Proper Dress (part 3)
It's common sense. Part II.
So where is the verse that says skirts should come to me knees, or where is the example of the women buying only shirts that cover their cleavage? If we are looking for measurements and a dress code, we need to read the school handbook.
Where does the Bible play a role in how we dress though? We do have a reference to modest apparel in the New Testament, but I would direct our study more to verses about purity, lust, and temptations.
This year, I have been approaching my study from a completely different perspective. While trying to find a dress code, I finally realized that I set myself up for doubts and confusion when I do so. I truly wish we could wear what we wanted to wear when we wanted to wear it. The reality hit me that I have been leaving out the legitimacy of common sense. Inches and how tight can I wear it are no longer factors when we change our way of thinking. When we consider how our clothing might affect events, attitudes, decisions, etc. we are empowered with something greater than a do and don't list. We are learning to apply principles. We are learning to care more about others than we do about ourselves. We are growing in wisdom. It's the difference between a child who asks exactly how many vegetables he has to eat before he can get dessert, and the adult who eats his all of his vegetables because of the nutritious benefit. It is the difference between a child who asks exactly how many toys he has to pick up before he can take a break, and the adult who seeks to complete as many chores as possible on a day he has set aside to help those who are unable.
When we grow past the point of demanding a verse, that is when we become free. That is when we are no longer chained to the child within who is screaming "Make me!" We grow in one more way for one more day.
Read Ephesians 2. The chapter begins by demonstrating how our lives were directed when we were dead in sins. In this discussion, we read "in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind."
The argument that we are fine as long as we don't act on it takes on new meaning when I read the particular verse above. The mind is a dangerous place to harbor thoughts that can become desires that have the potential to become fleshly sins. One thought can lead to two.
It bothers me that we are smug with our ability to fight the devil. If Satan were not a potential threat to our spirituality, then why do we have sin at all? Why do we not live perfect, sinless lives? Or is it that when we do sin, we are always entering that place of darkness completely and fully aware of what we are doing? We are never enticed? Excuses like these: "We don't notice other people at the beach." "I trust her to make the right decisions." "That doesn't affect me at all."
It bothers me that we care so little about what might cause others' minds to harbor unclean thoughts. "He should control himself." "It's not my problem."
It bothers me that we use excuses. "I wear that because it is what's comfortable." "I wear it because I like it not because of what others think." "I wear it because that's all I can afford or that I can find." "No one would ever lust after me." However, I then wonder why we try on clothes when we go shopping and put them back if they don't look good on us. I wonder why we go to the mall and shop at all when the thrift stores, yard sales, and hand-me-downs are much less expensive and comfortable. I wonder why we accessorize? I wonder why we wear uncomfortable shoes? I wonder why we wear certain clothes at home for comfort, but we change when we go to the store? I wonder why it is acceptable for our girls to look "hot"? I wonder why pretty much everyone looks the same? Are one shoulder dresses really more comfortable for everyone during the same year? But the next year, it is no longer comfortable (i.e. out of style)? I wonder why special occasion clothes are sold at all if we only dress for comfort? I wonder why when a good looking man appreciates what we are wearing or look like, we smile and feel flattered, but when a less appealing man whistles at us, we turn up our noses and say he should not be looking? I wonder why we allow our teen girls to dress in something that if we saw on another teen girl, (who had two colors in her hair, body piercings, tattoos, and dark make-up) we would consider the other teen girl a low class tramp.
If we tell ourselves that how we dress does not or should not affect how others see us, we deceive ourselves. We are choosing to live in blindness. We are choosing to place our pleasure over the potential harm to others. Maybe we are just choosing comfort. Either way.. it is a potential stumblingblock.
Purity... Does what we have on say pure? Or does it say sexy? Or does it reflect our bodies more than our godliness?
Temptation.. Does what we have on help protect others' minds from temptation? Or does it reflect an attitude of willful neglect of our brothers and sisters?
Lust.. Does what I have on conceal the parts of my body that belong only to our spouses? Or does it reveal, contour, or provide peeks at just the right places to arouse desire in the opposite sex?
Common sense... Applied.
By Melissa Webster
[Note: These articles are taken from
her Facebook page]
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