Let’s imagine you and I meet for coffee and tea to discuss the highest purpose for our lives. (Yes, a big topic to cover at a coffee shop!) We might eventually arrive at the idea that we exist to glorify and enjoy God.
Glorify • to make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, and admiration.
We exist to make God’s glorious name and character more knowable to a lost world. Hopefully, we do this in such a way that others also want to honor, praise, and admire Him as we do.
Now, as we sip hot drinks and nibble on scones, I picture us having a fairly robust and eager conversation about how we can glorify God and enjoy Him. I tell you how I experience that, including the ritual of having time with the Lord each morning as I watch the woodpeckers visit my bird feeder. I tell you how God teaches me about His power and character through the menagerie of animals on this little farm He’s entrusted to me. And I share about the many mission trips I’ve enjoyed to Zambia, Peru, Ecuador, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic.
Then, I listen as you tell me of your adventures in glorifying and enjoying God with your life. In fact, take a moment and write a few of the things you would share with me in your own notes.
This would all go swimmingly until we begin to consider that every moment of our lives is to glorify and enjoy God. Each decision must point to His ownership of our lives. After all, His blood has purchased us.
At this point, the conversation would become more difficult. One reason for this is that we’d realize how far we have to go in order to fully glorify God! But the other reason is that we’d most likely begin to have some differences. It’s bound to happen. I’ll interpret some Bible verses in a way that you do not. And vice versa.
I hope that the conversation could remain engaged and robust as we learn from one another. But I’m finding that when I share how God has allowed me to glorify Him and enjoy Him in how I dress, I have some critics.
I hope you aren’t one of them. But if you are, I invite you to hear what I have to say and then write to me with your thoughts! After twenty years of writing about beauty and bodies, I’m still learning and willing to grow.
Let me show you how I’ve arrived comfortably at allowing the Lord to direct the way that I shop and dress. We’ll start with the writing of the Apostle Paul.
. . . women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works. -1 Timothy 2:9–10 ESV)
Modesty. Self-control. Good works. Again, can’t buy those online, right?
But these two verses do mention our physical adornment. Why? It seems there is a specific reason we should dress in respectable apparel—avoiding obsession with our hairstyle, excessive jewelry, and expensive clothing. It is so that we don’t distract people from seeing Christ in us. We are instructed not to dress so extravagantly that our appearance is more noticeable than the good works our Savior produces in our lives.
Think carefully about that. It puts a whole new spin on why immodesty is missing the mark of God’s best for our lives. It has nothing to do with how long our skirt is or how tight our shirt may be.
The great sin of immodesty is that we’re saying, “look at me” instead of “look at God.”
God’s Word instructs us to dress modestly, in part, so that what we’re wearing on our hearts remains visible because it is of greater worth than those awesome new flared jeans!
So, yes. God does care what you wear on your body.
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