His work, after all. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24). God reminds Moses He made his mouth.

I think of Joshua, the leader of the Hebrews after Moses. God repeatedly encouraged him and told others to encourage him. Why? Obviously, he needed it. He didn’t feel worthy or able. He was somewhat insecure. But God fills him with power and helps him out. (Deuteronomy 1:38, 31:7, 34:9)

I think of Gideon, who had legitimate doubts about the task ahead. God accepted his offering by consuming it with fire and later honored his fleece idea not once, but twice! Why? Because Gideon was trying to make sure God was calling him. He wasn’t making excuses; he only wanted to be sure. (Judges 6-7)

It seems to me—personal thoughts here—that God helps people out when they have genuine reasons for concern or doubt. When they’re only giving excuses not to do what God commands, God is not happy.

Thankfully, the story of Moses continues. Moses appears before Pharaoh and liberates God’s people. God uses him greatly. Later, the Bible says that there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face (Deuteronomy 34:10; similar in Exodus 33:11).

Moses’ name is found eighty-one times in the New Testament. He figures in the list of heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. Jesus referred many times to Moses and his writings (the first five books of the Bible). The last reference to Moses is in Revelation, where angels in heaven sing:

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
and the song of the Lamb, saying,
Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty;
just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (Revelation 15:3).

What do you think? Do you think Moses had a real speech problem, or was he only trying to excuse himself from the task God asked of him? (It’s okay if you differ with me. I’d like to hear from you.)
  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Bible's Beauties

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A woman’s beauty is a quality that means more than one’s pretty face or figure. (I’m glad, as most of the beautiful people I know are beautiful from the inside and “normal” on the outside.) Some Christians think that, because God looks on the heart, the outside doesn’t matter. Not so! God speaks of women being beautiful. The Bible uses words like fair, comely, beautiful, and well favored.

Who were the Bible’s beautiful women and what can we learn from them?

Sarai—Abraham’s wife must have been gorgeous. Two different kings took her into their harems. Thankfully, God spared her from any harm. (Genesis 12:11, 14. In Genesis 17:15, her name was changed to Sarah.) God praises Sarah for her willingness to yield to her husband. Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement (1 Peter 3:1-6). Yield willingly to our husbands.

Rebekah—Isaac’s wife, the Bible calls her very fair. (Genesis 24:16, 26:7) Rebekah was generous and thoughtful in her youth, willing to go and marry Isaac because she saw the hand of God in it. But sadly, she became a wife who lied to her husband and tricked him. We can learn from her positives as a young lady and from her negatives when she used her favorite son against her husband and other son. Because of her sins, Rebekah sadly never saw Jacob again. (Genesis 24:15-67, 27:6-46) Be generous and thoughtful, and don’t change and become deceitful as we age.

Rachel—Jacob fell in love with her because of her exceptional physical beauty, and Rachel became his second wife (after her sister Leah). She was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. (Genesis 29:17) Rachel was physically beautiful, but she seems not to have been a strong believer in the one true God. She took her father’s idols, and she never shines as a godly woman. She did become, though, the mother of both Joseph and Benjamin before she died. (Genesis 31:34) From Rachel's negative example we learn to be genuine in our dedication to God and never to have idols in our lives.

Abigail—Wife of Nabal the fool and later a wife of King David, this lady is praised for her wisdom, discretion, and generosity, as well as her beauty. (1 Samuel 25:3) Abigail was probably in an arranged marriage with an awful man named Nabal. He used poor judgment and was unjust. David would have killed all of Nabal’s men in revenge for Nabal’s unfair response. Abigail learned of her husband’s words, packed food, and set off to warn David. Brave and resourceful, Abigail saved many men from death. (1 Samuel 25:17-42) And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand (1 Samuel 25:32-33). Less than two weeks later, Nabal died. David heard of it and sent for Abigail to become his wife. The lessons? It’s always right to try to save a life, when it’s in your power to do so. (It’s a good idea to take food as a gift, too!) When you do right, God will take care of all your needs.

Bathsheba—David sinned when he looked at this woman’s beauty. (2 Samuel 11:2) Bathsheba was wronged in so many ways! David sent for her. (Because he was a king, Bathsheba probably had no say in the matter.) She became pregnant by David and then David had her wonderful husband killed in battle. Now she was a widow, and her husband’s murderer married her. Their first son died in punishment for David’s sin. They later had four more sons. (1 Chronicles 3:5) One was Solomon, who would become the next and greatest king of Israel. We learn from Bathsheba’s later life dignity and grace, even after suffering and devastating loss. (I Kings 1 and 2)

Abishag—King David couldn’t keep his body heat in bed, so a beautiful young virgin was called to be his “bed warmer.” That woman was Abishag. (1 Samuel 25:3) I frankly don’t understand this young woman’s story. The king had at least eight wives. I never could understand why one of his wives couldn’t warm him up! But, this is the way it happened, and the Bible clearly states Abishag served the king only as a bed warmer. Later, one of David’s sons, Adonijah, asked to marry her, and with that request, he sealed his own death sentence. (1 Kings 1-2) This pretty girl faithfully served the king, and afterwards we hear no more about her.

Esther—Young Jewish Esther was the fairest of the land, and she married King Ahasuerus and became his second queen. God used her position to save His people from Haman’s wicked plot to annihilate the Jews. (Esther 2:7) One of my favorite biblical women, this lady knew how to dress, act, and be classy. She understood human nature and used excellent psychology on both her husband and the antagonist Haman. God brought her to the kingdom for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). Through her, God saved the Jewish people. The feast of Purim honors God for saving the Jews through Esther. From Esther, we learn that God has a purpose in every life. Even a young woman can make a huge difference, if she dares to obey God and the authorities over her (in this case, Mordecai). God rewards those who honor Him. (Esther ended up living in Haman’s luxurious house.)

Job’s daughters: Jemima, Kezia, and Kerenhappuch—After Job’s first ten children died in the collapsed house, God gave him another ten children. His three daughters were known for being the most beautiful in all the land (literally, earth). (Job 42:15) Job’s beautiful daughters were clear evidence of God’s blessing after Job’s not cursing God under great suffering. God restored Job with ten new children, and his daughters were the prettiest in all the land.

The Shulamite—Throughout the book of the Song of Solomon, we read of the bride’s beauty. This is both a love story and an allegory of the relationship between Christ and His church—as all marriage should be. (Ephesians 5:22-27) There’s no doubt that Solomon was bowled over by his bride’s beauty. (Song of Solomon, the entire book) The Shulamite is a metaphor for every wife. Her loving relationship with her husband is recorded in Scripture so that we would understand what passionate married love should look like. She’s an example to every wife of how to build up her husband and express love in words. Her actions show us pursuit, love, preparation, and even tell us what to wear to look lovely. She uses pillows and perfumes and freely expresses her happiness with her husband. Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6a)

The Virtuous Woman isn’t exactly called “beautiful” in Scripture, although her beauty is inferred. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:29-30).

Let’s learn some of the valuable lessons from the Bible’s beauties and glorify God with our lives!
  

Monday, May 25, 2015

How to Plan a Vacation That's Really a Vacation


Vance Havner used to recommend, “Come apart before you come apart.” He was right! Everyone needs a vacation once in a while.

By vacation, I mean a time that meets the following criteria:
  • Change of scenery—a place that’s not too close to home. It can be an hour away, but you don’t want to be in the same neighborhood.
  • Change of activities—Don’t work as you usually do. Don’t cook, cut grass, or whatever your usual routine involves. Do something different. Bike, sightsee, visit antique shops—whatever—but change it up!
  • Doing what you enjoy—Plan your vacation to be fun for the whole family.
  • Disconnected—I know that today it’s hard to live without looking at our phones all the time (or the computer screen), but do it. Either leave the phone at home, or discipline yourself not to look at it. Only use it for phone calls. (What a novel idea!)
  • Rest—A vacation isn’t a vacation unless there are times you take it easy and get rested. This means mental rest and physical rest.  I repeat: a vacation isn’t a vacation unless there are times you take it easy and get rested.

Not too long ago, my husband and I took a much-needed vacation. It was the first one in more than ten years that was for more than one or two days. We took a week off and went to England. (We’d received a personal gift that enabled us to do it.) What a wonderful time!

Here are some suggestions learned after many years of doing vacations wrong. This time, we got it right, and we came home refreshed.


This is what we did and would gladly do again: 
  1. Don’t try to do too much. In our case, we limited our first time ever in the United Kingdom to England and a three-hour travel distance. It turned out to be perfect.
  2. Plan the tough stuff for the early days. Especially—but not exclusively—if you have some physical limitations, plan the first two or three days to do the “must do” things on your list. In our case, we saw London those days. Any time you’re in a city, the pace is faster, and you have to use public transportation. Whether your destination is New York, Atlanta, or someplace else, do the city on the first few days.
  3. Don’t plan too much for any one day. Our first day was the most packed. We saw Westminster Abbey in the morning, the Tower of London in the afternoon, and went to church at the Metropolitan Tabernacle (Charles Spurgeon’s church) in the evening. The next day, we watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, did a bus tour, and a cruise on the Thames River. Those were our busiest days.
  4. Work out your transportation and make all reservations ahead of time. We used public transportation for the first four days and a rental car after that. We did all hotel reservations, entrance tickets, etc. online before we ever left home.
  5. Do your homework about the weather. We were thankful for coats and umbrellas!
  6. After your more busy days, plan one or two “medium” days. For us, this meant no pressing agenda, just enjoying the British Museum (free!) one day and moseying around Oxford another.
  7. Plan down time. We spent three glorious days in the Cotswolds (sheepherding villages). We walked around when we wanted to, made new friends in the village where we stayed, and just enjoyed the beautiful surroundings. (You should see the flower gardens!)
  8. If you’re an expat and live in surroundings where the spoken language is not your maternal heart language, it’s nice to vacation in a place where your heart language is spoken. I didn’t realize it until we were back home, but this was our first vacation where we weren’t in second, third, or unknown language surroundings. England gave us a mental rest. We could understand everyone around us, and they could easily understand us!



For the first time in our lives—yes, we’re slow learners—we had a vacation that left us refreshed and ready to go again. It was a mental, physical, and spiritual renewal. We saw new places that we’d always dreamed of and enjoyed nature at its best. (I think every flower except roses was in bloom.) We didn’t overdo it, and we were able to rest when we wanted to.

I hope your next vacation will be one that refreshes you.

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while:
for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
And they departed into a desert place by ship privately (Mark 6:31-32).

Photos were taken by my husband and me: Buckingham Palace changing of the guard, Oxford, Chipping Campden

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I Never Graduated from Kindergarten!


Photo courtesy of: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Once upon a time . . . back when I was in school . . . there were high school graduations and college graduations. I think I was married when I saw my first kindergarten graduation. The kids were so cute! They sang “I’m Special to Jesus,” and I was moved to tears.

After that, I noticed there were more and more kindergarten graduations. (I guess schools wanted adults to enjoy the cuteness.)

Then, there were 5th and 6th grade graduations—depending on when kids would start middle school in their areas. Caps and gowns in all colors and sizes! This year, I noticed a friend’s children graduating from both 6th and 9th grades. It made me wonder: do kids graduate from every grade?

I never graduated from kindergarten. (I never went to kindergarten!)

I did graduate from high school. The ceremony was memorable for several reasons. The young man next to me talked and joked through the whole thing, so I don’t even know who spoke. I do remember him inviting me to a party, which I declined. Afterwards, I got my picture taken with family and friends. I was happy to graduate because it meant moving on to college.

With God’s help—I don’t say that lightly—I graduated from college, as well. It was a wonderful feeling. It really was an accomplishment, and it meant I was moving on. My fiancĂ© graduated with me, and we took pictures together. We got married a month and a few days later.

My husband has a master’s degree, so he got to march another time.

We graduated. And, it meant we had worked hard and accomplished something. Each graduation meant something and marked a milestone for us.

graduation = receiving an academic degree or diploma

I’m not trying to open up a can of worms, but I’m wondering if today’s society might be having too many graduations. I mean, how much has a five-year-old accomplished? He knows his letters, colors, shapes, and probably is reading a little bit. He might know some math facts, too. Very good. But, to me—call me old fashioned—to dress him up in a cap and gown and give him a diploma before first grade has ever started seems a stretch. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a moneymaking business. After all, parents and grandparents will shell out for the cap and gown and pictures. And everyone enjoys the cuteness overload.

Some children probably do deserve recognition every year, because they go above and beyond in effort. But, you only graduate when you’ve completed the course, when you’ve done all the work required for the diploma. Or, so I think.

Illustration: hywards, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the Christian walk, the prize (heaven) comes at the end, as well. Oh yes, we enjoy blessings as we live for God, but the real prize is our graduation diploma. We don’t see anything like we’re going to see . . . yet. We can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be on our graduation day!

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared
for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

For now we see through a glass, darkly;
but then face to face: now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known (1 Corinthians 13:12).

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).

I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

Be thou faithful unto death,
and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

I don’t anticipate another school diploma in my lifetime, but I do look forward to my final graduation. (I wonder if I’ll need a mortarboard with my white robe?)
  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

So Simple



Anyone who has been a Christian for any amount of time will know that there are passages in the Bible that are easy to comprehend. Other passages stump even the theologians.

It’s not hard at all to understand the Ten Commandments. They are straightforward. It’s not hard to understand passages about marriage and family, such as Ephesians 5-6. It’s not difficult to figure out how we should love other Christians, how we should treat our enemies, etc. The Bible is full of easy, practical instruction for any life situation.

Salvation itself is simple: Jesus paid the price for my sin when He died on the cross. He gives me eternal life because I cried out to Him to save me from my sins. Jesus offered salvation to me, and I received it in faith. The Bible teaches me I can know I am saved. The Bible says Jesus gives eternal life.

So, why do we complicate things?

Why don’t we read the Bible, understand what’s plain to us, and then obey it? The author Mark Twain famously said, “It’s not what I Don’t understand about the Bible that bothers me; it’s what I Do understand.”

Which Scriptures are easily understood?

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17):
1. Have no gods before God.
2. Don’t make idols.
3. Don’t take God’s name in vain.
4. Keep the Sabbath holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. Do not kill.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not lie about anyone.
10. Do not covet anything that is not yours.


God’s plan for marriage and family:
  • Husbands—Love and honor your wife. (Ephesians 5:25-; Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7)
  • Wives—Respect, love, and yield to your husband. (Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:4; 1 Peter 3:1)
  • Children—Honor and obey your parents. (Ephesians 6:1-3)

The role of women in the church:
  • Hospitality. 1 Timothy 3:2 (She helps her husband in this.)
  • Mentoring younger women. Titus 2:3-5
  • Keeping quiet in general meetings and not teaching men. 1 Corinthians 14:34; 1 Timothy 2:11-12

Christians are to:
  • Love other Christians. (John 13:34; 15:12, 17; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 4:7)
  • Help other Christians bear their burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
  • Make every effort to get along with others. (Romans 12:18)
  • Do good to their enemies and leave vengeance to the Lord. (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27, 35; Romans 12:19-21)
  • Treat others as they would like to be treated. (Luke 6:31)
  • Let the Bible infuse your life. (John 17:17)
  • Pray always. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Encourage others by word and song. (Colossians 3:16)
  • Act like Christ followers. (2 Corinthians 2:15; Ephesians 5:1)
  • Glorify God in everything. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 10:31)  . . . And much more.


If you read back over my simple lists, I imagine you find at least one area you can work on. I know I do!

So, why do we complicate our lives by trying to find deep, obscure truths (which is okay), when all the time, there are plenty of concepts we easily understand? Isn’t it great that God didn’t make things hard?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that ye may prove what is that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:1-2).

God bless you!

Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Children of Rape

Photo courtesy of: marin, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Many years ago, I sat in a church nursery rocking my baby girl. Next to me, another mother rocked her beautiful baby. The teenage mother looked lovingly into the face of her precious child.

This mother’s parents wanted my husband and me to understand about their daughter. They had taken every precaution to protect her, but the worst thing possible had happened. She was snatched, gang raped, and later she learned she was expecting a baby—this beautiful little one.

The only difference between my baby and hers was that I’d been married several years. My baby was conceived in love, while hers was the result of a horrible violation. But the babies . . . both had sweet little faces, precious little hands, toes, and fingers. Each needed quieted, and each needed rocking. There was no difference in our babies. None at all.

Since then, I’ve read several testimonies by women who had babies after being raped. I’ve also read some articles written by adults who were conceived in rape and were thankful their mothers gave them life.

Just recently, I read of a twelve-year-old who conceived a child after being violated, and she asked the doctor if she would forget the rape if she aborted her child. Her doctor truthfully told her “no.” She decided to have her lovely daughter and has no regrets.

While the circumstances of conception were the worst possible, a baby is still a baby. When born, the baby will not have had any traumatic experience. It will be an innocent, precious baby, just like every other baby.

I don’t understand why any government would permit abortion at any time or under any circumstances. I believe abortion is murder, no matter what. I also don’t understand why some governments distinguish between children of rape and children conceived in lust or marriage. Why would it ever be permissible to kill an unborn child? Whom are they trying to help? 

  • Will the mother do better without her child after experiencing another painful loss by abortion? I don’t think so.
  • The baby is its mother’s child even though the father is absent.
  • Is a child better off being dead (!!!!) than having a chance at life?
  • Wouldn’t the child be thankful to his mother for letting him be born? Isn’t life always better than death?

Consider these verses:

  • Exodus 20:13Thou shalt not kill.
  • Psalm 22:10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly. God cares about babies even before they’re born.
  • Psalm 71:6By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. Again, God cares about babies in the womb and helps mothers give birth.
  • Psalm 127:3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Notice there are no qualifications about how the child was conceived. Every child is a gift.
  • Psalm 139:13-17—For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! God designed the body of every child individually from the moment of his conception.

Rape is a horrible violation. If the girl or woman learns she is expecting a baby as a result, one can only imagine it would be traumatic. But, as with my friend, I believe that God can help the mother to love her precious little child.

I believe in life and in the Giver of life.

Here are a few true stories for your consideration:


Any thoughts you’d like to share?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Whom Are We Trying to Impress?

Photo courtesy of: Serge Bertasius Photography, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Have you ever been in a group of women and just listened to the chatter, instead of participating? It’s a fun experiment. You hear a variety of subject matter, and it probably includes:

  • Children
  • Fashion
  • Body weight
  • Shopping and prices
  • Food and recipes
  • Projects at home

And, you know what? Women usually try to impress other women.

“Junior was first in his class in math.”

“Really? My Judith was first in English grammar.”

“Little Phillip is playing the piano in State this year.”

And on it goes!

“I’ve lost 25 pounds in two months, using the Smith-Jones Diet. I am feeling soooo much better.”

“Oooooh, I am so jealous! I keep losing the same five pounds over and over again!” Laughter.

“I drink a cocktail of cider vinegar and apple juice each morning, and the pounds just fall off.”

“I’m going out to go buy some apple juice this afternoon!”

Etcetera.

“I only paid $60 for this haircut. Do you like it?”

“You look SO cute! I wish I could wear that style. LOVE that color, too.”

. . . And more chitchat about hair, nails, jewelry, and fashion.

So, are women trying to impress men? I don’t think so. Men notice if we look nice, and they care if Junior does well in school, but I really don’t think you’d find men comparing manicures and hairdos. They don’t want to talk about weight. They don’t usually care about what other guys wear, either.

I think women try to impress other women. We acutely feel the scrutiny of other women. We care.

  • Do we look stylish enough?
  • Do we look pretty to those around us?
  • Do we come across as “on top of things”?
  • Do our children perform as well as other people’s children?
  • What is our value?

I believe that this tendency to try to impress other women is probably something that has always been going on. It seems normal.

But, is it necessary?

There’s a Bible verse that comes to mind, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, (they) are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). The context is about doctrinal positions and conflicts between leaders in the church. This isn’t about women comparing hairstyles! (We need to interpret Scripture in its context.)

There are some biblical principles, though, that apply to our subject.

  • For Christians, our identity is in Christ. It’s not about us. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
  • For the Christian woman, her meditation is in the Word, which guides her life. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2).
  • The law of the Lord is humility, not competition. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3).

The woman who walks with God is more concerned about what God thinks than what anyone else thinks about her. A truly godly woman is selfless. This doesn’t mean that she’s slovenly about her appearance or that she doesn’t care about doing things well. She simply desires to please God more than people. Pleasing God means that she strives for excellence in every area of her life. She also reads the Bible wanting to know and obey God’s will.

The Psalmist put it this way: Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end (Psalm 119:33). Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes (Psalm 119:68). He really wanted to know what God’s will was, so that he could do it.

I think that, if we (speaking to women) truly desire to please the Lord, our focus will be more on God than on people. Our conversation will be more about spiritual ideas than things and non-important fluff. We will, of course, continue to talk about our families, food, and fashion, as those are things women care about. But, I believe those things will be spoken about in a way that pleases God. There won’t be any competition or trying to impress. We don’t feel a need to “keep up with” anyone. Our only desire is to please God and be the women God wants us to be.

Any thoughts? Please feel free to share.