In case you don’t know, this article is a follow up to an already published article titled, “the state of the Christian woman’s dress and adornment today” Let’s get talking.
Delving straight into what the Holy Bible says about our issue of discussion for some time now, let’s get some basic understanding of who a Christian woman is. A Christian woman, in simple language, is a female who strongly believes and accepts that Jesus Christ is the only begotten son of God sent into the world to be crucified on the cross to bear the sins of mankind – (John 3:16). She is baptized, goes by the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, and she is a fisher of men – (Matt 19:20, John 17:18-20). Biblically, for such a person’s dressing to be complete and proper, these three things must be well exhibited, as well as, highlighted.
- The significance of the cross of Christ
Now let’s look into them one after the other with some vividness.
Cleanliness is the derivative noun form of the adjective ‘clean’ which means, “Free from dirt, marks, or pollutants”. This must be vigorously and emphatically showcased in the dressing of Christians, if not for any reason, for the fact that it is next to Godliness. In Exodus 19:10-11, God told Moses how clean the people must be to encounter him. This cleanliness is one that comes from the washing of clothes. What I see God telling His people in this text is “everyone who wish to encounter him, have already encountered him, and is still encountering him must be clean”. Just as simple as ABC, you don’t walk in, and towards holiness dirty. From our description of a Christian woman earlier, we understood that such a person is one that is ready to encounter the Lord at any time, and at any place. In as much as she is encountering the Lord, she must be clean from head to toe, even as she goes on with her activities on earth, and wait on the Lord Jesus Christ whom we all are tiring for on earth. There is not much problem on this aspect of our dressing as a matter of fact.
Dressing modest implies that covering must provide sufficient covering for the body so that others are not embraced or tempted. This is serious! For our information, modest dressing traces its roots deep in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:7, the Bible makes each, and everyone, of us understand that after Adam and Eve ate of the tree of good and evil, their eyes opened and they realized they were naked, and they made for themselves aprons of fig leaves as covering. Further in Genesis 3:9-10, when God came to the Garden and asked Adam where they were, he said they were naked and hid themselves. He didn’t say they ate of the tree of good and evil, and they realized their state of nakedness so they covered themselves, and that was wrong. He didn’t also say they were hiding because they didn’t obey the command of God. This mean to imply that the reason of Adam and Eve hiding from God is after covering themselves with the fig leaves, they were still naked and that their nakedness wasn’t fit for the presence of God. To expatiate more and put in another sense, they realized their state of nakedness from the eating of the tree of good and evil, and they were hiding not for their wrong doing but from the shame with their nakedness even after their covering with fig leaves. Reading on further, Genesis 3:21 revealed that God properly clothed them with coats of skin fit for his presence. What do I seek to hint? Adam referred to their covering as a state of nakedness before God, even when they made for themselves aprons of fig leaves (‘apron’ in the amplified version of the Bible). This didn’t cover them sufficiently. Why? How? How then is an apron, and why is it not a covering? An apron is sleeveless, has a low cut neck, is above knee level, and doesn’t cover ones nakedness completely. Today, we go to the presence of God with that same covering of Adam and Eve with no shame. Is it proper? For our information from the story of Adam and Eve, anything above the knee level and sleeveless is nakedness to the core before God. What happens when we see somebody in his undergarment in public? We refer them naked. Good! What then qualifies something to be an undergarment? Is it determined by the material of which it is made? Absolutely, no! An undergarment is a piece of clothing above the knee level, and sleeveless, same as Adam and Eve’s covering with fig leaves. Whether it is denim, nylon, polyester, cotton, etc., the fact that it is sleeveless and above knee level rules it to be an undergarment. And God in His eternal knowledge and wisdom clothed them on top of their covering in coats of skin. If this story doesn’t, at least, inform us of the wearing of undergarment, it does tell us that what we have been wearing to the presence of God are under wears. And that is nakedness in the indirect sense, capable of making your neighbor to fantasize. Modest dressing is to dress to cover the torso completely. For the see-through, and the transparent and opaque tight fitting dresses, and leggings, I leave it to our own judgment.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CROSS OF JESUS
The appearance of a Christian must show the central attraction of Christianity – the significance of the cross of Jesus Christ. What is the cross of Jesus? It signifies the death of Jesus. What is the death of Jesus? That is the cleansing of the sins of mankind. How are we cleansed of our sins? By believing in Jesus, and that is to say by being Christians. Excellent! When we as Christians dress anyhow to church and around town, then what we say to people out there is that we are not what claim to be. Because if we were; We would quickly twig what Matthew 5:14-18 tells us. It talks about us being light to the world. With respect to our dressing today, I can’t tell if we are leading to the light or to darkness. We would realize what Jesus says in John 17:18 that as God almighty sent Him into the world so has he also sent us, to affect others positively, even in our appearance , and also be vessels of truth, peace, patience, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, hope, and self-control. We would love and care so much for our brothers like Christ did for us, and stop enticing and luring them to lust after us with our dress and adornment. This is emphasized in Galatians 5:6 – Our faith is expressed through love. The Holy Spirit expresses itself in us through love, and not only the speaking of tongues. The speaking of tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit whilst the love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Not everybody gets the gift, but every good tree bears the fruit. So, for a Christian woman to love a brother is to care so much that she wouldn’t lead him to sin by dint of her dress, adornment, etc. Not to say the speaking of tongues is not necessary, but I wonder what the world make of us when we speak a language we, as well as them, do not understand and wear stuffs they classify to be worn by prostitutes. Let us express the biggest commandment of the Lord (Love – Matthew 19:19), than yearn for the gifts of the Holy spirits. We would know that we ought to live by what the scripture says in 2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6. This verse talks about our lives (including our utterances, appearance, words, etc.,) being an epistle/letter/scroll/ perfume to our families, friends, villages, towns, enemies (our persecutors), lecturers, etc. Our lives being epistles is to say that, Christ dwelling in us desires to speak to those who are not acquainted to him. Those who are unable to see the light in the Words of the scripture must see it and read it through us, in us and on us. The Bible must be understood through us without even an utterance, if there be the case.
The big question is how covered are we in our covering before the world? Are we beckoning the masses to Christ with our dress and adornment? If yes, then we must keep on keeping on. But, if no, then we must remember our God given assignment in Matthew 28:19-20. If our dressing doesn’t signify the cross of Jesus Christ then we don’t know what we are. Just as simple as that!
LETS BE CONSCIOUS OF WHAT WE WEAR AS CHRISTIANS!