The apostle Peter writes, "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." (1 Pet 3: 3, 4).
Here, Peter seems to be forbidding the wearing of ornaments or fine clothes. In the passage, does he mean that wearing of gold, braiding of hair, and putting on fine clothes are wrong?
I don't believe so. Peter is talking about an attitude in life here. I see no sin in wearing fine clothes or ornaments. We all have a right to look clean or attractive. God wants us to be beautiful, happy, and free.
The only sin that I see Peter is trying to point out here can be the placing of one's obsession on these. Some women are simply too preoccupied or overly focused with their external appearance. They allowed themselves to get under bondage.
A Christian woman's dress need not be ugly or so cheap. It simply should not be "fleshly" or extravagant. In 1 Timothy 2:9, the apostle Paul exhorted the women to "dress modestly, with decency and propriety ..." A woman must not spend money needlessly on extravagant things which could be spent meeting essential family needs or in service to others in distress.
Of course, God makes us free to follow our own conscience as we seek Him about our individual practice. Each individual situation can be unique or different. But all the time there will be at our hearts the tug of the Holy Spirit for us to be more focused on inner rather than outward beauty.
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