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Day by Day - May 6, 2010

In Your Spring Bonnet
by Charles R. Swindoll

1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 5:5 

The clothing industry makes a killing every spring when people come out from under rocks to wrap themselves in new spring threads, shoes, and hats. It won't be any different this year, I'm sure. Kids will be dragged from store to store as their little frames are fitted with Sunday stuff.

I've been through the apparel torture chamber too many years to ignore the obvious: Most boys never outgrow their shrug-of-the-shoulder attitude toward new clothes . . . and most girls will forever maintain their ecstatic delight for such. Why? Now that's a question worth some thought.

I'm of the opinion that most men buy their clothes for purely functional purposes. A suit of clothes hides your underwear, keeps you warm (or cool), and provides pockets for cash, keys, and a handkerchief. But when a woman buys a garment, she is usually looking for something that will change or enhance her.

Now wait! Before you reject that, listen to what Sydney J. Harris, the syndicated newspaper columnist, says: "What a woman wants in a new dress, or suit, or coat is another facet to her personality."

Frankly, this helps explain three mysteries men often wrestle with: 1) How can a woman stand before a closet full of garments and say, "I don't have anything to wear!"? 2) Why do women's clothes seem to be made in such a flimsy fashion with loosely held snaps and hooks? (As planned, they are not supposed to last eight to ten years!) 3) Why is a woman so distraught when she sees another woman wearing the same garment?

Well, so much for my philosophizing. Maybe it will help some husbands to be more tolerant . . . and perhaps it will help some wives not to feel guilty about having fun in the department store this week. Relax! If clothing helps express another facet of the real you, go to it!

Simon Peter was married too. So he knew what he was talking about when he wrote a reminder to the ladies: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment. . . . Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight" (1 Pet. 3:3-4 NIV).

We cannot substitute outer garb for inner godliness.


Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

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