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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

A Chaste Wife (II )

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An Exposition of 1 Peter 3:1-6


Today, we shall consider the second aspect of a chaste wife.

A chaste wife is one who is modest. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel” (1 Peter 3:3). This verse confronts women who are seeking after immodest appearance, and forbids them from doing so. Though it does not provide a detailed list of what constitutes immodest appearance, it sufficiently advises ladies how to be modest.

The Apostle Peter rebukes the ladies who are preoccuppied with their hairstyle, costume and accessories, which are non-essential areas of life. This also serves as a rebuke against modern women who spend much time and money in beauty salons - to have an elaborate hairdo ("plaiting of the hair"), and in shopping spree - to look out for branded dress, blouses and skirts ("putting on of apparel") and expensive accessories like earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and anklets ("wearing of gold"). They are passionate about these things because they believe external beauty will command the respect of others.

This ungodly mentality has worsened the behaviour and appearance of women of our time. Let us examine how these three areas have degraded further.

Firstly, the practice of plaiting of the hair has extended beyond the elaborate hairstyle. Women are into dying their hair using mixed and unnatural colours. They are dishevelled. Yet they are proud of it for their own shame.

Secondly, the putting on of apparel is now more than getting luxurious stuff. In the name of fashion, ladies buy and wear scanty clothing, exposing more of their thighs, armpits and chest or tight fitting outfit that trace their feminine figure. They have no shame walking around with such dressing. They even come to fellowship meetings wearing super-short shorts or other skimpy dresses.

Thirdly, the wearing of gold is no better. With modern discoveries and technologies driven by materialism, ladies amass priceless jewels, wasting God’s blessings for their carnal satisfaction.

Being under divine authority, the Apostle Peter strictly forbade this sort of worldly lifestyle. He exhorted Christian women to break away from the worldly culture of the day.

Let us consider the consequences that endanger women who are seeking after immodest appearance. Firstly, preoccupation with physical beauty breeds pride. Take note how the great cherub ended in his present estate. His beauty made him so proud that he became Satan. The Bible says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:17). Pride has been the cause of everyone’s downfall. Secondly, physical beauty is vain. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain” (Proverbs 31:30a). Anything material is vanity says the preacher. So don't let your heart pursue after beauty, it has no real value. Thirdly, luxurious lifestyle is a waste of time and money. Christians are called to manage God’s blessings well. The Lord Jesus Christ does not want His provisions to be wasted. Consider how He commanded His disciples to care for the leftover food. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” (John 6:12). If you continue in following after your natural inclination, you will be guilty in the area of Christian stewardship. Fourthly, immodest lifestyle attracts wrong company. Hair salon is a bad place for Christians to linger on. It is a place where materialistic, carnal and ungodly people spend their time in unedifying conversations. Avoid them (Psalm 1:1). Fifthly, immodest dressing endangers ladies.

How many have been molested and raped because of their own doing? Sixthly, worldly lifestyle invites the wrath of God. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

If you want to be a chaste wife, be modest. Do not be obsessed with external beauty. Then you will be safe from trouble. You will also find favour with God and your husband.

(Part I of the article)
(Part III of the article)

 

Greetings

Dear Pastor,

Greeting you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Truly thanking God for the technology that allows me to connect with both my family and edification through downloadable sermons from Gethsemane and other BP churches. I've also heard of the good results of the Gethsemane youth in regards to the O levels, and thank God for that.

It feels strange to be writing this, that even as I thank God for the spiritual nourishment found here in the Free Church (Cont.), which is of a reformed faith and tradition, I am not entirely comfortable. This is not to do with lack of hospitality, or the lack of fellowship, for by God's grace the church members have been very hospitable, and the youth also provide ample fellowship. However, I have come to realise that I will never be able to fully fellowship with them due to the differences in doctrinal beliefs I hold. I suppose it started during the youth camp last October, when the subject of rapture (which being amillennialists, they do not believe in, and in fact some of the youths mocked) came up. Till then I had thought that the only major differences we had was the exclusive singing of psalms during worship, something which I accepted as part of their Scottish reformed heritage.

I thought, well, if it is Revelations that I would disagree on, I will not talk about it in case I stir up strife. Praise God for the articles in Bible Witness that came shortly after to confirm my convictions, and the material on the FEBC website to help me get an understanding of what their view was. But I keep getting reminded of the difference in interpretation of scripture due to this, be it in worship when the preacher mentions 'Israel, before the Church', or when the topic of the future resurrection of the saints is brought up in discussions. Remembering the July-September 2006 RPG, I've flipped through it again, and it mentions that 4,200 verses would be interpreted differently by either side. That's a lot of scripture, and not just a matter of 'more or less water'. And in addition to all that, to not be able to talk about a whole book in the Bible, never mind all the other corresponding passages, would it not mean that I would be unable to fully commune with the brethren, despite being Calvinist and Reformed? . . . .

If I had not had the sound and rigorous teaching and instruction I received in Gethsemane, I would not have been personally convicted that this interpretation is the most biblical. . . . Beyond reasons of nationalistic pride and connection, or family, God seems to have ensured that for my own spiritual growth and walk, I will indeed return to Singapore after my studies here till He in his own good pleasure decides to lead me elsewhere. . . .

. . . Though all this experience has been good in its way - I now feel more the urgency and necessity to study and show myself approved unto God, to know why I believe what I believe in, and what it is that I do believe in. I thank God for the opportunity to do so in Singapore, for the things which I did learn, and the reminders that come so often now. . .

Other than that, and even with that, I've a lot to thank God for. Truly, His merciful and loving hand has been upon me in my time here. The snow and ice has thawed in time for classes, as the road leading to the campus from my new residence was one of those worst iced over during and after the snowfall that began during Christmas. The few times I've lost my belongings around campus they have been restored to me untouched. Recently, I was travelling with a reporter from the student paper that I am a part of, Friday in fact, when a man just a year older than me, also from the university it turned out later, was set upon by two delinquents who were not in the right state of mind due to either drugs or drink, on the bus we were sitting in. The student was sitting in the row just in front of us in the top deck of the double decker, and it is only by God's grace that the attention of the delinquents were focussed on that person and no one else, and that even though they kept coming up the stairwell to threaten and sometimes physically attack the student, they eventually left and he was not seriously hurt.

The temptations of the world still abound, but no more or less than they would in Singapore or any where else. By God's grace I've managed somehow not to actually see it, if that makes sense. I go to uni, then I head home again, though I'm sure out there most in my year are going to clubs and parties. It is only by God's grace that this is so, and with the freer schedule I now have in comparison with junior college, keeping up with school work has been so far relatively easy to handle, so I've been downloading old sermons from the FEBC and Calvary Pandan websites to listen to along with Gethsemane's Sunday sermons, and those have been a blessing to me. My Christian walk isn't perfect, but out here I learn every day to lean on Christ more, and yes, I pray that I will remember to walk in the truth always.

My regards to the church, and all those in the ministry especially. If anyone asks about me, the contents of this letter are free for sharing (: You are all in my prayers.

Lovingly in Christ,

Sarah-Ann

Pastoral Exhortation