The Way We Dress

I have been invited on to the kids programme as a guest tomorrow, and the theme is ‘fashion.’ What a blessing it will be to take part. The question I have been asked to speak on (to young girls in particular) is, “does it matter how we dress?” Some of the themes we’ll be looking at are ‘is it OK for a girl (or woman) to dress in a flirty or provocative way?’ and ‘what does the Bible say about women’s dress?’

God’s timing is interesting with this, because I have found Him really growing my interest in the topics of modesty and femininity over the past months. When I first became committed to God at 20 I guess you could say I would have been wary about other Christians introducing “rules” about how women should dress and being prescriptive. But one thing I have experienced is that God has this amazing and gentle way of revealing His thinking and heart to us on different issues as we grow in our relationship with Him.

The Bible says that the message of the cross is foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18) and I can see that God’s heart regarding modesty may seem just as foolish and outmoded.

I am so thankful for a Mum who felt strongly about tastefulness in what I chose to wear growing up but the understanding I have gained on this issue as a Christian has taken it to a much deeper level. I once read that modesty is humility expressed in dress*, and I think that is an extremely good and thought-provoking definition. Humility is one of the most defining qualities of Jesus, and God is very plain about us as His children walking in the same humility before Him, clothing ourselves in humility even (1 Peter 5:5) and so it makes complete sense to me that such humility of spirit would be reflected in what we choose to wear. 

The way we dress as women makes a statement. It is important to ask ourselves, what statement am I making? Clothes which are revealing and titilating invite being viewed in a sexual way and invite a focus on our bodies. Is that what we want? Isn’t it better to invite a focus on who we are and on what we contribute as people? 1 Peter 3 encourages us as women in the beauty of “the hidden person of the heart” which is “very precious in the sight of God.” Of course this does not mean that we cannot enjoy fashion and style and beauty as women (eek!) but it is the whole thing of putting first things first.

I guess the other question to ask ourselves is why when it comes to what we choose to wear. Why am I choosing to wear this? Often it seems our clothes are an outward expression of what is going on inside. Are we craving acceptance through what we are wearing? Are we craving attention? Are we exalting ourselves or the Lord Jesus Christ in our choice? I am growing in my desire to be a conduit for Jesus in every possible way. John the Baptist made the most beautiful profession about himself in relation to Jesus when he said “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). May that be my heart in everything, including the way I present myself.

God is revealing to me more and more the beauty that there is being understated. The grace of modesty, the stylishness of modesty. The beauty in the humility this reflects. And the great part is we can still enjoy fashion and beauty at the same time!

There is so much to say on this topic and maybe in the future I can pick up on it again, including the effect it has on our male Christian friends and guys at church. I’d love to pick up on the topic of ‘beauty’ as Christian women too – afterall, all we have to do is look at one of our mothers in the faith, Queen Esther, who underwent 12 months of beauty treatments (!) to see that we are in very good company when we as Christian women enjoy the same thing! (Esther 2:12). I’d love to hear your thoughts!

*Quote from N Whitacre; http://www.girltalk.blogs.com; 12 04 06

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~ by Birgit on April 10, 2007.

9 Responses to “The Way We Dress”

  1. Birgit, I’ll try to watch you on the programme tommorrow

  2. Birgit, I was fascinated to read your comments on “The Way We Dress” from a biblical point of view. I have read and heard the passage “clothe yourselves with humility” many times and hadn’t considered extending it to include the way we dress. I am sure your programme will have wide appeal.
    God bless.

  3. Go for it, girl! I did an article in Special magazine issue 9 on the very subject for girls, and there are 2 characters- ‘Miss Modest’ and ‘Miss Skimpy’! I have 2 teenage nephews and I feel so sorry for them – the stuff they have to face every day……

  4. This may be a little deep a reply. I lived for many years being embarressed of my body and therefore always chose to wear loose and unflattering clothes. Through God I have come to love my body, as He is the one that designed me (inward and out). As my relationship with Him has grown and stregthened I have developed a Godly confidence!! Which is great!! We live in a society that says: ‘If you’ve got it flaunt it’. As a christian female, I don’t think we can live our lives like that. However, we need to trust that the Holy Spirit will help us decide what to wear and He will help us determine whether it is appropriate or not. In my spirit I know when I am ‘revealing’ too much….

  5. Hi Birgit. Thank you for your inspired piece on ‘The Way We Dress.’ I think this is a word in season. I love the way you write and will be checking in on your blog regularly! Keep up the good work! The internet is full of wordly things, and it is so refreshing to be able to read this beautiful material.

  6. Hey Birgit. This is all so true! Love the blog… everything is so real and relevant. I really believe this will be a huge blessing, and great to see evangelism that moves with the times!! Also, I love your creative writing. God has clearly gifted you. Rock on!!!
    xXx Rosalind xXx

  7. This is a great subject! I can’t wait to see you on the show. Years ago I used to not put much thought in my dressing style, wearing ultra mini-skirts, I really felt awful about later. I came to think that it is kind of degrading if people reveal too much of themselves, because then the body shape is stressed too much or body parts are exposed. Simplicity and modesty is the golden rule! Why do people need to draw attention through their clothes or the lack of them? Maybe it also has to do with making up with a sense of inferiority. My plan is to wear even more skirts this year, but at least knee-length.

  8. I was wondering if there are certain rules in the bible for dressing. One woman mentioned to me that as Christian women we should wear skirts. Is this based on scripture? I like skirts, and I also think it’s good wearing them, because they stress our feminity, and God did make men and women different, so why should everybody only wear pants and shirts all the time?

  9. This is a great subject! I can’t wait to see you on the show. Years ago I used to not put much thought in my dressing style, wearing ultra mini-skirts, I really felt awful about later. I came to think that it is kind of degrading if people reveal too much of themselves, because then the body shape is stressed too much or body parts are exposed. Simplicity and modesty is the golden rule! Why do people need to draw attention through their clothes or the lack of them? Maybe it also has to do with making up with a sense of inferiority. My plan is to wear even more skirts this year, but at least knee-length.

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