Dress For Success

Likewise, also let women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with modesty and sense; not with braided hair, or gold, or
pearls, or costly array; But with good works(as befitting
women professing godliness).1Timothy 2:10


I have to cringe when I see young people, and some older ones, too, who come into the house of God dressed like they were going to a beach party. Girls wearing short shorts, shirts that look like lingerie, skin-tight jeans, flip-flops. Young men wearing baggy shorts falling below their hips, with hair uncombed and unkempt, and T-shirts advertising things that do not belong in the house of God.

Yes, I know the first thing some critics will say: “God doesn’t care how you’re dressed, He only cares what’s in your heart. You’re being judgmental.”

It is true that His word tells us that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. But let’s look at the entire verse, in context, to make sure we understand the meaning. The context is this: God had appointed Samuel to anoint a new king, a son of Jesse. Samuel saw Jesse’s first son, Eliab, and because this young man was tall, strong, and handsome, Samuel thought that surely this must be the king he was to anoint. In short, Samuel did as all of us humans tend to do: he judged the man first by his appearance. But God quickly set him straight.

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance,
or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for
the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward
appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7)

Now, as you can plainly see, nowhere does that verse tell us that God doesn’t care how we dress or how we look when we come into His sanctuary. No, it says that God refused this young man as king, despite his outward appearance. His heart was not right.

God does indeed look at our hearts, but what does it say about your heart if you dress in a manner that doesn’t show proper respect? For instance, if you have a date for the prom, and you know your date has spent the past month getting fitted for a tux, saving his cash to buy your corsage and take you to a nice restaurant for dinner….. would you show up in a bathing suit and flip-flops? How much respect does that show for your date? Does it show that he is important to you, important enough to dress appropriately for this special occasion? Or suppose you show up for a job interview wearing short shorts and a T-shirt? Does that convey the message that you are serious about wanting this job, and are willing to make an effort? (For the sake of avoiding useless arguments, we're just going to assume that the job interview is NOT for the popular chain that features busty girls in tight T-shirts and short shorts, okay?)

What does it say to the world around us when we can’t be bothered to dress appropriately for Sunday services at church? Are we sending the message that it just doesn’t matter? Do we honor God by the way we look, or do we look just like the rest of the world? Perhaps we should look to God’s own word, when He said,

“Be ye holy, for I am holy.”

You see, it’s all a matter of being appropriate. We don’t dress for a football game the same way we dress for prom. We don’t dress for a day at the beach the same way we dress for school. Our clothing should be appropriate for our activity. And when we go into God’s house, our clothing should indicate our respect for our Father, our Creator, the Almighty God. He is worthy of all our respect, and we should show it not just in the way we talk and the way we act, but even in the way we dress.

And since we're on the subject of dress, let's talk for a minute about modesty, girls. We have come a long way from what our mothers considered modest, that's for sure. Skin-tight jeans, skinny tank top with lingerie straps showing, if lingerie is being worn at all, shorts that are ripped and torn deliberately to show peeks of the underwear underneath. As young women, as mothers of daughters, we need to ask ourselves if putting our bodies on display like this is a good thing? Or should there be just a little bit more left to the imagination?

I heard a preacher who had this to say this to his own daughter: The things we value the most on this earth, that which we consider precious, God keeps hidden... and someone has to work hard to uncover them. It's rarity is what gives it it's value. Gold is not just lying around beside the road for everyone to see and pick up; it is hidden deeply inside the earth, and someone has to go to a lot of effort to get it. Likewise, diamonds are not just lying around all over the earth; they too are buried deeply, and require much effort to obtain. And pearls, so beautiful and precious, are buried deeply within the sea, not just lying around on the beach for everyone to look at and hold. Every thing that is of great value, everything precious, is covered up, and not immediately visible to whoever happens to look.

So I ask you, how precious is your body? How important is it to you to live according to God's idea of purity and beauty? Mothers, how important is it to you that your daughters do not flaunt their bodies for all to see?

I wonder how guys feel when they see another male ogling and leering at their sisters, their girlfrends, their wives, or their daughters? Is it possible that they think, somewhere deep inside, that perhaps not everything should be displayed for everyone to see? If they are in a relationship, do they really want other males looking at their wife or girlfriend with lust? And when godly men are trying to live lives of purity, are we making ourselves into a temptation that causes them to stumble? Certainly, they are responsible for their own actions, but, girls, so are we! We should not be providing fuel for the fires of their lusts by exposing our bodies or dressing in a provocative manner.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should all be covered from head to toe, like some religious sects, or wear dull, baggy clothing, or clothes suitable for old ladies. Girls can dress modestly and still be cute. It's all in keeping covered the things that should be covered. Underwear should never be visible – that why it's called UNDER wear. Blouses shouldn't look like the tops of slips, or be sheer and see-through. Jeans should not be so tight that they threaten to cut off your circulation, and if you must wear torn jeans, your underclothes should not be visible through the rips and tears. Shorts should be long enough to cover the derriere, including the cheeks. Bathing suits should consist of more than two postage stamps and a bandaid.

These things are not that difficult to achieve, and will not make a young girl stand out from her peers or seem like some kind of “religious” freak. A little modesty is a good things, girls.. Show that you value your body by not putting it on display for all the world to see. Dress and act in such a way that you demonstrate that you are a precious daughter of the King, because that is exactly what you are!.