Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm Tired of being told what to Wear...

Not so recently I have encountered to an "issue" within my church. My church was a church plant until recently when we became our own established congregation, but we still keep in touch with the church that supported our outreach and establishment before we were able to support ourselves. Now one of the ways our two congregations have come together over the years, as we live a little over an hour apart, is to have dances, an especially preferred "coming together function" since a lot of our young ladies (and some young men) enjoy it. When we started going the "rules" were simple: dress how you want, bring food, family, and friends, and have a good time. 

Somewhere through the years, things got complicated. 

Seemingly "over night" they became more concerned with the little things, which in turn led to invitations to said dances containing specifications like, "ladies are encouraged to wear dresses," "please wear modest formal wear," and, "men wear long sleeve button shirts with dress pants. No jeans." 

"Encouraged," because there is nothing they can do if you don't, but something is wrong if you wear anything but? "Dresses," because women shouldn't wear pants? "Modest," because we don't know how to dress that way without being told? "Dress pants," because jeans are, what, unorthodox? 

My question is, when did what we wear become more important than what we say, think, and do? 

Putting too much emphasis on the physical, on what's outside our bodies, is no better than what the Pharisees did. They were so concerned with what others thought and perceived of them that they neglected what was really important - the heart condition.

"34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heartbrings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12

 If our hearts are captive to The Lord, we don't have to concern ourselves with all the little details like dress, pants, or modesty. Because if our hearts are captive to Jesus, we seek to do what is pleasing to Him.

And the rest of it is just minor detail. 

I know families have different ideas about modesty, but if we seek to honor God and concern ourselves more with causing him offense then each other, then it won't be as big of a stumbling block when we see other Christians wearing something we personally wouldn't wear for modesty's sake. 


Nathan said...

Hey there!
The thing that we should be the MOST concerned about when it comes to clothing (for both men and woman) is this, "Is the clothing I am wearing, giving glory to God? Or to myself?" That is what we need to ask and think about. Wearing pants is fine, but if you are wearing them to glorify your body than Christ, we have a problem. The same with dresses too. Now I am not saying that we can't try to look handsome or pretty, God loves beauty! But rather, lets look at our goal for wearing this specific garment. I guess the reason why it is strongly suggested in the invitation about wearing certain clothing is because, there are quite a few younger ladies in the RPCUS that are looking a lot alike the world. Having a dress code for a dance is not a problem. In fact, you do need one! But it could of simply said "A formal advent, please wear formal clothing" or something like that instead of naming A to Z.

But in closing, again, I say that we all need to look into our hearts and ask the question why we are wearing the clothes we do wear. Is it to Gods glory? Or ours? And we need to be more focused on His glory, than ourselves.

Thanks for your thoughts! :)

Stephanie Helbert said...

Exactly! That's what I'm saying. I get tired of hearing it stressed over and over like we're children who can't remember. Well, I'll just have to be more humble and gracious.