Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Misconception #1 - The Dresser

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Misconception #1: the dresser
You have probably seen her before. She is primly dressed in one of those tent-like dresses, covered from head-to-toe in an ugly fabric. She sits all day reading her Bible and grimly quoting Scriptures. People would say that she is a good Bible memorizer, but doesn’t know how to appropriately live out what she is speaking.


So, the other week we talked briefly about three of the major misconceptions surrounding Biblical womanhood.  Today we are going to take a look at what God says about Misconception #1, the Dresser.

The Dresser tends to get stuck on the appearance of things.  She wants to look as if she knows the Bible and therefore will tend to look the part of a Biblical woman...at least, what some think is characteristic of a Biblical woman  Most likely she will be able to spout off many Bible verses, but something really important is actually missing from her life - genuinely loving the Lord and His book and truly desiring to live it out and serve Him.

The Bible says that as followers of Christ, we are adopted into His family, as Romans 8:14-16 shares:
"For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God," 
                 
This adoption thing is not something that we can earn - God is the one who does the saving and redeeming, with our part being one of repentance and responding to Him.  This is one of the things the Dresser needs to understand (and those who think she is characteristic of a Biblical woman) - that she doesn't need to try to earn God's favor, because His favor is already with her (adoption is definitely proof of this!).
The Dresser also appears to "have it all together" - because on the outside she looks the part of a Biblical woman. In fact, many might say that is what Biblical womanhood is all about - looking so pious and modest and reading the Bible all day long. There are several problems with this, one being that though she is reading God's precious Word, she is really not letting it go any further than mere knowledge. She isn't living it out, but just reading it and stopping there.
 Let's take a look at what the Scriptures have to say about this. James 2:14-18 says,
"What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,' and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.
But someone may well say, 'You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.'"

The Dresser wears tent-like dresses in an ugly fabric because she thinks that she will look "modest". She may not realize this, but God doesn't require her to wear not-so-pretty clothes. Similarly, the Dresser needs to realize that God does not prescribe such measures. In fact, He is the one who created beauty all around us and took the time and thought to create it, so we don't need to get all caught up in looking this way. Perhaps she is attempting to earn God's favor by dressing so extremely. Whatever the case, she needn't take such drastic measures. As John 3:16 and Romans 5:8-9 say, we are already loved.

 Instead, the Dresser needs to come to a place where she dresses modestly and femininely but also feels free to dress beautifully and gracefully. Biblical womanhood is not about appearing "to have it all together" or wearing ugly clothing. What it is about is having a transforming relationship with God that leads one to exhibit His love.

Basically, girls, it all boils down to this - where is your heart? Are you focusing on appearances and how you look all the time, like the Dresser? Are you making sure others think well of you by quoting as many Bible verses as you can in front of them? Or are you praying and seeking God's heart on things like dress and living out your faith? Are you taking hold of promises like James 2:14-18 and Romans 8:14-16? A girl on a Journey towards Biblical womanhood is one who is actively seeking Christ and His ways. Are you?

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