We all wear clothes. Some people hate clothing and become annoyed or even anxious about what to wear. Some people love clothing and need to exercise self-control over the desire to obsess over it. But whether we enjoy choosing our wardrobe or not, we all need one! In Genesis 3:21, we read about the fall of man. Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness, and then God provided clothes for them that He made out of animal skin--the first example of a sacrifice being made for sin. Sin brought about the need for clothing to cover our nakedness, but we can and should avoid sinning in our clothing choices. Have you ever paused to think about what you should or shouldn’t be wearing? Scripture has some great insights into how we should make our clothing choices in such a way that we might avoid sin and honor God in even this area of our lives.
1. Dress Accordingly. We are to dress in order to fit our gender. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him, male and female, he created them.” We are made in God’s image, as male or female, so we dress accordingly. He created women with specific curves and shapes, and they are to dress like women. God created men with a specific structure and physicality, and they are to dress like men. We glorify God when we honor His plan in creation. So, women, dress like women. Men, dress like men.
2. Dress Humbly. We are called to be modest, whether male or female. Modesty is defined as “...appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.” At the heart of modesty is humility. 1 Peter 5:5 tells believers to “clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Our outer dress shows what our priorities are in our hearts. So when we are choosing clothing, are we proudly thinking, “I look so good. I hope everyone notices how great I look?” Instead, let’s humbly ask, “Am I hoping to attract excessive attention? Will this outfit stumble my brother/sister in Christ?” We can also distract by our LACK of concern or by having a false sense of humility, resulting in sloppiness. It’s all about balance. Be humble, but avoid indecency.
3. Be a Good Steward. We are called to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us. Proverbs 21:20 says, “There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man swallows it up.” God has entrusted us with incredible resources, and He rightly requires wisdom, self-control, and frugality, as we enjoy these resources. Are we wisely purchasing clothing within the confines of a predefined budget? Are we using our resources to tend to our material needs with necessary, intentional self-control and care? Let the answers to these questions guide you in how you spend your God-given resources.
How we dress says a lot about who we are. As believers, we know there is more meaning to this life than outward appearance, but that doesn’t mean we ignore these necessities completely. This is a call to be thoughtful in how we reflect Christ with our clothing choices. As Christians, Christ transforms our hearts, and that affects everything--including choosing our wardrobe. As we strive to be good stewards who dress appropriately and modestly, we stand out as a light for Christ in a generally standardless world.