Celebrating Biblical Womanhood: Philosophies of Beauty in Conflict -- By: Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 09:2 (Fall 2004)
Article: Celebrating Biblical Womanhood: Philosophies of Beauty in Conflict
Author: Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Celebrating Biblical Womanhood: Philosophies of Beauty in Conflict1

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Host of the Revive Our Hearts Radio Program, Buchanan, Michigan

[Editor’s Note: The following is the third in a series of columns on the issue of modesty by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This series originally aired as a three week radio broadcast, beginning June 16, 2003. Nancy’s radio program—”Revive Our Hearts”—is heard on more than 250 stations.]

In preparation for this series on modesty I purchased several popular women’s and teen magazines, most of which I was not familiar with. I spent a few days just leafing through these magazines, trying to get a flavor for what women are being exposed to today. And I have to tell you that I had a real awakening.

In fact, after spending those hours I was much more sympathetic to why it is such a challenge for young women today to appreciate the value of modesty and to want to dress modestly or even to have any clue of what it means to dress modestly—because there are so few examples in our culture of what modesty looks like. I also realized why so many Christian women today think they are modest—because in comparison with Seventeen magazine or Cosmopolitan, they are. The problem is that we’ve been using the wrong standard to determine what’s modest.

We need to understand the difference between the world’s philosophy of clothing and appearance and the Christian philosophy, based on the Word of God. You see, our outward appearance—whether it’s the women in those magazines or the women in your church or your own choices—reveals a way of thinking. It reveals a philosophy; it reveals what women truly believe.

For example, the world promotes the philosophy that beauty is physical and external, whereas the Word of God helps us to understand that beauty is fundamentally spiritual, and therefore, internal. Now, that doesn’t mean that there’s no such thing as external or physical beauty. Some women possess unusual physical beauty. But we recognize that the heart of beauty is something that is internal and spiritual.

The world’s philosophy of the body and clothing is that the body is all-important, and that the spirit is either secondary or simply doesn’t exist. The Christian has a different philosophy. She understands that our earthly bodies are temporal—they are going to deteriorate. No matter how much we fight it, our bodies are going to die. The wise Christian recognizes that the spirit of a person is what really matters.

The woman who adopts the world’s philosophy, believes that her body is her identity. It becomes th...

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