Friday, April 4, 2014

Gray areas Part 2 (1 Peter 3:2-5, Deut. 22:5, Proverbs 31:10-31)

"50's car with Photoshop"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

The day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I got this amazing joy!  Once I figured out how to read the Bible, I fell in love with God and all the people in it.  As time passed and my faith grew, I wanted to act like a lady.  It became very important to me to become beautiful on the inside.  I got really polite, which worried my parents, hahaha.  Honestly, I still struggle with some of the bad habits I picked up as a teenager.  Still can't claim perfection.  For someone who's never been in Church everything is a gray area.  A gray area is confusing, foggy, not clearly defined or absolute things.

When I was at Grand Canyon College (a Southern Baptist school that's now a University), I met an older Dutch woman.  I was a new Christian.  I saw the cross she wore, and said, "Look I have a cross too!"

It really hurt when she said, "It's not enough to wear these things you know."

I did know.  But I was a new Christian and didn't feel real confident.  Actually, confidence has always been a challenge for me.  I tend to close my eyes and jump a lot!  Thankfully God has always caught me and I've been able to do some awesome stuff.  When you come from a rough background and go to Church, it can be so intimidating.  At first, I felt like crawling under the pew instead of sitting on it.  Writing this reminds me of how sensitive new Christians feel.  We know how to ride the bike (be a Christian), they are falling all over the place like we did at first.  Good to keep that in mind.

The Apostle Peter wrote this:
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. (NIV, 1 Peter 3:2-5)
What this says to me is that our beauty can not come from outward jewelry, clothing, make-up or fancy hair.  It's true.  The most beautiful women in the world are kind, compassionate, and generous.  We see so many movie stars in America who seem so beautiful on the outside.  Some eventually wind up in alcoholism, trouble, or jail.  It's so sad.  Pretending to be someone other than yourself must be very difficult.  We all get lost sometimes.  Sometimes we forget who we are.

Then there's this verse:
A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. Deuteronomy 22:5
God loves to see women and men dressed appropriately.  I like to see my husband dressed in his suit, tie, and jacket.  I feel so blessed being with him.  He loves seeing me in dresses with make-up and perfume once in awhile.  It's good isn't it?  God's ways are always best.  When I paint, I put on scrubs (I've always been clumsy).  It's what's on the inside that makes us most beautiful.

So what's a girl to do?  What is right anyway?  Women work as police now, soldiers, doctors, surgeons.  In those roles they need to wear uniforms that are similar to men's.  Actually the description of a virtuous wife describes a lot of women in our day.  Some women are a lot better than we realize : )  I am both humbled and excited to read about the virtuous wife.  She's a business woman like me!

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.
(Proverbs 31:10-31 NKJV)
Sometimes just reading the Bible makes things not so gray doesn't it?  And large text is good for those of us who need reading glasses too : )


  1. Oh these gray areas!
    They have been the cause of so much grumbling within the church!
    When I think of modesty, I think of two things...Cover your body so as to not draw unwanted attention, and do not dress in such a way with too much bling as to not draw attention to yourself and away from God...and the inner beauty that he desires us to have.
    This is where the church gets out the measuring tape...and sometimes even write into their church laws how long a skirt must be...yet do nothing about the ladies who jingle and jangle and sparkle so much that you never hear a word that they say, and if you did it would be all about them and nothing about the lord! God hates pride, and this kind of immodesty that Paul describes is just that.
    If a woman learns of Jesus and truly loves him she will want to be like him in every area of her life including her outward apparel etc...This should be something very personal between her and the Lord.
    When I worked, I had to wear heavy work boots and jeans and carried a clipboard and measuring wheel through heavy mud, concrete and sand...I am sure I did not walk very ladylike sometime :O
    But the way I conducted myself regardless of my clothing was always with modesty...covering up well, and not trying to attract the males that were at the jobsites with too much makeup and stuff either.
    Very good lessons to be found in this post.
    With love~ Lisa

  2. Hi Lisa these are great comments : ) Thanks. I agree dressing modestly is really common sense. When I worked in an office as a Senior Member of the Engineering Staff I felt obligated to dress professionally- suits and clothes that match. Most women wore earrings. Measuring skirt lengths and sleeves is a bit silly in my mind. Pride goes before destruction and haughty spirit before the fall of man. Proverbs 16:18 Again it comes back to being helpful and kind.

    I tend to think blending in with clothes is a good idea. If your job requires a uniform or heavy boots then that's that. It doesn't make us dressing like men as much as it helps us stay safe on the job. It would be really embarrassing to get stuck in the mud wearing high heals because I want to look lady like wouldn't it?

    It really is about attitude isn't it. Not cutting men down to make ourselves look smarter or tougher is so important and visa versa. Speaking appropriately is too. Our husbands should also feel good going places with us. But if I'm out shoveling snow, I want my thermal underwear, big boots and a good shovel. Plus a down jacket! Maybe we should include appropriate clothes for the job.

    So glad to see you out again : ) God bless! Love ya! Karen