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People may be able to surmise our age, ethnicity, and even character based upon what we wear. Employers, teachers, parents, peers and many others take notice of our attire and how we look, which can either reinforce or alter their conceptions about us.
I Samuel 16:7 tells us, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” This verse does not mean a Christian can be careless about appropriate attire and modesty. God gives specific instructions about how we are to dress and there are spiritual principles involved with our approach to what we wear.
It is worth noting God was very concerned about the attire of the High Priest when he appeared before Him (Exodus 28). Coming before God inappropriately dressed resulted in dire consequences (verse 43). Also, the parable of the wedding supper (Matthew 22:1-13) tells of a guest who is bound and cast into outer darkness because he didn't have on a wedding garment. Both these passages emphasize being properly dressed for the occasion.
Christians should guard their speech and behavior and demonstrate a godly approach in what they wear. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th Edition, © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company) defines modesty as, “Reserve or propriety in speech, dress, or behavior.”
I Timothy 2:9-10 implies a woman’s clothing can be proper or improper and that it can reveal her character. It instructs that: “...that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness with good works.”
The admonition in Romans 12:2 also gives us guidance as to what our approach should be in regard to the immodest fashions prevalent in our world today: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Matthew 5:27-28 also indicates that clothes, or the lack thereof, have the power to lead people to sin: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a women to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Some may not realize that what they wear could cause others to stumble. Titus 2:4-5 instructs older ladies to teach the younger women to dress modestly. The wrong attire can lead others to lust or be tempted to sin. Dressing modestly shows love to our brothers in Christ by not putting “... a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:13).
If we serve and follow Christ, we should dress in a manner that shows respect to Him and our brothers and sisters in the faith. Dressing appropriately helps us keep the two great commandments of love for God and love for our fellow man (Matthew 22:37-39).
Teen Bible Study