“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (I Timothy 2:9,10).
Scriptural habits are needed today as never before, as Christians find themselves under great pressure to compromise with worldly standards. By beginning this discussion of the proper conduct of women believers with the phrase “in like manner,” Paul makes it clear that the subject of public worship (v.8) is being considered in our text, but the teaching certainly has broader application, and is in much need today.
In a worship service, women are to wear “modest apparel,” appropriate to the occasion. Few Christian women understand the struggles men undergo with their thoughts, as triggered by their eyes. A worship service should be a place of refuge.
Likewise, their outer appearance should be “reverent” (a better translation than the archaic ‘shamefaced’) or respectful—not attracting attention to oneself, but, instead, focusing attention on the One being worshipped. “Sobriety” implies self control and sound judgment, reflecting the true inner character of the woman. Conversely, attention-getting hairdos, showy jewelry, or elaborate clothing which glorifies the wearer should be avoided.
There is an adornment “which becometh women professing godliness,” and that is “good works.” These works certainly are not limited to duties within the worship service, but are outward manifestations of an inner Christian character, and may be known specifically only to God.
Scripture teaches that all Christians should live in such a way “that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things” (Titus 2:10). JDM