Modesty, dress code, pants vs skirts, what to wear and when to wear it, and Christianity seem to go hand in hand and often carry an extremely negative connotation. I grew up in a Christian culture where this was common and I now live a life of Spiritual freedom including a deeper connection with my Father built on a relationship rather than rules. Although I could write a whole blog post (perhaps even a book) based on the physical side of clothing, I honestly believe that this isn’t what God is actually concerned with.
The Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7b “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” We as humans (and Christians) immediately judge others by the clothes they are wearing, yet God makes it very clear that He “judges” us based on the condition of our hearts. Though it is not my place to judge a person’s heart condition, I am certain that it is completely possible that someone could wear what would be considered the most modest outfit possible, yet their heart is still not aligned with God’s heart. At this point, they are no better than someone who wears something deemed “immodest”.
As I have pondered this topic for the past several days, the Lord has been revealing to me several traits that He speaks about in His Word, and how He actually desires us to be clothed. If you’re wondering right now where I’m headed or you’re curious to know what I believe about this topic, let me give you your first hint- it’s not that women should wear dresses and not pants, it’s not that you should never wear tank tops, only certain length shorts are acceptable, and no flip flops are allowed. As our Father, He genuinely cares about our hearts and that is what He desires for us to be concerned with clothing- first and foremost
Proverbs 31 is widely recognized as the passage which outlines the characteristics that a Godly woman, mother and wife should possess. In verse 25 David writes “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” I find it interesting that her dress code is not spoken to, but rather her character traits of strength, dignity and joy!
Colossians 3:12 goes on further to say “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” This scripture is addressed to a broader people group, not just the women striving to live like the “Proverbs 31 woman”. This is for God’s chosen ones, His children who are holy and loved. He says to clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience! I wonder today what we’re more concerned with. Are we so consumed with trying to please others by what we wear on the outside that we overlook what our Father sees?
You see, when we adorn ourselves in these “articles of clothing” mentioned through scripture, by default, our hearts will desire to present ourselves well before God. When we adopt the mindset that we are required to wear certain things to approach God in worship (at church), we are essentially excluding ourselves from approaching Him daily- whether that be at home or in our car.
I spent my quiet time in prayer, worship and devotion this morning in my pajamas, with yesterday’s makeup smeared around my eyes and the messiest messy bun you’ve ever seen! I didn’t feel the need to put on something specific in order to approach His throne, and I certainly didn’t feel like I connected any less with Him! Yes, I wore my pj’s, but I also took the time to dress myself in compassion as I prayed for those hurting around me, humility as I prayed for God to change me first and joy as I reflected on, and thanked the Lord for, His ever-faithful presence in my life!
The Bible says in Romans 12:1 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” He said a living and holy sacrifice that He will find acceptable. When I ponder what it means to be a living sacrifice, I picture a daily pursuit to be closer to Him, laying aside anything that keeps us dead inside. Being holy refers to being dedicated and consecrated to God. As far as what He finds acceptable- we studied that earlier! Paul says that this is how we can truly worship Him!
I am not an expert, by any means; but I have read the Scripture and have personally experienced the freedom that is ours as His children. I have encountered His manifestation of peace and joy as I worship Him throughout my day- even in my pj’s!
So, I’ll ask you this- are you wearing compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience? Are you clothed with strength and dignity? Or, are you solely focused on your outward appearance that man sees expecting that your efforts will please your Father as well?