The Harm in Worldly Finery

The Harm in Worldly Finery

“Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts” (Isaiah 3:16, 17).

These women were the opposite of modest. They were proud and evil. Matthew Henry wrote this about them. “Let them know that God notices the folly and vanity of proud women, even of their dress. The punishments threatened answered the sin. Loathsome diseases often are the just punishment of pride. It is not material to ask what sort of ornaments they wore; many of these things, if they had not been in fashion, would have been ridiculed then as now. Their fashions differed much from those of our times, but human nature is the same. Wasting time and money, to the neglect of piety, charity, and even of justice, displease the Lord. Many professors at the present day, seem to think there is no harm in worldly finery; but were it not a great evil, would the Holy Spirit have taught the prophet to expose it so fully?” 

God makes it very clear to us throughout His Word what He values and what He hates. We know He hates pride and now we know that He hates worldly finery. There are many verses in the Word about the love of money and how we are not to serve money but God alone. “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).

Part of pride and loving money is using it to draw others’ attention towards ourselves. He commands that women be shamefaced (“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” – 1 Timothy 2:9) which means “having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one’s merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.” This not only speaks about our clothing but everything else in our lives and is the complete opposite of the daughters of Zion. Strive to be modest in all areas!

Besides being modest in how we clothe ourselves; modesty means being modest in how much money we spend on ourselves. We don’t need the latest and greatest fashions since this world isn’t our home. We are strangers and aliens just passing through and there are more important things to spend our money on than fancy clothes and the vanities of this life. Besides, how many clothes do you really enjoy wearing? I have heard that 10% of the clothes that people own are worn 90% of the time!

We went to Wisconsin this past summer and were planning on staying there for two and a half weeks so I packed enough clothes for that in one suitcase, along with makeup, vitamins, food, pillows, and only brought two pairs of shoes. We ended up staying almost seven weeks and I did great with the amount of clothes I had. It was so easy to decide what to wear each day and we had so fewer clothes to clean! Many of us have way more than we need and so give away everything you don’t use or wear and stop buying stuff.

We are to be “free from ostentation or showy extravagance” in everything! This includes in the homes we live in. Instead of spending a fortune on making our homes into model homes, God calls us to be generous and help those in need. Our homes don’t need to be constantly updated to look exactly like the homes you see remodeled on the television. (I know many of you do a lot of it on your own and frugally. It mostly comes down to a heart issue. Where is your heart? Are you using your money to keep up with the Jones or to bring glory to the Lord? Does your gorgeous, expensive home sit empty all day or is your home a place of ministry to your family and others?) If you have a roof over your head, food in your refrigerator, running hot water, a comfortable bed, and clothes on your back, you are wealthier than most of the world and even the kings of old. Be thankful and content living modestly in your home.

Modesty also means “having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior and speech.” Act decently in all that you do since others are watching you, especially your children; speak decently to everyone since no unwholesome word should ever come from our mouths (Ephesians 4:29). Don’t flirt with other men but be faithful to your husband.

Live contently on a limited or moderate amount of money your husband makes. Save money by showing self-restraint in eating a modest amount of food. Don’t be a glutton and waste food, plus being harmful to your health. Be modest in your exercise. Yes, exercise is beneficial and needed but it doesn’t have to be in the extreme. Be modest in the amount of sleep you get. You don’t need a ton of sleep or you will become lazy and waste precious daylight to get your work done (Proverbs 24:33). Be modest in how many clothes, makeup, perfume, and stuff you own. Don’t store your treasures (worldly finery) on earth since they can draw your heart away from the Lord and the things of this world will all burn one day. Store your treasures in heaven where they belong!

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

14 thoughts on “The Harm in Worldly Finery

  1. A key topic Lori. And, I encourage all to search the word “ease” in scripture as it closely aligns with wealth and haught that you speak of.

    Isaiah 32:9-11 “Rise up ye women who are at EASE; hear my voice, ye careless [complacent] daughters; give ear to my speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubles, ye careless women: for the vintage [goods] shall fail you…. Tremble, ye women that are at EASE; be troubled you careless ones: strip you and make you bare, and gird sackcloth…” [‘ease’ meaning “a haughty security” in Strong’s 7600 Heb]

    Amos 6:1: “Woe to them that are at EASE in Zion…”

    Ezek 23:42 “And a voice of a multitude being at EASE was with her [the harlot of the nations]…”

    And relating to our abundance: “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence.” Ezek 28:16. We actually take on a greed that leads to a violent nature in us.

    “Ye have lived in pleasure [ease] on the earth …as in a day of slaughter.” James5:5

    “For the love of money is the root of all evil [to those who have] erred from the faith” 1Tim6:10, smugly ignoring God.

    Ease is not a characteristic of God. And it is interesting how ‘ease’ and ‘softness’ are tied together: “Effeminate” means ‘soft’ in Greek “malakos” = 3120G soft, less vitality and strength or less mental or moral vigor, a debility or disease; Webster’s: ‘effeminate’ = “unmanly, weakness, or LOVE OF EASE.” “Effeminate” [soft] in 1 Cor 6:9 is lumped in with liars, adulterers, idolaters, thieves, coveters, drunks, partiers, extortionists.

    We can’t see clearly when we are at ease: ‘rich young ruler.’ The more we acquire the harder it is to respond to Jesus’ when He says ‘Sell all you have and come follow me.” We’ll walk away from Him. We become Fat and Happy and Dead: “Thy children have forsaken me ….when I have fed them to the full, they then committed adultery …in the harlots houses.” Jer5:8 …..with many idols.

    Luke 12:19 “And I will say to my soul “…take thine ease, eat drink, and be merry.” But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night they soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

    I suggest that comfortable Christianity is soon to be over. Technology in western culture has been a mixed blessing and in the end a curse [“We live under the curse of plenty” – Churchill] as we have settled into an ease that has caused us to stand for nothing but immediate comfort and entertainment and feel-good. Just how much discomfort can and should we take out of life?

    Finally, I encourage all to read further into your quote in Isaiah 3, up thru 4:1: what happens in all this haught and concocted beauty of women?: “instead of sweet smell there shall be stink …and baldness …and men shall fall by the sword …and seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel”…women will have to live alone and support themselves; oh so true these last decades.

    Ease and wealth make us dissatisfied and unthankful and we reject God. But simplicity in life gives us more humility and points us back to our wonderful and simple and glorious God.

  2. Why do women wear makeup and jewerly? Why do they feel the need to try and improve on Gods work? Do you not love yourself as God has made you? Why is it that women feel they can not leave their homes without covering their faces with a false mask ( makeup) and their bodies with finery, when men have never been subjected to this? Would God reconize you his child, his creation covered up in all that? I think this is the work of the devil that has worked his way into each one to ever so slowly pull you away from God. Does your husband not love you without the makeup and jewelry, does he feel you need more improvement from Gods own work? Does the world look down on you if you dare leave home without it?

  3. Does your husband not love you without the makeup and jewelry, does he feel you need more improvement from Gods own work?

    If a husband does desire this of his wife, what is being offered as her suggested response?

  4. Hi there, Sonja. I don’t know about other ladies but I love using makeup; I love the artistic side of it. That said, I am blessed that my precious Hubby loves me with or without it. Women have used makeup for thousands of years. I don’t hate the way I look without it; however I do enjoy wearing it! It is the same with clothing; I guess I could get around in jeans and a T-shirt but my Hubby loves me in skirts and nice tops and I enjoy wearing things that make me feel pretty and girly – I think most women do. ?
    I do normally get my nails done fortnightly (not at present as I am painting furniture and putting in a garden) but I must say, with all I do for my family, I do enjoy that little bit of pamper time. ?
    I am a wife, mama and carer. Our son, Joshua, has many disabilities (Autism, Brain-damage, Epilepsy just to name a few) I also have a Hubby with many disabilities (Autism, daggy sense of humour, has trouble putting his socks on, etc – I love you Honey), so very little of my life is about me and I am fine with that. I adore them both and love serving them in my God given role.? However my makeup time, nail time and exercise time bless me no end, and give me just a bit of time to clear my head and order my day. I have never thought of it as not being happy with my appearance or not being happy with how God made me, but as me just being me.☺
    I believe God would recognize me anywhere, with or without makeup, as He looks at my heart and knows me by name. I am His child, bought with the precious Blood of Jesus. My name is carved in His hand. ?
    I don’t feel that makeup has pulled me away from God at all because the Bible tells us He has given us all things to richly enjoy!
    1 Timothy 6:17
    Charge them that are rich in this present age, that they be not haughty, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.
    As long as we don’t behave proudly or trust in these things they are okay.
    I have lately left my home without makeup quite a bit as I have not been too well, and in all honesty, as long as my Hubby is happy with me, I really don’t care what the world thinks. As long as they see Jesus through me in my conduct and kindness towards them, that is all the matters to me.?
    I love anything from flowers in my hair, to ribbons in my hair, makeup, pretty dresses… anything that makes me feel like a woman; and as long as I let Jesus shine through my smile and actions, I do believe that is fine.
    I hope your day is going well and God bless and keep you and yours.
    Jilly ???

  5. Hi there, Terry. I am very blessed as my precious Hubby loves me with or without makeup.? It is me that gets joy out of wearing it. I enjoy the artistic part of putting it on, mixing colours and the end result. ?I am a really girly girl. As I said to Sonja, I really enjoy anything that is pretty and feminie; my favourite colour is pink.? I love making and wearing jewellery, especially brooches.
    I am not too sure how to answer the last part of your post as I have never thought of needing to get something in return for wearing makeup, jewellery… as it is something I myself enjoy.? But that said, if Antony wanted me to wear it all and I didn’t want to, I would still do it out of respect and love for him. ? My belief is that I need to do the things I did to attract my Hubby in the first place, like dressing nicely, wearing my hair nicely, makeup, and dressing feminine. ?I have always felt very sad for men whose wives dressed the part to win them and then, when they have their man, they let themselves go; that really saddens me. ?All of that said, I do believe that the inward woman is what is of utmost importance; ?however, looking after the outside has never hurt anyone either.

  6. Hi, Jilly. I suspect most husbands love their wives with or without makeup. Mine certainly loves me with or without it.

    However, he does like to give me gifts of nice jewelry, and I’m not really even a jewelry loving type of woman. It’s one of the ways he shows love, by giving me nice things, such as the gold earrings he bought me for Christmas.

    Further, it’s not really about the finery or being showy. Some husbands enjoy having their wives put in a little extra effort to look nice for them, and what that looks like is up to the husband, and the lines between what is acceptable or crosses over into “worldly finery” is something he needs to hash out with God and with his wife, being keenly attuned to heart motivations.

    It is just one of those questions I keep finding myself asking here again and again because there are very good, excellent men, who love the Lord, their wives, and their families, yet don’t fit neatly into a rigid box of propriety or priorities as set up by…whoever. Yet, their wives read for exhortation and encouragement and come away tempted to view their godly man in a negative light because he likes it when she wears makeup or heels, or what have you.

    This is the formula I think which works best:
    Extremely clear, repetitive teaching about submission to husbands > one verse

    And so…if your husband likes makeup and gold earrings, you wear the makeup and gold earrings. Or whatever. Furthermore, jewelry is Biblical, and you can find verses which paint it in a positive light specifically in the context of a bride adorned for her husband.

  7. Not when there’s verses like this, Terry: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” (1 Timothy 2:9). I am going to teach all of godly womanhood and what God requires of them.

  8. Lori, I hope you don’t mind me asking but what do you think of Christian woman who have no problem wearing bikini’s? Posting on facebook or showing cleavage? Do they really just not think about it or do you think they really want to show off?

  9. There is a lot in the bible regarding vanity, which is the love of the devil. This isn’t a matter of what your husband desires of you, I would guess you were already dressed in all the wordly finery when he first laid eyes on you because that is what the devil of vanity had you already doing even before you were old enough to date. Would he have noticed you and been drawn to you without all the make up and jewelry on? Why would a husband desire for his wife to get all made up – so he can brag to the world to look at my trophy wife? Why would he want you dressed to attract attention from other men when you are his wife? Look around at how young these little girls want to start putting on make up and piercing their bodies, and why do they want to do this? To attract the attention of the boys or for what you say just because its fun and makes you feel pretty. There is my question again why don’t you feel beautiful just the way God made you? And why aren’t you teaching your young daughters this at a young age? They are beautiful just as God made them!

  10. Still…no one has answered my question about submission.

    Or maybe you have. Are you saying that this issue is worthy of “godly rebellion” for the wife whose husband may enjoy his wife in lip gloss or gold earrings? If that is what you mean then just say so in the interest of clarity for the women being taught here.

    I am not confused on the matter. I submit to mine in all things not sin. But obfuscating and questions does nit help wives who come here for instruction. This is too serious an issue not to be crystal clear.

  11. Lip gloss and gold earrings I am sure are fine, Terry, so is some mascara, foundation, eye shadow, etc., in my opinion. Christian women are to be shamefaced, however, and not do this to draw attention to ourselves because of the amount of makeup and jewelry we wear.

    According to the Word, we should be known for our good works, not by what we look like or wear. Of course, obey your husband in this area. He is the one ultimately responsible if you are in submission to him.

  12. Sorry, but with sleep apnea, I need all the sleep I can get. Sleep as a modesty issue seems really bizarre to me. I can’t function and take care of my family and work full time if I don’t get enough sleep. I think it’s a bit more important than taking makeup on a trip. I don’t watch TV at all so I doubt laziness will get me.

  13. The measure should be what blocks us from heaven. Our walk with Christ is precious and He is a Holy God. Makeup has an origin that is terribly unholy. If you heard of testimonies of those were satanists, witch doctors, etc.;they explain that make up is manufactured in the marine kingdom with bodies of the dead. The problem for us Christians is that we are totally unaware of what belongs to God and what belongs or come from Satan. The battle is fierce!!!! We really have to let go of the world and cling fervently to Christ, who is our Savior. Our husband’s desire is not going to save us from wlthe consequences of what is unholy before a Holy God. Remember, Satan wants us to go to hell and trillions of things are done to lead us there. We need to seek the Holy Spirit for guidance, decernment, and revelation, let’s not trust our opinions.
    I have become more clear theore I have studied the Word and hearing how the enemy works. How does anybody in war defeat the enemy without knowing their tactics. Research: Marine Kingdom and makeup , perfume, fashion and jewelry. It will sadly and sorrowfully open your eyes and see what it means to walk with Christ on His Narrow Path. Withuch love and desire for us all to reach Heaven and fellowship with our Savior.

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