YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR
by ezekiel olukolajo
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YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR!
One subtle way the devil is recruiting people as instruments of offense in this end time is by the way they dress. Unfortunately many believers have willingly submitted themselves as recruiting agents of the devil by offensive and indecent dressing. Teachings and discourse on how Christians should dress are fast becoming unpopular in Christian gatherings nowadays for simple reason: people don’t want anybody to tell them how or how not to dress. In fact the general maxim today is ‘wear it if you feel good in it’. By this, it appears many people have forgotten that we will be required to give account of everything we do with our bodies, including of course, the dresses and adornments we put on them!
The word of God does not leave us in doubt as to how we should dress and adorn our bodies as believers. There are clear instructions with respect to how a believer should dress.According to Genesis 3:7; following the fall, we are told that God’s glory departed from Adam and Eve, and this left them completely naked. In an attempt to cover their nakedness, they sewed fig leaves together as aprons. This was the very first place wearing of cloth evolved, and it was basically to cover nakedness. God saw that man-made aprons of fig leaves were inappropriate, because once the leaves got dried up, their nakedness would be discovered again, and therefore made them something better and more durable - coats of animal skin to properly cover their nakedness and also protect them against weather. By this singular act, God is clearly making a statement that He does not approve of any cloth or dress that exposes the nakedness of a man or a woman.
Today the world has obviously wandered away from the fundamental essence of clothes, which are to cover nakedness and offer protection against weather, to that of fashion and self gratification. This is the reason why it’s not uncommon nowadays to see people who put on clothes that can barely conceal sacred parts of their bodies which are never meant to be seen outside. This is clearly against the intention of the Almighty God, the first fashion designer, who never wanted man’s nakedness to be exposed for whatever reasons. It is indeed sad that Christians are also joining in the madness; if an unbeliever (lady or woman) does not see anything wrong in exposing her breasts, belly, thighs and other vital parts of her body all in the name of dressing and fashion, how about Christian sisters and women who claim they are God’s children but totally deny Him in their dressing? It must be emphasized that God’s standard has never changed with respect to how Christians should adorn themselves. 1Timothy 2:9a; says ‘In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety…’ It is apparent that most women in this generation, including even believers, have lost shamefacedness and sobriety which are great values of womanhood, or how else can we explain why it is convenient for them to expose vital parts of their bodies which are meant to be sacred?
The way you dress speaks volumes about who you are! A lot of people usually do not want to accept this fact, but truth is the way you dress has a way of revealing the very nature inside of you! The intents and contents of your heart are clearly revealed by what you wear. For instance if a lady has the intent of seducing a man, she simply carries out that intent by dressing loose or wearing suggestive clothes to register her intentions. It also appears that most people who dress loose or expose their bodies are suffering from inferiority complex. Deeply inside of themselves, it seems they see serious deficiencies and inadequacies so much that they think dressing to unduly catch the attention or attract others to themselves will make up for their inadequacies! If you are not suffering from complex, you have no business dressing to impress anyone.
Many people have discounted and devalued themselves by the way they dress; if you as a woman feels wearing short and skimpy skirts which reveal better parts of your thighs, wearing tops and blouses which can barely cover your breasts, wearing very loud and bogus make ups, will make people admire and accept you better, you are wrong! Deep down within, every one of us knows that people who dress loose and carelessly earn very little or no respect from us, though we often do not have the courage to tell them to their faces! Some Christian sisters have also decided to alter the way they dress in the light of what is in vogue and acceptable to the world simply because they want to look appealing, at least to get someone to marry. It must be emphasized that any relationship that is established based on carnal or worldly methods will not survive the test of time. You don’t need to compromise your stand to find your God-ordained husband or wife!
God does not joke at all with the matter of dressing; it is erroneous for anyone to think or teach that God is less concerned with what you put on your bodies. Taking a look at the word of God, we see clear instructions of God to all humanity and specifically to His own people on how they should dress. God in Exodus 28: 42-43 says ‘And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him’. It is important to note that exposing your nakedness, according to this passage, was considered (and still is) a serious offence that could be met with death! As God’s children, we are generations of priests and kings who are required to dress in the specified appropriate manner, not just when we come to church services but at all times, since we are the temple in which God now dwells.
Some dresses may not practically expose one’s nakedness per se, but they are so fitted and tight that they are too revealing for comfort. We must recognize the fact that an average man is spurred up by what he sees. If the dress you put on as a lady is capable of prompting in the opposite sex unwholesome thoughts or desires, you are already an instrument of offense! Yes, one may argue that that those in whose heart immoral thoughts are triggered off looking at the revealing dresses of the opposite sex have problems with their mind, agreed but even at that, must you be an accomplice in throwing them overboard? The Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:7; says ‘Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh’! Be careful that you do not become an instrument of offense to make people fall; those who aid others to fall out of the way of righteousness can never expect to make it to heaven!
As a matter of emphasis, there’s nothing wrong with looking good and dressing fine; being a child of God does not in any way say that you should look shabby, however, it must be clearly stated that you must be very careful not to fall into snares by paying too much attention on your body (adornments and what you wear) at the expense of your spirit – your relationship with God. Some people invest so much time, energy and resources on their body so much that it has become more or less an idol that they worship. God frowns at people who strive so much to look pretty on the outside but care less about their spiritual state which is more important to God. Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. Isaiah 3:16-24;
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 1Peter 3:3-5;
By Ezekiel Olukolajo
(c) copyright May 2012
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Thank you for this solicitous, well written and accurate description of what is erroneously referred to as fashion these days. I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind your exhortation that your sisters to understand how they dress affects their brothers.