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Appearance: a Living Testimony of God’s Design
pamela spurling

When I first began reading about, living out and then later began writing about modesty and modest dress quite a number of years ago, I was zealously driven to proclaim a message and expected---really expected---to see results.   It’s not that my expectations were dashed, or that favourable results didn’t come to pass, but I was honestly surprised then and continue to be now marginally discouraged at how little has changed in the matter of modest and feminine dress for Christian women.

I’m never surprised at the lengths women will go to display their supposed feminine prowess and sex appeal and with the bombardment of images, fashion magazines, newspaper ads, appearance of movie stars and other celebrities, it comes as no surprise the lengths women will go to attain to what they see portrayed.  That’s natural---it’s the carnal nature.  It’s that very nature that is enmity against God---the vaunted self is enmity against God.

That’s why it’s so discouraging to see the inclination of Christian women is to display the same look the world is steeped in.   Were there to be lined up in a row: ten women---five believers and five unsaved women---it’s a sad shame that there would likely be no difference in their appearance.  Sadly, this would be the case pretty much anywhere in the nation. 

It would seem that there would be an obvious or outward demonstration of a follower of the LORD Jesus.   It would seem that the inward change---the renewed heart, the clean heart toward God would be reflected in the outward appearance.  O, most certainly in the countenance, but also in the manner of dress---most especially for a woman.

For a woman to be purely faithful, demonstrating that clean and obedient heart, her attire ought to compliment or reflect that decision.  Her attire ought to frame her life.  And, since our appearance often speaks before words are spoken, it ought to speak Truth.  It ought to speak truth and not deception.  Clothes can be very, very deceiving.

Alluring attire, low pants, thin close fitting garments, low-cut blouses, high slit skirts, tight jeans, form fitting pants, accessories that accentuate the breasts or hips, pants that draw attention to the crotch or bottom area---any and all of these have no place in the wardrobe of a changed life---a life of a follower of the LORD Jesus.  For the purpose of all of these is not to draw others to Christ but eyes to the flesh. 

Consider the Word of the LORD in Galatians 6.6-10

“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.   For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.   As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

To wear clothing that is provocative, sensual, accentuating, or alluring is to sow to the flesh, to entice the eyes of men and to bring attention to one’s self.   To entice is to set up a brother to stumble and to believe otherwise is both foolish and imprudent.   To be careless with our actions is to dig a pit for a brother and dare him to not fall in.  So, therefore, let us be wise women and do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. 

 Women resist wearing clothing that doesn’t reveal their feminine shape for fear that they’ll look fat or dowdy or unattractive.  They don’t want others to think they’ve let themselves go or that they look old.   They want to look cool, attractive, young, etc., etc.    Save the arguments… there is nothing wrong with looking lovely, neat and clean, feminine and pretty.  But there is something very wrong with wanting to look like most celebrities and movie stars look: seductive, skimpy, alluring---physically appealing.   That’s a strong statement to say that looking like that is wrong, isn’t it!?!?

 Ask a man. 

Ask a man what a man thinks when he sees skin.  Ask him what he thinks when he sees a woman’s silhouette or her accentuated figure or the shadow of her breasts.  Ask a man what he thinks of when he sees a woman’s close fitting pants… that part just beneath the front zipper where the thighs meet.  Ask him.  Ask a man what he thinks of when he sees the feminine bottom accentuated by tight jeans… or the lower stomach revealed above the low cut jeans and the shirt that doesn’t quite cover or meet the top of the jeans.  Ask a man what he thinks about a tee-shirt that reveals the breasts and hints at the presence of nipples or a shear bra. 

Ask a man. 

Ask a man about slits up the back of a skirt… about strappy sandals and legs.  Ask a man about clothes that almost give a peek or that hint about the body they barely cover.   Seductive talk, and wandering eyes…  A man’s thoughts fill in blanks and colour fantasies.   A man’s thoughts draw him away.  And sadly, almost sickeningly, it’s what women long for: to be found attractive, sexy, enticing, wanted.  But a woman secure in the LORD must guard these things so that her behaviour is not sickening but lovely for her own husband.  Dressing to appeal, dressing to entice, dressing to arouse… 

Good things.   In a marriage.   In private. 

But these are the very things that appear in the world --- all over the world.  These are not behaviours that should be the intentions of Christian women outside of the privacy of time with their own husbands.    Christian women should be intentionally enticing, alluring, exciting, interesting, thrilling for their husbands alone---in private---not for other men. 

These are a few of the things that drive a man wild.  O, dear sisters, let your love overflow for your husband.  Let him see you in your beauty and let him love you physically.  Meet his need for love and acceptance.  Meet his need to be found manly and attractive.  Meet his need to be what you need.  Save yourself for him and give yourself to him… be the gift he longs to open and be the delight he longs to receive. 

Let strength and honour be your clothing---be not conformed to this world.  Be wise in your choice of dress.  The LORD created you to be a woman---demonstrate your joy in the role He designed for you.  Whether you are married or not at this time, you *are* someone’s wife.

Let the heart of your husband safely trust in you and be a virtuous woman that is a crown to him.

I wish you great joy as you walk in the precious role the LORD created and designed for you.  I pray your appearance will be an outward demonstration of the inward commitment… that you’ll be seen as a living testimony of God’s design. 

Suggested passages to study 

Proverbs 31.25
Romans 12.2
1Timothy 2.9
Proverbs 12.4
Proverbs 31.11

 

pamela spurling
The Welcome Home ~ March  2006


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