by Tonja Taylor
We are in the world, and the world can be very carnal and self-centered. No doubt about it.
As Christian women, we want to look our best, while not tempting men--especially Christian men--especially in church, when we all should be focused on the Word and worship!
We all like to look good, and we usually like those compliments and glances. That's the flesh part of us; the vanity; the pride.
At the same time, we want to honor our husbands, ourselves, and most of all, our LORD Jesus by garbing ourselves to His glory.
As I told my daughter (now 23, newly married to her believing-in-Jesus sweetheart of over 9 years that she met at church camp, went to college with, and spilled her guts to all these years) over a decade ago, we want to dress so that we are neither distracted (i.e., wondering, Is my dress to tight? is this blouse see-through? Why did he stare at my body part that way? Why does Sister so-n-so look mad when I wear certain things? Should I talk to her about it? But who is she to judge me anyway? Only God is my judge. Oh, but I'm supposed to be worshiping the King and listening to His Word to help me with all of this...etc.) nor distracting.
After years of wearing myself out trying to look certain ways, then feeling condemned that I wore the wrong thing, then going to the other side and dressing more slopply, then feeling condemned for that, I finally decided to say "PHOOEY" on it all!
"LORD, show me what to wear, please," I pray often. He has been faithful with that. I haven't always listened, but there's often just this knowing inside that, when I think of and put on a certain outfit, I have freedom--freedom from what other people think about it, and I know I look nice, to show respect to the LORD and His house.
This carries over to going to grocery store, and everywhere in between; even to teaching online, which I do several times a week. As long as I'm modestly covered and look nice from the waist up, the students (both kids and adults) never know whether I'm in my jammies or a skirt with heels.
The attack of the virus has been both good and bad about how we dress. The key, as in any part of life, is finding the right balance, and having peace within yourself and with Him. If you are wearing something that doesn't please Him, you'll feel the slight 'scratching' of your Father the Holy Spirit inside. That is Him letting you know that He Who loves you is helping you do better.
Another way He helps is to give us freedom from the opinions of others. Truly, even if others (women or men!) look you up and down and give you any kind of wrong attitude (whether sensual or covetous), remember this: You are not on planet to please them and anyway, people cannot be truly pleased--for more than a couple minutes or maybe hours, perhaps days, even years.
And here's a secret: After a few minutes (or less!) they forget about you and start thinking about themselves again!
Even if they talk about your dress or your hair or your pants later, who cares? What other people think has nothing to do with your destiny, so don't let their opinions affect your heart; it's not worth it. (Ask me how I know!)
Yes, we are to be examples to others. The problem is, Jesus is the only Perfect Example, and every human on the planet is at a different level of discipleship (or an unbeliever), with a different frame of reference about what is and is not "proper."
The enemy comes to wear out the saints, and one of the ways he tries to do that is by keeping us agitated about appearance!
Simply abide in the LORD. Listen to Him, flow with Him, keep your heart in His peace; for to Him, You as a Believer in Christ wear an eternal garment of Glory!
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, via River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), their church, and beyond.