1 Peter 3:1-7
Likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word…
St. Peter does not prohibit absolutely the plaiting of the hair, the wearing of gold, and the putting on of apparel; but he desires that the precedence be given to higher and better things.
I. Let us not hesitate to say THAT THERE IS NOTHING IN CHRISTIANITY, RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD, WHICH PROHIBITS A WOMAN FROM ENDEAVOURING TO DRESS WELL AND TO LOOK WELL. There is no religion in a mean, unattractive garb. Years ago there lived two Greek philosophers, Diogenes and Plato. Plato, who was a man of wealth and taste, had handsome carpets. Diogenes preferred living in a tub, and saying disagreeable things, under the impression that he was "faithful." One day he came, in an ill temper, into his brother philosopher's drawing room; and stamping on the carpets, cried out, "I trample on the pride of Plato!" "Yes," said Plato, quietly, — "and with greater pride." Is there not something of this pride in "unworldly." dressing? Cannot a woman show her Christianity without making herself conspicuous by singularity? But we will take a step farther. We have said that Christianity does not prohibit attention to dress. We wilt now say that Christianity requires of a Christian woman to make the best of herself. God the Creator delights in beauty — beauty of form and hue and outline and arrangement; and surely He would have us, His creatures, delight in beauty also; and surely anyone who shows a marked inattention to the comeliness of outward things, shows himself, so far, out of harmony with the Divine mind.
II. THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN WILL ALWAYS SUBORDINATE THE OUTWARD TO THE INWARD. But she will want rules to guide herself by. She will not be extravagant in the money she spends upon her dress. If her personal appearance be a talent, so also is her money: and both have to be considered. Another talent, which a Christian woman will think much of, is her time. The highest praise as to dress, which a right-minded woman would desire, would be to have it said of her by the passers-by, "I did not notice her dress; but I noticed herself; and she seemed an unaffected, modest, genuine Christian lady."
(G. Calthrop, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;