God Cares What you Wear
The First Fashion Show
The love and wisdom that made your soul is the same love and wisdom that made your body. God gave just as much attention to creating the body
of man as He did to his soul. He created man and woman naked and saw that it was good. After the fall, man began to choose to wear what he desired. The first fashion show featured what Adam and Eve wanted to wear. They wanted to be themselves and so made for themselves clothes to wear.
- When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:6–7)
Immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, “they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” And, ever since, man has been making clothes for himself rather than seeking God as to what he should wear. After God confronted them on their sin and rebellion, He took away their fig leaves and gave them clothing of His choosing.
- The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21)
If you are a Christian, then every day God will direct what you should wear. In fact, Jesus said we must “hate” our own lives, and part of that hatred means that we hate what we want to wear (John 12:25). The message of the cross crucifies our desires and wants. It is the only true Christian life.
Hair, Body Piercing, and Tattoos
It is unscriptural for anyone to say God is not con- cerned with what we do to our bodies or the length of our hair. It is a sin for a man to have long hair and a sin for a woman to have short hair. The Scripture below is in context, clear, and sharply to the point.
- Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. (1 Corinthians 11:14–15)
Would you think it a good thing if someone made their sister a prostitute? Of course not. Well, God compares the marking and cutting of our bodies to that of forcing your sister to become a prostitute.
- Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard. Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord. Do not degrade your daughter by making
her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness. (Leviticus 19:27–29)
Men have decided what they will wear. Therefore, they have tattooed and pierced their bodies with or- naments. And women dress like prostitutes. Even the world remarks how the young women of today dress in an unholy way. You might say to yourself this was the Old Testament and we are not under the Law in Christ. This is a true statement that can be fully accepted if you realize one thing. God put the Law in place to show us right from wrong (1 Timothy 1:8–9). If we come to Jesus in true faith, He will show us how to dress and take care of our bodies in a way that surpasses the requirements of the Law.
After all, what constitutes long hair? And how can we know what is modest and immodest? These things are easy if we pick up the cross that crucifies our fleshly opinions about dress. God Himself will make it clear. The reason people cannot determine sin- fully long hair on a man, short hair on a woman, or immodest clothing is because they will not listen to God.
Not to Dress Ourselves
The whole Christian life can be summed up in this statement: Not doing what we want, but doing what God desires. In everything that we say or do, we should be able to say, “This is God’s will, not mine.” Death to self means that we die to our plans and desires. Jesus told Peter that he used to dress himself and go where he wanted, but as he followed Jesus he would be dressed by someone else and led where he did not want to go. In short, Peter would be doing God’s will, not his own.
- “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:18–19)
Therefore, Paul wrote that men and women must dress in a certain way. Men are to have “holy hands” that do not participate in evil by dressing or marking their bodies in such a way that reflects sin. Women must also dress in a way that reflects righteousness and purity.
- I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and pro- priety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes… (1 Timothy 2:8–9)
The best way to know how to dress is to ask the Holy Spirit each day what to wear. If you are one of God’s children, then like any child you ask your parent what you should wear that day. If you are “led by the Spirit” then you belong to God. If you decide what you want to wear, choosing to lead yourself, you are not a child of God. If you say to God, “Abba” or translated, “Dada” then your Father will dress you for the day’s work. The only children that hear God speak to them of His love for them are those willing to let God dress and clean them up each day.
- …because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:14–16)
Be Holy in All
The word holy means to be separated unto God. Christians are to be a people that not only in word, but also in deed, reflect God’s separation from sin. God commands that we “come out from them and be separate” and become a people that do not dress like the world.
- Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Does this mean we should never wear blue jeans or a particular kind of suit? No, it isn’t a matter of a bunch of rules or wearing clothes that don’t reveal any skin. It is much more serious than that. Christians should be “perfecting holiness.” In other words, they find out what is holy for their town, circle of friends, and country. For example, as a pastor in the United States of America, God instructs me to wear a suit when I preach. But it is a quiet, inexpensive suit that does not draw attention to myself. To wear a flashy suit that speaks fully of the current styles and trends would contaminate my body and spirit.
- Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
If I lived somewhere else, or went to preach some- where else, God might instruct me to wear something different that would reflect His holiness in their culture or church. But if I were a Christian among a group of teenagers or bikers, God would not have me dress like them to “win them over.” He would instruct me in how to
dress differently—to show them how they should dress. After all, Jesus sat down with drunkards, but He did not get drunk. In other words, God’s Holy Spirit would work a hatred in my heart for the way they dressed.
- …snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (Jude 1:23)
Those who choose to dress like the world in order to win the world for Christ have made themselves enemies of God (James 4:4). Until you hate the clothing stained by corrupted flesh you will never hear from God what to wear. Until you hate the current fashion styles, He will not be able to guide and speak to you about what you should wear. You must pick up a cross that makes you realize you cannot strive to be your own person. As the next Scripture declares, “You are not your own.” And since you are not your own and not allowed to dress the way you want, you must honor God with your body.
- Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19–20)
Dress Unto God
Some things are obvious sins before God. For instance, obviously men and women should dress differently and wear clothes that reflect the gender in which God created them.
- A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this. (Deuteronomy 22:5)
In order to hear God on how to dress, realize that God will guide you to dress in a way that will not draw attention to yourself—not according to the world’s ideas of fashionable dress. Even dressing in colorless, drab clothing and wearing our hair in a certain way can draw attention to ourselves. Peter wrote that women must dress in a way that draws no attention to their clothing or to “outward adornment.”
- Your beauty should not come from outward adorn- ment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. (1 Peter 3:3)
Men should also dress in such a way that does not draw attention to themselves. Indeed, men often dress in such a way as to reflect the spirit of Satan. They want to
be noticed for the beauty they possess. God sent Satan to hell because he wanted to be noticed for his beauty.
- Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom be- cause of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings. (Ezekiel 28:17)
This may sound harsh and legalistic because the church today does not teach the finer things of holiness. In the name of a false freedom in Jesus, preachers tell everyone they can dress and do what they want. In doing so, they do violence to God and defile God’s holy things.
God will give those who let Jesus dress them here on earth clothes to wear in heaven. Anyone who claims to be a Christian, yet dresses themselves, will burn in hell. You have a choice each day—to dress as God would will
and command, or to go your own way. Those who choose God’s way will be dressed in white someday.
- I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. (Rev- elation 3:18)
Now is the time to listen to the Holy Spirit and to the “counsel” that comes from the Spirit, so that one day Jesus can give you a new wardrobe in heaven.
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