Mike helped me think through my position this evening. I started out with the presupposition that my readers would assume my view of inner beauty. I affirm what Scripture says ... especially to women ... concerning developing one's character into a beautiful sacrifice to God.
When I realized that my mention of why I (personally) wear make-up struck up controversy, I was confused.
"Surely, inner beauty is a given in this conversation!!"
But as points of view began to be fleshed out I saw more and more that everyone agreed with each other concerning the big picture and what is ultimately important.
The reason I did not start off with a soap box post about women glorifying God in their inner beauty and casting off the shakles of cultural mandates was because I have heard it again and again and again ... and I agree with it. But I decided to bring up a side issue.
Perhaps I should have started off:
"Alright, ladies, we all agree about what needs to be done to develop inner beauty, right? Now, how does the Christian woman approach the issue of the outer appearance? This is difficult to address because there are far more passages in Scripture that address the issue of inner beauty; thus, indicating it's priority in the Christian life. However, let's explore the proper Christian response to this topic of physical appearance."
The physical is a side issue that many in Evangelical circles choose to ignore (oh, besides the whole dress modestly bit). And I believe that it is essentially due to a reaction to the world. The world focuses on the body, believing from a secular worldview that the body is the sum of man, nothing more, nothing less. Evangelicals react to this by placing heavy emphasis on the spirit.
But is man not both body and spirit? We are dichotomists. Not merely body and not merely spirit.
1 Corinthians 6 and 7 approach the issue of glorifying God in one's body. Indeed, much of the passage involves sexual relations. However, the broader issue of the body is addressed. A wife's body is not her own. A husband's body is not his own. They honor one another in their bodies. Is this confined to sexual relations? ... or can the interpretation be broadened to pleasing and honoring one's husband by dressing in a manner that he appreciates?
Hmm, just a question I'm throwing out there. What do you think?