Thirdly, a Jezebel exalts physical beauty over spiritual beauty. I want to be careful about how I say this because I don’t believe for a moment that being spiritually beautiful means that you can’t keep up with fashion, or that you don’t take care of yourself or your physical appearance. Sadly, there are women who think and operate this way, overshooting modesty and hitting frumpy instead. To make sure we keep things in balance, let’s take a look for a moment at the original Jezebel and where she went wrong.
In 2 Kings 9, the reformer Jehu has ascended to the throne and is now on his way to destroy the last of Ahab’s household. Upon hearing of his coming, Jezebel promptly begins putting on her makeup to prepare herself to meet him. Now, here’s the key: there is nothing inherently sinful about makeup. There’s not even anything wrong with putting your best foot forward when you are about to meet someone important.
The problem here is that Jezebel is trying to use her physical appearance to compensate for the wickedness of her heart. She wants to charm and impress her way into Jehu’s good graces – something she’s probably been able to do herwhole life. And that’s the problem – using physical appearance or charms to compensate for lack of depth of character.
I think that most girls probably do this without realizing it. It’s the ones that realize what they’re doing that worry me the most – the girls that proclaim modesty to others while pushing the boundaries themselves. But the hyper-modest are equally guilty.
Don’t get me wrong – modesty is important. But it is not the be-all, end-all standard of good Christianity. The woman who obsesses over her modesty and snidely condemns the immodesty in others is still guilty of the same idolatry as the girl who dresses to attract or impress men. It is the idolatry of physical appearance over inner beauty. Here is what Peter says:
Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear– but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands… (1Pe 3:3-5)
Peter is not telling women that they cannot braid their hair or wear jewelry any more than he is telling them that they cannot wear clothes. The key is in these words: “…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart…” It is not that you should not look nice or wear nice things. But that is not your adorning. That is not the standard by which you will judge your own worth or the worth of others.
So there you have it, my little Tirza. Do not marry an Ahab. Do not be a Jezebel. I hope that wherever you are, whenever you are reading this, that you are well and that you know that your Daddy still loves you with all of his heart.