1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 5:5
The garment industry takes its toll every spring when people come out from under the rocks to wrap themselves in new spring yarns, shoes and hats. It won’t be different this year, I’m sure. Kids will be dragged from store to store as their little frames are outfitted with Sunday stuff. I’ve spent too many years in the clothing torture room to ignore the obvious: most boys never get over their shrug attitude to new clothes…and most girls will forever retain their ecstatic pleasure for it. Why? This is a question worth considering. I am of the opinion that most men buy their clothes for purely functional purposes. A suit hides your underwear, keeps you warm (or cool), and offers pockets for money, keys, and a handkerchief. But when a woman buys an item of clothing, she is usually looking for something that will change her or enhance her.
Wait now! Before you dismiss that, listen to what syndicated newspaper columnist Sydney J. Harris says: “What a woman wants in a new dress, suit, or coat is another side of her personality.”
Frankly, this helps explain three mysteries that men often struggle with: 1) How can a woman stand in front of a closet full of clothes and say, “I have nothing to wear!? 2) Why do women’s clothes look so flimsy with loosely held back snaps and hooks? (As expected, they’re not supposed to last eight to ten years!) 3) Why is a woman so distraught when she sees another woman wearing the same item of clothing?
So much for my philosophy. Maybe it’ll help some husbands be more tolerant…and maybe it’ll help some wives not feel guilty about having fun at the department store this week. Relax! If clothes help express another side of your true self, go for it!
Simon Peter was also married. So he knew what he was talking about when he wrote a reminder to the ladies: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unchanging beauty of a meek and quiet spirit, which is of great value in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV).
We cannot substitute the outer garment for the inner godliness.
Extract of Day to day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All international rights reserved. Used with permission.