Dressing for Worship

5.19.2012


It's Saturday evening again. My favorite time of the week (not really). It's time to decide what to wear to church tomorrow. Of course, it's really not the difficult. I'll end up wearing something I've worn a million times before, but for some reason it will take me 20 mins to come to that decision. It's a complicated process. 

As you can see, we thrive on organization! Haha!

However, this week is a little bit different, because this week I'm going to my closet armed with scripture.   
"Likewise also that 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
 Now, before you start freaking out about all those times you begged your mom to braid your hair for church then complained relentlessly about how much it hurt when she finally gave in...wait, you didn't do that? Must have been thinking of someone else...

Anyway, before we start reading our own culture ideas into this passage I think it's interesting to look at what Paul is really saying here. This quotes comes from those nifty Bible commentary footnotes that explain things in culture context. 
 "The female has a divinely implanted desire to have a good appearance, and Paul is not discouraging this. Rather, his is speaking against extravagant and ostentatious dress. Women are neither to dress immodestly, so as to exploit their feminine charm, hindering their brethren from worship; nor are they to overdo their dress, provoking their Christian sisters to jealousy."
Paul says that women should dress with modesty and with self-control. We shouldn't try to attract attention from men in the congregation or try to provoke our Christian sisters in jealousy. 

It's interesting to me that the instruction Paul gives to women about how to dress for church don't say wear your best Sunday clothes and look your prettiest because you have to give God your best. He doesn't say that your Sunday clothes should be your most expensive outfit or your trendiest shoes. He doesn't say you should spend a little longer doing your hair and make-up because it's the Lord's Day. 

He also doesn't say you shouldn't look nice, even pretty. That's an important point. Respectable doesn't equal boring! Rather, he says your apparel should be proper for women who profess godliness with good works. Well, what does that mean?

Now, I don't want to poke my nose where it doesn't belong, but I want to get real personal with you here for a minute because I've give a lot of thought to what I think Paul is saying here. 

Ladies, when you look in the mirror before church on Sunday what is your primary concern? 
Is it about how attractive you look? 
Is it about how fashionable your clothes are? 
Are you more concerned with your outfit or your good works?

And let's get practical. 

Is your cleavage showing? 
Does your skirt ride up your thigh when you sit? 
Is the point of your outfit to show off your tiny waist or your long legs? 
Do you wear lots of cute jewelry because you want the other ladies to notice? 

If you said yes to any of these questions, you have a problem, and I've been there. I'm guilty of being more concerned with looking attractive and trendy than of being respectable and self-controlled. 

It's a hard reality to face and it's even harder to change. In the past few weeks, I've given away skirts that were a few inches too short, thrown out tops that were cut too low, and even retired my favorite pants that make my behind look...well, let's just say my husband really liked those pants. 

I've slowly (and painfully) cleaned out my wardrobe, and it's been tough. It's also been liberating. Because as my wardrobe has gotten smaller, my faith has grown. I realized that for years I've been insecure about myself, my hair, my clothes, my style, and there really was no need. God wasn't looking at those things. I was. 

So, this Sunday when you get dressed for worship, I challenge you to pray. Pray that God would help you dress modestly and self-controlled. Pray for all of your sisters in Christ who are standing in front of their closets asking themselves what they should wear. And pray that this Sunday the church house will be filled with women who respect themselves and those around them. 


Linked up at The Modest Mom and Our Simple Country Life

9 comments:

  1. Here's my personal process for Sunday clothes (post becoming a mom, b/c hey that changes things): I through on a dress I hopefully haven't worn in the last few weeks (being pregnant also has it's challenges with this one). Then I do the check, length (ask the husband, add leggings if necessary), exposure (throw on an undershirt or sweater if needed), and comfort (is there any part of this I am going to be messing with the entire time). Then if I'm lucky I get to throw on the same set of jewelry I pretty much wear with every outfit and occasionally a few accent pieces that are pre-assigned to certain color schemes (lame I know). And then I'm rushing out the door because husband and child are already in the car!
    It's not so much an issue now as it was when I was say in high school. Then it was definitely dress to impress. Now it's just dress to get out the door and look halfway decent! Oh how things change.

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  2. Wonderful job taking your closet and it's contents to the Lord. He will bless you for honoring your body and using it to glorify Him instead of yourself! I recently paired down my closet and would probably do good to do another once over on it. I started buying more simple plain tops and skirts and I can mix/match so much of that, I love it! I feel more feminine and modest at the same time. A lot less frumpy! Blessings to you friend, thank you for this call to action for us ladies. :)

    ~Nicole, Working Kansas Homemaker

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  3. Beautifully written! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it! I shared it on my fb wall! :)

    Sarah

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate the vote of confidence. Have a blessed day!

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  4. I... love...this blog!! The name is so cute! Very fitting (wish I'd thought of it! hehe). Love your awesome posts! Keep in touch!

    Kristen from Created to be His
    www.createdtobehis31.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for following!

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  5. Great post! I am comfortable with the fact that I am modest, but I have to say that I struggle now and then with wanting to look nice for other people when it comes to church when really that shouldn't be an issue. Blessings to you!

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  6. Well said, Katherine. Your post is winsome, gentle, yet full of truth. I'm stopping by from Be Not Weary (www.lorihatcher.com), and so glad I did.

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  7. This is so good!! Such a sweet blog.

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