by Tynisha Lewis

Makeup, in general, has been an area of contention in the Christian community. There are certain denominations who take the following scripture very literally:

1 Peter 3:3-4: Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

Some feel as if women should not wear makeup at all, while others feel that this scripture should not be taken so literally, and women can wear what they wish to wear. Throughout the history of Christianity, the body of a woman has been the subject of much theology – whether man-made or in lieu of scripture. When it comes to makeup, I don’t believe that wearing it will determine your final judgment of heaven or hell. I do, however, feel that a person’s actions and attitudes surrounding makeup can have an impact on his or her spiritual well-being. For example, I’ve met many women who almost take on a different persona when wearing makeup. Some women become very vain. Vanity is having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.

Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Theoretically, the purpose of makeup is for a woman to beautify herself and to feel pleased with the way her face looks. It is similar to any other form of hygiene or beauty regimen―such as haircuts, eyebrow shaping, hair coloring, etc. Makeup, just like any other beauty technique, becomes a problem when a person finds his or her self-worth in that external item. There are women who don’t feel pretty at all unless they have on makeup. There are some women who become completely filled with vanity and pride when they wear makeup. There are some women who become jealous of how another woman looks who’s wearing makeup. There are some women who judge other women by the quality and extent of their makeup. So, as you can see, makeup can be the catalyst for many spiritual experiences women have―positive or negative.

The fact that women are often judged by their appearance goes deeper than this article has time to dive into, but this is a discussion every woman should have with herself. What is my relationship with makeup? Do I use it to enhance my appearance or do I use it to be able to better compete with other women? Do I use it to cover my imperfections or do I use it to lure men to me? A lot of the questions that women should ask themselves with respect to makeup are directly tied to how they view themselves.

In summary, to be clear, wearing makeup (in and of itself) will not decrease your chances of going to heaven, and there is nothing in scripture to states otherwise. But as with any possession, you have to be mindful of how using makeup changes your heart toward others, toward yourself, and toward God. If makeup causes you to have a distorted view of yourself and others, then you may wish to do a heart check and possibly refrain from wearing it until you are able to better control your spirit.

Edited by Glenda Giles

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