“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:8-10)

Here Paul deals with some controversial issues. Many may scoff at his words about woman in these days when they seek and maintain major roles in government, academia, and business. That was not true in the time Paul lived. Women needed to be protected because of their role in child-bearing and rearing. Paul was advising them to refrain from drawing attention to themselves in their manner of dressing and acting, or putting themselves forward. They were to direct the attention of others to Jesus, which, as we should realize, is the mission of every believer. 

Therefore, in worship and fellowship, all should behave with and humility and love, not anger or quarreling. No one should ever seek to make a show or display of themselves. We are to behave with modesty and not dress in a showy or ostentatious manner. What one wears should proclaim caring and loving concern for the poor and needy. Proper adornment for men and women consists of good deeds of charity and kindness. Expensive designer clothes, costly jewelry, and extensive make-up belie one’s profession of faith in Christ. They proclaim a selfishness that makes the worshipper the center of attention rather than Christ. No one should make a public display in worship and so call attention to themselves. Jesus is the center of worship not us.

Paul also recommended prayers for the governmental leaders, the majority of whom at that time were idol worshipping pagans. Despite that, these officials were entrusted by the Lord God with the enforcement of law and order which protected the innocent and punished evildoers. Good and just magistrates made it possible for the gospel to be spread in peace. This is all still true today, but disputed or ignored. The Lord desires we pray for our leaders, not that they be harmed, deposed or killed, but that they heed His wisdom and come to faith in Jesus. He desires that all come to faith in Christ even those we may consider the most heinous and wicked. They do not know that Christ is the only true source of wisdom, peace, and salvation. Without Him they have no hope. As Christians we must witness to that hope.