Appropriate Apparel

March 10, 2015

                                                                             Appropriate Apparel

To make any suggestions about how we should dress is almost a declaration of war, but here goes. Which side will you be on?  If we are in God’s family we should want to be on God’s side.

Among Christians, we can say that there are two extremes in the matter of dress. To the one extreme are the Amish and Mennonites. Their men usually wear black pants, a blue chambray shirt and a black felt hat. Their women wear a long blue dress and a bonnet tied under their chin or a white knit skull cap. As a rule, they have a good testimony and are well respected in their community. To the other extreme we find those who put no limits on what is appropriate.

I Peter 1:14-16 gives us direction in making decisions about that which is appropriate. “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” Most commentaries tell us that the word “conversation” should be translated “conduct.”   We should be holy in our conduct. We should be obedient children because we are the children of a holy God.

I Timothy 2:9 is addressed to the women. It says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” The word “modest” means that which is appropriate. The opposite of modest is immodest. We could also say that it should cover their nakedness. Modern clothing styles for women are often those that give the maximum sex appeal.   Women need to keep in mind that their body is sacred. It shouldn’t be clothed in a manner that will provoke improper thoughts in the minds of men around them. Matthew 5:28 tells us what happens in the minds of men when they see a woman improperly dressed. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Women are to adorn themselves. The word “adorn” means to make attractive, but it shouldn’t be in a bad sense. Your clothing shouldn’t tempt men to promiscuity.

In our day the trend is to go casual as far as dress is concerned. People wear what they feel comfortable in. That’s fine for every day, but it’s only logical that we have clothes for the occasion. Some are work clothes. If I’m going out to paint the porch I’ll put on paint clothes. We should also have dress up clothes for special occasions. We all have special occasions, don’t we? Life has more value when we have special occasions. Do men go to a wedding in the same clothes in which they washed the car before they went? Do women go to a wedding in the same clothes they wear to clean the house?

If we have the respect for God that we should have, we will give some consideration to what we should wear when we go to his house. If we go to church improperly dressed, we are telling the world that we don’t have much respect for God. Most churches don’t have dress standards that people must abide by to attend. Many do have some standards for those who have some responsibility in the church. One way to judge a church is by observing the way the majority of the people dress when they go there. If they go casual, it may be that their relationship with God is also casual.

In the Old Testament we read that there were special clothes for special functions and occasions. Exodus chapter 28 gives details about the special clothes they were to make for the priests. In Exodus 19:10-11 God told Moses that the people were to wash their clothes because God was about to appear unto them.

We should have special clothes for special occasions. That makes the occasion special. There are very few who are so poor that they can’t afford to have clothes for special occasions. If you can’t afford to buy them new, then go to the second hand store. Most people won’t know where you bought them it you don’t tell them. Have a special place in your closet for special clothes and keep them ready for those special occasions. Regular church attendance should also be a special occasion. If need be, wear the same clothes every Sunday.

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” In the verses that follow, he didn’t say that there should be a time for putting on special clothes, but there should be special occasions in your life. There should be appropriate apparel for all of life and also for special occasions.

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