The Dress of a Christian Woman
By David Cox
[fam27] v1 ©2011 www.coxtracts.com
you may reproduce this freely for non-profit use.
In our world, worldly women generally think that they can dress any way they want. The three universal rules of worldly women seem to be: (1) it has to be comfortable, (2) it has to be attractive, i.e. sexual, sensual, or call attention to one’s self, and (3) it has to “fit” with modern fashion. The Christian woman should not be controlled by this concepts.
But then, what should be the rules that a Christian woman would follow as far as a dress code that pleases God? This is the matter of this tract.
Adam, Eve, and their Shame
Gen 2:25And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
The concept of “being nude” is to be open such that other people can see what you shouldn’t want them to see, because it is YOUR private parts, your intimate, your personal parts. Compare Gen 42:9“Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.” Before Adam and Eve had sinned, they were nude without any problem. When they sinned, they then had something to “cover up” (their sinfulness in sinning), sin “in their body”. Compare Exo 20:26Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. Exod 32:25And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) “Naked” means loose, revealing, or seeing a person’s private parts. God commanded the use of “breeches” for the priests in Exo 28:42 (all men wore robes, some shorter than others), This is simply underwear to cover up their private parts with another layer of clothing. But Adam and Eve had a conscience that they were shameful, without a proper covering, after their sin. This strong conscious of their nudity and shame caused them to seek a covering from God’s piercing eyes. They at first hid themselves which was useful before an omniscient God, and then they made a covering for their sexual parts. The word “apron” in Hebrew is used later for a wide belt-like cloth protecting or covering the genitals during a battle from blows from the enemy to this part of the body. In the end, God found Adam and Eve. Before God, nothing can be hid, and he sees us as we really are (Heb 4:13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Job 26:6) This covering is not because God was tempted. Because Adam and Eve were a “married couple”, likewise there was no sin of provoking or tempting there. But in beginning a society outside of the will of God (they had sinned), in which many would be tempted by seeing nakedness, they had to cover themselves (their shameful parts, or sexual and “biological functions” parts). The sin is in seeing the private parts of the human body (which is not your legally married mate). This is perversity before God, and it was punished even to the extent of death under the OT law.
Lev 18:6 None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover [their] nakedness: I am the LORD. 7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover… 9 The nakedness of thy sister…their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. 20:17… and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off (killed) in the sight of their people.
And God Visited them
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
God is the first person that made and imposed a dress code. Adam and Eve though what they did with fig leaves was sufficient (only the lower extremities). But God made them a “coat” (tunic or robe) which was a full body type of thing reaching well below the genital area. The word has the idea of a loose piece of clothing that covers the body from the neck to the knees or slightly above, and that it wraps the person covering both in front, behind the person, and NOT open on the sides. The basic idea is to cover the body, especially the sexual parts, in a loose fashion (not tightly to the body) so as not to be open (even around the neck) and this extents to the mid thighs or lower. God’s purpose is explicitly to cover, and NOT REVEAL the body. This extends to not revealing the curves and outlines of the body’s sexual parts, and also no see-through type clothing. All the issues in modesty in clothing is a reveal/hide issue for the most part, Satan wants to reveal, God wants to cover (like in covering our sin by saving us).
Covering our Nakedness
God visited Adam and Eve to give them adequate clothing because what they made (a short belt type thing) was not acceptable in God’s sight. This is clear in the history given us. God says his garment was to cover nakedness is a thing of honor, nobility, and a good work. For example, in Matthew 25:36, Jesus recommended that covering the nakedness of others was a noble thing that is representative of the character of a true child of God. In James 2:15, James speaks of the hypocritical faith of a supposed Christian who wishes well his brother, but does not supply him with the means to cover himself. In Ezekiel 18:7, 18; Job 31:16-20; Isa 58:7 there are references of God’s great pleasure when we cover other’s nakedness, it is a “good work” in God’s eyes.
To Reveal the Body is Shameful
Nakedness is a shame before God. In Exo 32:25, the “playing” of Israel (literally nudity) was to their own shame. When they tortured Jesus before killing him, the soldiers shamed him in like fashion (Mat 27:28). In Acts 19:16, a man under the torture, control, and punishment of a demon walked about naked. When Jesus cast out the demon from a man in Mark 5:15, the result included that he was “clothed”. These verses support the obvious that God is for covering up, and Satan against it. The frenzied “letting go” of moral standards (same as in pornography, prostitution, etc) is exactly the work of demons, a release of carnal passions, and it is not of God, it is not God’s will. God’s will is that we should be modest, covering up our private parts.
In Pro 7:10-11, Solomon identifies a whore that is “subtil of heart” as having a particular “attire of an harlot”. Although he does not define it more, we do see she is subtil, loud (shameless) and stubborn. Her “attire” is that of actions, personality, and clothing that draws sexual attention to herself, her sexuality, her sensuousness, to her own body in such a way as to cause thoughts of fornication and adultery in men’s minds who see her. This is by partially or completely “revealing herself” or her intimate, sexual, or private parts. Openings in clothing or being sheer and see-through likewise accomplishes this purpose. The revealing of skin, or even seeing underwear, or revealing the outlines or curves of the more private parts (genitals, buttock, thighs, stomach, or breasts) of the body is what is used. The use of low cut necklines, mini-skirts, or opened clothing is also used to provoke.
Satan is in the business of making people “loose” with their morals (and even total nakedness if possible) and their clothing, and God is in the business of covering up men and women’s shamefulness.
2Cor 5:3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 16:15… Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
The true Christian should anxiously desire to be “well dressed,” or at least to be well covered. We are not talking about fashion, but modesty here. This is normal among people who have a conscious, and even Eve said, Gen 3:10I was naked; and I hid myself. Her shame and the reality of her sinfulness was what caused her fear before God. This is the biblical concept of shamefacedness or modesty. Many want to play with this, saying that their personal dress standards is “off limits”, and nobody should touch them. This is simply rebellion against God’s lordship over their life, and they are either unsaved, or out of fellowship with God.
Spiritual Dress: Modesty
1Pet 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear. 3 Whose adorning(dress) let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 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.
The dress of a Christian woman is that she does not call attention to herself in an exterior form, but rather she is modest, with moral character prevailing over physical beauty. 1Tim 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; What is outstanding about her is that she doesn’t go to excesses, nor draws attention to herself. Moreover, it is not to say she doesn’t use jewelry or make-up, but that it is not excessive nor “loud”, nor does it consume her time, energy, and attention. She is consumed in Christian activity as Proverbs 31:10-31 reveals.
Fashion and the Christian Woman
1Peter 3:2-6 and Pro 31:10-31 present us with a picture of a Christian woman that doesn’t follow the world, but is dressed in virtue and moral qualities.
Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
More Tracts from the Family Category
- fam01 Biblical love: How Christians should love
- fam02 Seeking a Christian mate
- fam03 Biblical principles for a solid marriage
- fam05 Disciplining our Children
- fam06 Training our Kids
- fam07 The submission of the woman
- fam08 Abortion: Permitted by God, or is it sin?
- fam10 The covetous that hordes
- fam11 Pious Mothers: Oh How we need them!
- fam12 Common law marriages
- fam13 Polygamy: Is it biblical to have multiple spouses?
- fam14 Fathers that Please God
- fam15 Always late for the house of God
- fam16 Christmas: Is it for Christians?
- fam17 Submission and Head Coverings
- fam18 Is divorce permitted?
- fam19 Is remarriage permitted after divorce?
- fam21 Child Kings Parents that let their kids Rule
- fam26 Wise advice for youth
- fam27 Dress of a Christian Woman
- fam31 “Pastor, I am going to get a divorce”
Author Pastor David Cox
|Date:||January 26, 2016|
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