Last night we had our meeting titled “Royal Apparel.” We learned that God doesn’t give us a dress code. That’s because it is a matter of our heart. He wants us to choose to dress in a way that honors Him because we want to, not because we have to. The Lord doesn’t give us detailed rules or guidelines about what kind of clothing we should wear. However, He does give us many principles in His Word that teach us what He desires and why He desires it. Here are the principles we examined last night:
#1: Dress Modestly (1 Tim. 2:9)—The concept of modesty includes several aspects: (1) not revealing that which God intends to be covered, (2) not seeking to draw attention to ourselves, and (3) not stirring up wrong desires by dressing/acting in a sensual way. Immodesty is a huge problem for young ladies in our culture. However, many times girls don’t even realize that they are dressing immodestly—they are simply following the fashions of the world. It really goes back to this bigger question: to whom are we looking for approval? Who are we trying to please—and why?
#2: Do Not Copy the World (1 John 2:15, James 4:4, Rom. 12:2)—The world’s thinking must not be our standard. We do not need to act, look, or think like the world—in fact we should specifically purpose not to! Being different from the world is a major part of our testimony and calling as Christians. If the world can’t see any difference between our lives and theirs, how will they be drawn to Christ? How will they be drawn to the light if the light looks just like the darkness?
#3: Do Not Defraud (1 Thess. 4:4-6)—The word “defraud” means to deceive or take advantage of someone; it carries the idea of causing harm to someone. 1 Thes. 4 explains that we are called to walk in holiness before God and warns us not to defraud others by stirring up lust. The Lord takes this issue seriously. Why is that?
- First of all, we have been called to holiness. We are to be holy as God is holy. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). God expects us to take this seriously and to be a temple for His glory through which His holiness can be seen in the world. This requires cleanness and purity.
- Secondly, immorality is extremely serious in God’s eyes. The Bible tells us to flee from it (2 Tim. 2:22). To flee means to run in the opposite direction. Defrauding, on the hand, is getting close to it. Defrauding in itself may seem harmless, but it is the attitude behind immorality. It is a selfish “getting” attitude.
- Thirdly, as the Body of Christ, we are called to encourage and build one another up. If we defraud a fellow believer, we are doing just the opposite—we are a stumbling block and tearing others down.
Some girls use the argument “It’s the guy’s problem if he can’t control his thoughts—it’s not my responsibility.” But remember, we are one body in Christ; when one member suffers, we all suffer. As girls, we should do everything in our power to help our brothers in Christ, and we certainly shouldn’t do anything that would cause them to stumble! When we dress immodestly out of our own desire for attention and cause a young man to notice us, we are stirring up desires in him that we cannot righteously fulfill. This is defrauding, it is selfish, and it is the opposite of true love.
#4: Honor Your Father (Eph. 6:2-3)—Some girls see clothing as a ‘little’ area in which they don’t need to honor their parents. But Scripture doesn’t make a distinction between ‘big’ or ‘little’ things; it simply says to honor them. Jesus said that those who are faithful in little are faithful in much. It will matter for eternity if we seek to please the Lord by honoring our parents, but in the long run it really won’t matter if we please our friends. Listen to your parents, especially your dad, regarding your clothing choices. They want to protect you, and your dad can give you a guy’s perspective one whether something is truly modest or not.
#5: Remember that You are Representing Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:20)—In everything that we do, our goal must not be to please ourselves, but to honor Christ and represent Him well. Scripture tells us that we are ambassadors of Christ. We communicate a significant message by our smile, bright countenance, posture, confidence, manners, and clothing. The next time you go shopping, remember that you are actually purchasing clothing for Christ’s ambassador. By His grace, let’s represent Him as well as we can!
#6: Dress Femininely (Mark 10:6)—We see evidence of Satan’s attempt to pervert our God-given roles even in the way he influences fads and fashions. He wants men to look like women, and women to look like men. As young ladies, we can be feminine through our actions, words, appearance, and godly attributes of womanhood. As we apply the principle of femininity to dress, it’s not wrong to wear clothing that is similar to a man’s (i.e. modest pants). However, there are special benefits to wearing clothing that is specifically feminine! It shows the world that we are not ashamed to embrace our calling as women.
#7: Draw Attention to Your Countenance (Dan. 12:3)—It’s amazing how the light of Christ can shine through our lives and countenances even when we do not speak a word. What do we want people to notice about us? As Christians, our desire is that anyone who sees us would see Christ. This will only happen if we allow the joy and love of Christ to shine through us in our smile, attitudes, words, and actions. We need to keep this in mind as we decide what to wear. We should dress and act in a way which will draw attention to our joyful countenance, and ultimately to the Lord.
#8: Don’t Judge Others by Their Outward Appearance (Matt. 7:1-5, 1 Sam 16:7)—Others will probably judge us by the way we dress, but we should not judge others by their outward appearance. We want to follow Jesus’ example of being sensitive and responding to the “inside,” not the “outside.” Be careful not to jump to conclusions based on outward appearances. When we see immodesty in others, we should give grace to those who do not share the same convictions as we have. As we show them love, we may be able to lead and encourage them in the right direction.
The world is going in such a wrong direction in the area of clothing. It’s time for us to take a stand for the Lord. The world is pushing girls to dress immodestly, to attract attention in a wrong way, and to just go with the flow. Instead of getting as close as we can to worldly ways, let’s strive to set an example of modesty, discretion, maturity, femininity, and beauty as we represent the King of kings! Ask the Lord to give you a heart that desires to honor Him in the area of clothing, and to give you the courage to be different from the world. Talk with your parents about your family’s standards for modesty and how you can honor the Lord in the way you dress.
For our activity time, we divided into teams. Each team was tasked to create a princess dress out of brown packing paper. It was a fun activity that helped to remind us that we, as daughters of the King, should dress in a way that brings Him glory and honor.