Q. In the church I attend makeup is taboo, but I have always liked to use a little in my grooming. I do know there are a couple of scriptures that talks about the wanton eyes, etc. And there is the matter of Jezebel. I know makeup can be used for the wrong thing but is there anything in the Bible that forbids the use of makeup? Or does it fall under just using common sense or a control issue? This has been a controversy in the church for a long time. My husband says if I wear it, I am not following church government and I am not in line with the rest of the church. Can you help me?
A. The New testament only says that women should dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair, gold or pearls or expensive clothes, as in 1 Tim. 2:9. Through out the Bible the idea of modest dress and avoidance of expensive adornments is repeated, but there’s nothing that would prevent modestly applied make up.
The phrase “wanton eyes” in Isaiah 3:16 described a woman’s flirtatious or suggestive look, not her make up, and the reference to Jezebel in 2 Kings 9:30 is to her excessive use of eye shadow. As your husband said, the prohibition of all make up is a matter of Church government, which means the leadership in your church has determined this, not the Bible.
I will remind you that Christians are admonished to respect the directions established by their leaders (Hebr. 13:17), and wives are called upon to be submissive to their husbands (Ephes. 5:22).