Of all the subjects that I have touched on in my blog this is a topic I am probably most suited for dealing with. It is a touchy topic so please try to read through the entire article and listen for the Holy Spirit. He is the voice we should be listening for anyway. This is a problem that I myself have been guilty of taking part in, especially in my younger and dumber days. I had no clue how my actions impacted others, nor did I care, at least not enough to make the necessary changes. Today, with the fashion trends being as they are it is even more difficult to find appropriate clothing to wear that doesn’t accentuate areas that clothing was intended to cover. While the bible doesn’t speak in terms of how long your dress ought to be, or how far up your shirt should go or how snug it should fit, it does give us an indication of what the purpose of clothing was for. If clothing doesn’t first meet that standard than all the rest won’t matter.
Lately, current fashion trends would suggest that the purpose for clothing for adults would be based on fulfilling the lustful appetite of society. Catering to what makes us feel good, no matter how uncomfortable, inconvenient, or inappropriate it may be. However, we as believers are called to be our brother’s keeper and as such we mustn’t dismiss decency to give way to the fad of the day. There is a place for your creative and fashion trending unvarnished gear, and that is behind the closed doors of your home where your man can appreciate all that God has gifted you to have. What we deem as cute and acceptable is now infecting our youth, who seem to think that wearing pants down their leg and exposing their underwear is somehow cool. Cleaving and sagging are two sides of the same coin and until I address my desire to expose my bosom, then I am ill equipped to handle young men wearing pants displaying their undergarments.
Neither can be addressed until we have a clear understanding of one question, and that is, what was the purpose for which God created clothing?
Let’s look at the first time mankind recognized a need to cover up.
(Gen 3:7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Based on this verse alone we can see two things, one is that nakedness was a part of the original plan as they were naked before they had eyes to see it. This tells us that something happened to humanity after their eyes were opened that caused shame to occur. Consider a baby, children will go butt naked without prompting and unless we are completely twisted by the world no one thinks anything obscene, demeaning, or perverse concerning it. Babies have no inhibitions about letting lose, we because of the sick world we live in cover them up because we understand they have to be protected not just from the elements of the world, but from predators, who would target them for twisted purposes. As they get older their eyes are then open to the same reality that we have come to know, that clothing not only protects you from the elements of the air, but from the perverts of the earth.
So not only was innocence lost, but the eye opening experience of sin caused them to do something about their nakedness. The revelation of their being naked did something to each other concerning seeing themselves. They begin to see something obscene concerning their bodies, and so they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. However, it is very interesting to see God’s response to their designer wear.
(Gen 3:21) Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Now there are a lot of verses in between that are worthwhile reading to get an idea about how fast sin degenerates, and how our inclination is to blame someone or something else for our poor choices. A trait we inherited honestly from the first Adam that can only be appropriately corrected by the Last Adam. Notice that they made an apron of fig leaves, they took of vegetation to cover themselves, and here we see God took a coat of skin, which means something living had to give up something so that we could be covered. A foreshadow of what our Messiah did for us, He had to die so that he could cover our sin, but does the fact that He died for us leave us without any responsibility concerning our walk with him? Well, if you read my blog then you know the answer to that question. Does this mean we have to do something to be saved? Well yes, we do, we have to accept what He did for us, and intrinsic in that should be a desire to serve the one who laid down his life for us. Scripture tells us he died for the whole world, but since the whole world won’t be saved that tells me they didn’t receive what He did. (John 3:16; Lk 13:23-24) His sacrifice makes salvation accessible to all, but only to those who receive it will salvation be given.
How in the world could we be more ungrateful then to be callous enough to feel as though we have no responsibility after such an amazing sacrifice has been made for us? This is not as a matter of receiving the gift, but should be a matter of our loving response to the amazing gift that has been given to us. Think about it, even for holidays or birthdays, we don’t have to say or do anything when someone thinks enough of us to give us a gift, however, if it was something we wanted that we receive we typically have a desire to express our gratitude to the individual who gave it to us. This is a natural response to love, it is unnatural to not be grateful, or desire to reciprocate in some way love that is expressed towards us. We usually don’t do so out of obligation, or compulsion, but desire to show our love. How much more should one desire to express their love for someone who gave their life so that we could have life? In other words we should want to serve the one who sacrificed his life for us.
The very first thing we see is clothing only became necessary once sin entered in. Since we still live in a sin sick world this tells me that clothing is still needed. Our eyes are definitely open today and as a result we must practice discretion and promote it.
Please understand I speak as one who has been there, I have been heavily endowed with protruding areas that for the sake of my brothers I must keep under wraps, pun intended. I have had to give away lots of clothing and essentially will not wear button down garments because they tend to open around the bust line breaking that very rule of covering, in which clothing was intended for. I wear undershirts or Dickies under sheer shirts and sometimes have to buy clothing two sizes larger than my size to accommodate my bust line. There are two reasons this is important, one the primary purpose of clothing is to cover, secondarily because if I love my brothers, and in our world even sisters, then it is my duty to do what is within my power to do to make sure that the Gospel is accentuated, and not my breast. I don’t want to be the rock that causes someone to stumble or set someone back from hearing the gospel. How can we expect to make a lasting impact as believers if we are in the way of the Gospel being heard? Our goal is not to attract people to us, but to attract people to Him in us, and we can be a distraction to the Christ in us being revealed.
Until we as women see the impact our low cut blouses have we can’t help our brothers who wear sagging pants. Trust me ladies I speak from experience, I recognize I have not been saved my whole life, and even after coming to Christ I have found myself attracted to clothing that I think are flattering, but in actuality it is revealing things to others that should only be shared with my husband, and I mean only my husband. Clothing that should not be worn where my stepsons can see it, or anyone else who may be in or outside my home. Modesty is a biblical principle. Now do I believe you have to wear skirts down to the ground or turtle necks, no, that is an extreme, but I think clothes should fulfill their primary purpose first, and that is to cover, and we know what areas should be covered.
To men this is not said to give you justification for inappropriate acts like thinking it’s okay to rape or take advantage of a woman because she dresses this way, but rather it is stated because there is a lack of love that is revealed when we think it is okay to show parts of our bodies that should be reserved for one. First and foremost we are not showing love for our brothers who are visual and harboring all sorts of thoughts because they have been invited into a room that should be reserved for another. Secondly, we become a hindrance to the Gospel going forth because we are causing men and in some cases women to think about the very thing they need to be delivered from. This comes from a very serious misconception, a misconception that sex is our best feature when submission is. There is nothing more attractive to fallen man then a redeeming God, and our submission to God can reflect this picture of our Lord. Note, I don’t subscribe to uniformity or wearing clothing as a matter of religion because pure religion as defined by scripture in James 1:27 doesn’t state or suggest that what you wear is a part of it. I submit to you my sisters on the basis of love for people, a desire to see people set free not remain in bondage. A desire to have Christ be visibly seen rather than your body. I appeal to you on the basis of love being the motivating factor behind change, because while many things may fail us, love will never fail us and against love there is no law. This is a promise from the Almighty. (1 Cor. 13:8; Gal. 5:23)