DOES GOD CARE WHAT YOU
Our aim is to examine what the scriptures say about how we should adorn
ourselves. Our purpose is to answer the question: "DOES GOD CARE WHAT WE
WEAR?" In so doing we want to take a hard look at our attitudes and practice
regarding clothing in the light of the scriptures.
PERSONAL NOTE: I am not interested in giving you my opinion on what is
proper dress for the Christian. We are here to focus on the scriptures and what God
has said on the matter. In so doing we will cross the line from "learning the principle"
to "making the application." There will be areas in which judgment is involved. I invite
you to think maturely with me in these areas and discern good from evil.
It may be that we don't agree (yet) on all that is taught. For some this may be
the first time you've ever heard a lesson on how to dress properly. Let this lesson be
the springboard from which we can all study further to learn those things that God
would have us to know and do in regard to our apparel
Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be
I. IN THE BEGINNING - Genesis 2-3
A. ORIGINAL CONDITION - "naked and unashamed" 2:25
1. innocent, childlike (unable to be embarrassed)
2. this condition persisted until sin...
B. AN AWAKENING TO MODESTY
1. After transgression, their "eyes were opened" 3:7
a) they saw that they were naked
Note: The purpose of this lesson is to "open the eyes" of brethren who have
been lax in their attitudes and practice toward modesty. They need to see that they are
"naked" when they wear their skimpy and revealing outfits. They need to see that sport
is not an excuse to "undress" - or "underdress". They need to see the impact of the
fashions they allow their children to wear. Before the hour is through, we will hope to
have "opened some eyes".
Definition: "NAKED/ NAKEDNESS"
OT -- 'arowm, (in its orig. sense); nude, either partially or totally:--naked. . to loosen; by
impl. to expose, dismiss; fig. absolve, begin:--avenge, avoid, bare, go back, let, (make)
naked, set at nought, perish, refuse, uncover. - "to expose, lay bare, uncover"
NT -- to strip, i.e. (reflex.) go poorly clad:--be naked.
cf. James 2:15 "If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,"
Point: ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE TOTALLY NUDE BEFORE ONE IS NAKED!
2. Their response to their newly discovered condition
a) SHAME - they were embarrassed to be seen without clothing; they
were aware that to be exposed was not proper or right
This quality has been "lost" in our society by many who no longer have the
ability to "blush" or be embarrassed..
Jeremiah 6:15 "Were they ashamed when they had committed
abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they
blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit
them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD."
1 Timothy 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;"
John 21:7 "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter,
It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt
his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the
sea." Note - men can be "naked, ie. immodest
b) NEED - for clothing; although they had fashioned for themselves fig-leaf
aprons, they still felt uncovered
NOTE - Not all garments adequately "cover" one's nakedness.
After adorning themselves with the fig-leaves, Adam and Eve
still considered themselves to be "naked."
Near nakedness / immodest fashions: WHAT ARE THEY?
The question of "how much" to wear is hotly debated by those who
want to get as close to the "line" as possible... They want it spelled out in
"inches" (how short, etc.). They sometimes act as if "you can't determine"
what immodesty is, so everyone can make up their own rules in this
Not So! God has revealed His will in the matter and it is not up to
the whims of fashion to determine "how" the Christian should dress. We
are to be clothed in such a manner as to "glorify God" and not glorify the
flesh and the lusts thereof...
WHAT IS TO BE COVERED?
Both men and women: Adam and Eve were both naked / were both
clothed by God. It is an error to think that God is only concerned about the
modesty of women!
Isaiah 20:4 "So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians
prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and
barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt."
APPLICATION: SWIM SUITS
Exodus 28:42 "And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover
their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:"
APPLICATION: MINI SKIRTS, SHORT PANTS
c) HID - They were so uncomfortable, they sought to "hide" from God. Where
is this modesty today? It is lost to the multitudes who flaunt their bodies in
revealing outfits before others (and without shame). Have we lost the humble
ability to blush?
C. DOES GOD CARE WHAT YOU WEAR?
1. Definitely, YES. He cared enough to provide Adam and Eve with garments so
that their nakedness would be covered.
2. God provided them with "coats of skins" 3:21
a) defined "coats" is from a Hebrew word KETHONETH from an unused root
mean. to cover: a shirt:--coat, garment, robe.) meaning a garment "generally
with sleeves, coming down to the knees, rarely to the ankles"
3. The fact is, the fig-leaf aprons were inadequate to cover the nakedness of
Adam an Eve. Just as today, many skimpy and revealing garments are just as
a) this fact was recognized by God and Adam.
Recommendation: Revelation 3:17-18 "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and
increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art
wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 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."
D. WHY DOES GOD CARE ABOUT OUR COVERING OUR NAKEDNESS?
1. God is aware of our need to "curtail" lustful desires that aroused by the sight
of naked and scantily clad bodies.
a) it is obvious that many modern fashions are designed to invoke "lust"
b) to pretend that such is not so is to be "dishonest" - or extremely "naive"
2. The desire and passion felt between men and women is proper and right only
in the context of marriage.
a) that is why one is NOT immodest when naked in the presence of one's
3. To arouse these "desires" outside of the context of marriage is to invite
"lust," a feeling that often leads to fornication or adultery.
a) Example: David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:1ff). A major factor in this
escapade was the "sight" of Bathsheba's body as she bathed.
David 1) looked, 2) lusted, and 3) sinned. This whole ugly episode may
have been avoided had David not "seen" Bathsheba unclothed.
Question? Who was at fault? David (for looking)?
Bathsheba (for "tempting" David)? Or both?
4. MATTHEW 5:28 but I say unto you, that every one that looketh on a woman to
lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (ASV)
5. Lust can be in the hearts of both men and women, cf. Genesis 39:7-15
a) thus, the need for both men and women to dress modestly
E. OUR RESPONSIBILITY
1. To ourselves =
a) to cover ourselves adequately (not too short or too tight; not see-though)
b) to dress properly at "all times"
- sports are no excuse to expose ourselves by improper dress.
2. To our children =
a) to teach them (and expect them) to dress modestly
b) to begin early in their training (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
c) to be consistent [no double standard for boys and girls]
PERSONAL CONCERN - I am troubled by the practice of letting the
little ones wear styles of clothing that will be unacceptable when
they grow older and their bodies mature. It appears that we are
setting ourselves up for failure when we lay a foundation that will
need to be torn down and rebuilt when our children become
teenagers. It appears to be wisdom to circumvent those battles (No
Suzie, you're too old to wear shorts now), by avoiding those styles of
clothing altogether. Children are "little people." let's teach them
early how to appear in modest apparel.
II. DISTINCTIVENESS IN APPEARANCE
A. THE MALE/ FEMALE DISTINCTION
1. God created the human race "male and female" Gen.1:27
a) the gender distinction is fundamental to our being and is not to be diminished
b) it is important that both men and women understand their roles and
capabilities/ order of authority.
B. GOD CARES ABOUT OUR APPEARANCE/ HOW WE DRESS
1. Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a
man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth
these things is an abomination unto Jehovah thy God. (ASV)
a) the people of God were forbidden to "cross-dress" so as to confuse the
distinction between the sexes.
b) the "unisex" fashion concept is a direct affront to the will of God.
2. I Corinthians 11:14-15 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a
man have long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman have long hair,
it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. (ASV)
a) Does God care how you cut your hair? YES, He does!
b) Does this still apply today? Why wouldn't it?
c) God desires that the M/F distinction be maintained.
Note: many want to know "how short is short" and "how long is long" -- as if such
a determination cannot be made! (therefore, no one can tell me what to do).
But, just as a woman committed to dressing "modestly" does not have to be
told... a man or woman committed to obeying God (hair length) does not need a
3. I Corinthians 11:4-6 God cares about what we wear or don't wear on our
heads when we pray or prophesy.
III. DOES GOD CARE WHAT WE WEAR
A. Again, we answer YES to the question. Several passages indicate that God has
always been concerned about how His people appeared before Him.
1. I Corinthians 11:1-16 These verses should convince anyone that God has
been and is concerned with how we appear before Him when we worship.
2. Exodus 19:10-14 The nation of Israel were to wash themselves and their
garments before appearing before the Lord on the third day. Yes, God did care
what they wore!
Note: To assume that "God doesn't care what we wear" is to ignore the plain
teaching of scripture... Immodest dress (too much or too little), inappropriate
dress are just not acceptable! -- Matthew 22:11-12 the wedding garment
While styles and standards may vary with different cultures and in
different generations, THE PRINCIPLE remains constant. We must dress with
respect for God (and for ourselves).
Guidelines For Worship: No dirty, soiled or torn clothing. No tight, skimpy,
revealing attire. No "advertising" (beer T-shirts). Consider the "casual - ness" of
your clothing (would it be inappropriate for a wedding?).
3. Exodus 28:40-43 Aaron's garments (would not do for the priest to appear
before the Lord just wearing "any old thing" - God had prescribed special
a) the "coat" worn by Aaron; from the same Hebrew word rendered "coat" in
Gen.3:21. Defined in this passage as adequate for covering "nakedness" esp.
4. I Timothy 2:9 In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest
apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair, and gold or
pearls or costly raiment; (ASV)
a) immediate context forbids "overdressing" - should not appear in lavish and
expensive garments, nor with excessive jewelry (big diamond rings) and costly
accessories (Rolex watches). This is as true today as it was when the apostle
b) also prohibited, hairstyles that attract undue attention (braiding) - a certain
application would include the "spikes" and rainbow tinted hairstyles our modern
Yes, God has revealed that He does care what you wear. He desires that we:
1) BE COVERED (ADEQUATELY)
2) BE DISTINCTIVE (MALE/FEMALE)
3) BE MODEST (PROPERLY ATTIRED)
- ESPECIALLY, WHEN WORSHIPPING