Judith is preparing herself to meet Holofernes. She removes her modest widow’s garments, which she has worn for years, and I imagine to be plain, ordinary, and dull in color. Nothing exciting or fancy.
She dresses herself in extravagant, beautiful clothing, ornate jewelry fit for a queen, and bathes and anoints herself with precious ointment. If you can imagine an elegant Middle Eastern woman dressed for the most special occasion (her own wedding, say), that is what I picture Judith in this chapter.
She knows she is about to face the greatest enemy. She has to be believable. She has to be strategic about every move, including dressing for the part.
But let’s step back for a minute from the atmosphere of war and look at this from a completely different perspective. From a womanhood perspective.
Judith truly fascinates me.
The one verse that particularly jumped out at me was verse 3. How she dressed herself - “And she removed the sackcloth which she had been wearing, and took off her widow’s garments, and bathed her body with water, and anointed herself with precious ointment, and combed her hair and put on a tiara, and arrayed herself in her most festive apparel, which she used to wear while her husband Manasseh was living."
While her husband Manasseh was living.
When was the last time you got dolled up for your husband? Not for a date night or birthday celebration, but getting fancy just for him just because. While I would never subscribe to objectifying women, I do believe that as wives, we tend to have this mentality that we don’t need to keep our appearances up for our husbands. Especially after having children, it is SO common to see women letting themselves go.
I know this because I personally lived it. I was a stay-at-home mom for 4 years, and I had no reason to put makeup on or fix my hair. (Or to be completely honest, even shower every day.) I was utterly exhausted with babies and putting everyone else’s needs before mine that it was easy to neglect myself, bordering depression.
The struggle is real, and one that I’m committed to helping other women overcome through fitness. I’m willing to bet ten billion dollars that your husband loves and accepts you just as you are. But! That isn’t license to let yourself go completely - because how we treat ourselves affects how we treat those we love. Especially our husbands!
So when we’re not taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally, respecting our temples, nourishing our bodies with whole foods, and getting enough rest - we get cranky. Irritable. We retreat to food and eat our feelings.
Then we put on the weight. Get depressed. It’s a vicious circle. We should be so blessed to have a husband who finds us attractive, gets excited to see us, and dare I say it, even lusts after us! Not other women.
So I encourage you, my GORGEOUS, faithful sisters, to get dolled up for that sweet man of yours! Surprise him when he comes home from work. Put on some lipstick. Wear that little black dress.The effort alone will speak volumes to him that you are attentive to his needs as a man, and let’s not forget - to remind him how lucky he is to have a stunning wife! Remember, you are a reflection of your husband, and he is a reflection of you. You are one with him.
Let him always look at you the same way as your wedding day. With admiration, awe, honor, respect, and love.
Peace be with you, my gorgeous, faithful sister.