Jewels, Lipstick and Faith: A Christian Perspective on Adornments

Turn on the TV or flick through a glossy magazine and you’re bombarded with visions of flamboyant jewelry, expertly coiffed hairdos, and flawlessly applied makeup. The beauty industry, in 2021, alone accounted for a staggering $511 billion, while personal jewelry spending reached $94.6 billion. However, for those who walk in faith, a question looms: What is the Christian perspective on jewelry and makeup?

Scanning the pages of the Holy Bible, one might be hard-pressed to find a direct edict concerning makeup and jewelry. Indeed, opinions among faithful followers vary widely on the topic. So, let’s delve into the scriptures for a bit of clarity.

Ancient adornments are far from absent in the Good Book. Take, for instance, the account in Genesis 24 where Isaac presented Rebekah with two gold bracelets, a gold nose ring, and an assortment of other precious jewelry. Likewise, Esther, the courageous queen who risked her life to save her people, underwent a full year of beauty treatments, including makeup, to meet her king (Esther 2:12). The Bible even describes God’s loving care for His people as a husband adorning his beloved wife with beautiful jewels (Ezekiel 16:9-13).

However, a different tone emerges in other biblical passages. In 2 Kings 9:30-33, the ill-fated queen Jezebel applied makeup and adorned her hair shortly before her demise. Elsewhere, in Jeremiah 4:30 and Ezekiel 23, God’s people are compared to a woman vainly beautifying herself as a metaphor for their sinful behaviors.

Even in the New Testament, the subject is broached. Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and Peter in 1 Peter 3:3-4 both express that Christian women should prioritize their good deeds and internal beauty over external adornments.

Does this mean wearing makeup or jewelry is a sin? The Bible does not explicitly label these as sinful practices. It’s important to remember that, while the wicked Jezebel wore jewelry, so did virtuous women like Rebekah and Esther. Similarly, Jerusalem, compared to a prostitute, adorned herself with makeup and jewels but also bathed and sat on a sofa, activities not inherently sinful.

The critical message lies in the intent behind outer beauty. There’s nothing inherently wrong with adorning ourselves to accentuate our external beauty. It crosses the line when these enhancements are used for manipulation, seduction, or become an idol. The Bible underscores that the physical world, including our earthly bodies, is fleeting (Proverbs 31:30, Isaiah 40:8). Therefore, our confidence should be anchored in Christ, who is eternal.

In other words, applying mascara or a dash of lipstick, donning a glittering necklace, or styling your hair is not inherently wrong. Celebrating our God-given beauty is a joyous thing. However, our ultimate focus should always remain on nurturing the beauty of our souls, as that’s what truly endures in the eyes of God.

Does God really care about our outer appearance? Absolutely, He does! God cherishes each of His creations, irrespective of their physical attributes. He lovingly crafted us in our mother’s womb, and He appreciates every aspect of our appearance. But His main interest lies in what’s within our hearts, as stated in 1 Samuel 16:7 and John 7:24.

Are Christian women allowed to wear makeup and jewelry? Certainly. Just as Christian men can sport stylish ties, well-tailored suits, and sleek watches. The key is remembering that our external appearance is not the crux of our existence. Whether we choose to focus on our outward appearance or not is an individual decision. What matters is prioritizing the well-being of our God-given souls, acknowledging that our earthly bodies are temporary, but our souls are eternal.

In conclusion, it’s good to appreciate and take care of our earthly bodies as they are the vessels of our precious souls. However, when it comes to adorning ourselves with makeup and jewelry, let’s ensure that it never overshadows the significance of nurturing our inner beauty and spiritual health.