Biblical Inspiration: 1 Peter 3 v3-4

From the very start of Counter-Cultural. Counter-Couture, I’ve made it fairly clear that a big part of my style inspiration for dressing modestly comes from my faith as a Christian. Unsurprisingly then, over the years, I’ve hunted out verses in the Bible for advice on how to dress so that I might honour God without compromising on style. I’ve found some of them challenging, and loving to share a good challenge thought I would share them with you lovely people.

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
1 Peter 3 v3-4 (The New Living Translation)
This is one of the most challenging paragraphs I’ve found in the Bible in regards to style, fashion and honouring God. It’s particularly challenging if, like myself, you’re a bit of a magpie and drawn to all things shiny. At first glimpse it looks like Peter is advising women to not worry about what they look like at all. After all, isn’t being concerned about fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry and beautiful clothes what style is all about? Of course we worry about how we look!
But don’t crucifixes and crosses count as expensive jewelery? source:
I would like to propose a different take on this piece of scripture. Please feel free to disagree as this may be me finding ways around so that I can wear my necklaces etc. But I think too much emphasis can be put on the ‘Don’t‘ of verse 3. Take a look at verse 4. It’s a whole lot more positive, suggesting that we should be concerning ourselves with the beauty that God has given us. You could even read ‘the beauty that comes from within‘ as a person’s personality and who they truly are.

But how do these two verses fit together? You could take it to mean that we shouldn’t bother caring about our appearance and just focus on God and the beauty He has given us. But I don’t think that is what Peter meant. I think Peter is actually talking about priorities and where God fits in. He says ‘Don’t be concerned‘, not ‘Don’t care’. So we can still care about how we look but when we become concerned, a.k.a worrying about it, our image has become our main focus and concern. And that is where God should be. God, our Creator and King, should be our main concern and therefore clothing ourselves to honour Him our priority. As soon as looking stylish/fashionable becomes more important, we have replaced God with clothes. And that just seems a bit foolish to me.

So I’m going to continue to wear nice clothes and jewelery while keeping my hair looking good. I’m just going to keep an eye on where my focus is… The Bible or the wardrobe.

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