There is almost no subject as controversial to today’s young believers as the issue of fashion. What to wear and what not to wear; how to wear and how not to wear…
I will not even begin to act like I am immune to these problems. Anyone who knows me knows I LOOOVEEE looking good. I mean, I definitely won’t be repping the King of Glory who is Clothed in Wondrous Splendor if I look drab and filthy like something the cat dragged in.
Now the issue is this, we are called to live in this world, but to not be OF the world. Tough one, huh? You know, the devil is the prince of this earth and no matter how we try to contend it; his ways are the acceptable norm on this earth. So, if you are looking to “belong”, you will most likely be conforming to worldly standards.
Today, I’m going to focus on us ladies (yup), but guys, y’all can drop in and glean a little from our bounty. Let’s look at what the Bible says about dressing for women. The most common passage referenced in issues like this is 1 Tim 2:9… ”In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing” (NKJV)
You know, despite all the controversy surrounding the interpretation of Scripture in the Modern-day versions, this is one scripture on which they all agree.
Check this out, the NLT version says “And I want women to be modest in their appearance.* They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes…”
The NIV version reads “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes…”
The NASB version tells us “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, *modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments…”
If we will be honest with ourselves, the guideline for how women should dress is laid out plainly. Women should dress modestly, decently, appropriately, discreetly, with propriety and should not walk around like a mobile cash depot.
My issue here is not about the guidelines on how to dress, we all know that. My issue is with how to apply it practically.
Yup! We all know we should dress modestly and discreetly and without drawing attention to our bodies, yada yada yada… Question is, how do I do this?
There is an underlying secret to fulfilling this. When a lady has her heart fixed on God, He becomes the Lover of her soul. She wants to please Him all the time and in every sphere of her life.
Now, let’s be “secular’ for a second here. Stay with me people… Imagine you are in a relationship with the most awesome guy ever! Okay, if you can’t picture that, you remember that secret 5-page long list of the qualities you want your husband to possess (yes, don’t shake your head…we know you have it). Great, now imagine meeting a guy who scores a 10/10 on every single point. Whew!!! Good Lord, that’s a whole lot of awesomeness going on there, right? Now, let’s turn the heat up a little. Imagine he's boinkers about you. I mean, he's dead crazy about you and loves you with a love that knocks your socks off. I am so sure we (me inclusive) will ALWAYS want to please Mr. Oh-So-Awesome. If he says not to do something (bearing in mind he's going to ask perfectly), we will almost definitely stop doing that thing.
Back to earth, people. Our Mr. Oh-So-Awesome is GOD. He is the Perfect and Ultimate Lover of our souls. But we fail to realize that and so we treat Him like every other guy. If God really is first in our lives, our love for fashion will not override his instructions to us, will it?
He says to dress decently, appropriately and all. Do we do that? Or do we say “Well, I love fashion soooo much, I could care less what God thinks”? A lot of us would never agree to that, but that’s exactly what our actions say. We place fashion above God. We turn fashion into our idol.
So many Christians today are slaves to the IDOL called FASHION. We sacrifice our relationship with God on the altar of looking good.
I can already hear the protests and self-righteous comments of “Nah, not me.” Well, let’s conduct a small test to see if you really are not a slave to Fashion.
The issue of wearing Trousers. Wait!!! Don’t lynch me yet…! I am not here to advocate or condemn the morality or otherwise of wearing trousers as a lady. To me, the correctness of it all lies in the following questions;
- Why do you wear trousers? Is it a matter of comfort or necessity or because you want to be sexy? Because you want to show off your figure or because you want to attract attention from men?
- Is it modest? Do you wear pants so tight a plastic mold of your feminine parts can be made just by looking at them? Or are they so tight you can barely walk freely? Do people see your veins and muscle structure and every dimple in your anatomy just by looking at the trousers you have on?
- Is it appropriate? You know a brother-in-Christ has issues with lust and then you have a meeting with him and that’s the day you remember to put on a pair of tight-fitting, figure-hugging pair of pants that announces your oh-so-magnificent figure from a mile away.
Now, if you answered all these questions correctly and you sincerely wear trousers with a pure heart and a pure motive, there’s still one last test.
WOULD YOU GIVE UP TROUSERS IF GOD ASKED YOU TO JUST BECAUSE…?
If God said, “My daughter, I know your wearing of trousers is done in a way that pleases me, but I just want you to stop wearing them for absolutely no reason”; what will your reaction be? How hard will it be for you to stop? How much will you have to struggle with choosing between your comfort and obedience to God, however uncomfortable it might be.
Same thing goes for jewelry, hair-do and make-up. Is there anything wrong with wearing jewelry? NO! Is there any sin associated with making your hair very neatly and exquisitely? NOPE!! Does the wearing of make-up symbolize a deviation from the straight and narrow? Definitely NOT!!!
So what exactly is your point, Darhmie?! My point is this; Fashion is your idol if you cannot at the drop of a hat go out bare-faced without any make-up on. There is a problem if it’s a taboo for you to leave your natural hair open for a week without sewing, attaching or gluing something on or into it. And if you have ever had to return to your house because you forgot to put earring on or worse still, you stopped at a boutique or road-side stall to buy jewelry because you forgot yours at home, then there is indeed an issue that needs tackling.
And before you start with your barrage of excuses, let me use myself as an example. On the issue of natural hair…lets just say I went off to play when God was distributing hair. It’s not like I have alopecia or something that terrifying but my natural hair has PLENTY of room for improvement, literally…LOL! I struggled with self-esteem issues about my hair all my life until like 6months ago. I just got tired of having to constantly be either tying scarves when (God-forbid) I hadn’t sewn, glued or attached something to my head. I asked myself why I couldn’t just let it be. One day, I woke up, went to the salon and chopped off the little hair that I had on my head. Monday morning, I went to work bare-headed for the first time ever since secondary school – almost 14years. It was scary but it was also liberating. Now, 6 months later, do I still fix weave-ons and all that? Of course, yes I do. But I don’t feel naked if I don’t have something on my head. My hair is still short and all but now I rock it au naturelle like no man’s business.
As per trousers, make-up and jewelry, I was brought up in Deeper Life, so I was well into my teens and almost done with University before I started wearing them. Now, I know that more often than not, people like me often abuse the new-found freedom and over-do things. I will admit I went a bit (okayyy, maybe more than a bit) overboard with make-up especially. But as I grew in Christ and questioned the rightness or not of wearing make-up, jewelry and trousers, I asked an older Sister-in-Christ who of her volition decided to never use make-up, jewelry, artificial hair or wear trousers . She told me something profound; she said she had just started getting really serious about her looks and as she was preparing to go out one day, God asked her how much she loved Him. She answered immediately and said “With all my heart, Lord.” God then asked her if He meant more to her than fashion and looking good, she said she was stunned and replied ‘Yes’. God then told her that He felt she was starting to pay too much attention to her looks and less time on her soul and that He missed the communion they used to have. My big Sis-In-Christ said she broke down as she realized that it wasn’t as if God didn’t want her to look good, all He wanted was all of her attention and fashion was beginning to take her away from Him. She decided to forgo all of that as a constant reminder to herself that God must always remain Numero Uno in her life.
Now, I am not saying we all need to go that drastic and cut everything out. But if God asks for us to do that, is it too much for Him to ask? I mean, He gave up His only Begotten Son for us? He guides us, protects us, loves us soooo unconditionally and more often than not, we throw His love back in His face whenever we decide to go against His directives. Yet, His Love has no end, knows no bounds. How come wearing jewelry or painting up our face is more important than spending time in His presence early in the morning? How come if we are not wearing the latest outfit to church, we automatically fail to enjoy the service?
Sisters and Brothers, I am such an advocate of looking good but at what cost? Let’s make it a point to consciously forgo these fashion “essentials” or “staples” once in a while. A suggestion; go on a “make-up fast” or a “trouser fast” for a period of time. The objective: we are telling God loud and clear that He is the most important part of our life and no matter how non-conformist it makes us look, there is nothing we cannot give up for Him.
Love you all. Enjoy your God-given freedom. Don’t let fashion enslave you….