I admit it. I am a woman who has an obsession with clothes. I have a closet full of clothing, and I like to look fashionable and “cute.” However, my outside appearance, my put-together attire, doesn’t often match what I feel on the inside. Yet, I still worry about what I look like, and how my external appearance looks to others.
A few years ago I started a fashion blog. I chronicled all the outfits I wore on a daily basis. I plastered on a smile, posed for the camera, and shared with the world just how “put-together” I appeared on the outside. Although fashion is a part of who I am, a part of my internal make up, and one of my passions, the painted on smiles and happy appearances were not me. I haven’t posted a picture or outfit on that first blog of mine in over a year, and it was during my blogging hiatus I began to reflect on what truly makes a woman “fashionable.”
“The Lord does not look at the thing man looks at. Man looks at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
I finally realized that God does not care about my shoes, he does not care whether my outfit looks like I stepped off the pages of a J. Crew catalog. What God cares about has nothing to do with my outward appearance. Still, many days I find myself shedding my nice layer of clothing, the clothing I use to hopefully cover up all the ugliness I was hiding on the inside. The clothing I use to hide all the parts I don’t want others to see.
She is clothed in fine linen and purple. Proverbs 31:22
I wonder how many other women, when reading about the righteous woman described in Proverbs 31, get stuck on verse 22, and fail to take note of the rest of the passage, the verses that indicate the clothes about which God really cares:
She is clothed with strength and dignity; She can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:25-26
Strength, dignity, laughter, wisdom, and instruction come not with the price of fancy clothes, but with complete reliance on Him, honesty with God and others, and with a heart that seeks Him alone, and not the approval of the world around us. It means shedding our layers of fine clothing, and sometimes having to expose the things in our hearts and lives that just are not that “fashionable,” and showing the world that we are not all as “put-together” as our outside appearances may lead others to believe. It is also relinquishing the idea that a woman of true character, a woman after God’s heart, must be a woman that looked like she stepped off a runway.
Shedding our layers of fine clothing, and letting others and God see our true hearts, does not mean that we need to let ourselves go. We can still adorn ourselves with perfectly accessorized ensembles, but with the realization that only God can make us completely “put-together,” something even the finest runway outfit will never be able to do!