We started Set 8 of the Bright Lights curriculum, titled “Daughters of the King,” on February 26. If you belong to Christ, then you have been born into the family of God, and the King of the universe calls you His daughter! With this amazing calling comes a serious responsibility: we are representatives of our heavenly Father everywhere we go. In this set, we will discuss how to be an example of our King to everyone we meet.
We’re going to start with a topic that can sometimes be difficult—what should our outward appearance be like? After all, we’re representing our great and glorious God. Shouldn’t this calling affect every area of our life, including our appearance? Since we do not represent ourselves, but the Lord, the question we should ask is not, “What do I like?” but rather “What pleases the Lord?” Remember, we do not own ourselves—God does! (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
It is important to stress that that the way we dress is not by any means the most important area of our lives. It is certainly not the most important thing to God, and therefore it should not be the most important thing to us either.
1 Samuel 16:7—“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
The Bible makes it clear that it is much more important for us to focus on the “inward” than the “outward,” but this does not mean that the outward appearance is is irrelevant or unimportant. God does care about what we wear. It does make a difference. While it does matter what we wear, it matters much more that our heart is right before the Lord. When our heart is right, this will naturally affect every other area of our lives—including our outward appearance.
There is an enemy who is seeking to pervert anything he can. Satan doesn’t overlook the issue of clothing or consider it to be insignificant. Instead, he seeks to use it in many ways for his purposes. All around us, we see how Satan has attacked and prevailed in the area of clothing. Some of the strategies of the enemy are:
- To expose—creating immodesty, temptation, and lust
- To distort the roles of men and women—urging men to be like women, and women to be like men
- To distract—directing our focus to unimportant, outward things rather than the inner qualities which truly matter
- To ensnare—making people slaves to fashions and fads
- To breed discontentment—causing people to believe they need to have the right outward appearance in order to be happy
How many times have we stared into our overflowing closet and complained that we had nothing to wear? Or maybe we tried on six different outfits before deciding on something that we liked? It is not wrong to look nice or dress up. God created women to be beautiful. However, our beauty should not bring glory to us, but to our Creator! The Bible tells us that the beauty we have in this earthly life is temporary (Prov. 31:30). The inner beauty is what truly matters.
What Influences Our Decisions Regarding Clothing?
- Pride—One of the main things to watch out for is pride. It’s amazing how pride can creep in and influence so many different areas of our lives without us even realizing it. Are we trying to draw attention to ourselves hoping that people will notice us because we are pretty, slender, stylish, or important? Are we trying to imitate the latest styles (even if they are sloppy and unattractive) hoping that we’ll be popular if we wear what is “in” or “cool”? Pride is seeking glory for ourselves rather than acknowledging that all of the glory belongs to the Lord. Pride causes us to conform to the world’s standards of modesty (Rom. 12:1-2).
- Fear—Though some wear worldly clothing to attract attention, others wear worldly clothing for the opposite reason: to not attract attention. This is also a wrong motivation. These people are terrified of being conspicuous of standing out in a crowd. Sometimes they are so self-conscious that they will wear anything—even something immodest—so that they won’t be different from other people. Have you ever acted or dressed in a certain way for one group of friends, and then acted like a totally different person around another group of people? This is a good indicator that we are trying to please people. Remember, the Lord never changes! So if we are trying to please Him, we will allow His Word to determine what is right, and our actions won’t be influenced by our surroundings.
- Insecurity—As girls, we naturally want others to accept and to like us. We tend to look for approval from other people, thinking that if other people like us, then we’ll be happy and content. But if we have this attitude, we will always be insecure. Fulfillment and security can only be found in the Lord (Psalm 16:8-9, 11). He is all we truly need. When we remember who we are in Christ, and trust in Him to take care of us—that’s when we’ll experience true security. When we are secure in the Lord, then we are able to focus on exalting His reputation and ministering to others, without worrying about ourselves or what others might be thinking about us.
Have you ever been with a particular friend whom you really wanted to impress? We tend to choose the people whom we want to please. But the truth is, we can’t please everyone. Who do you want to please or impress? Your friends? Or the God who made you, gave His life for you, and has given you the privilege of being His representative here on this earth? We should carefully evaluate what influences our clothing decisions and make sure that our motives are pleasing to the Lord. It is so important that we bring our desires under God’s authority and have a heart that desires to to seek and please Him.
During small groups, we discussed the three wrong motives that we can have for our clothing choices, and what it means to be an ambassador of Christ. Then for our our activity time, we did skits… everyone’s favorite! :)