Scripturally Based Answers For life's Questions
Answer-How to Dress
We receive a lot of questions concerning dress, how to dress, and does how we dress affect our salvation or relationship with God. Generally, this question is concerning ladies and often in regard to wearing a skirt or dress versus wearing pants. The Scriptures speak a lot about how we are to dress, and it is very important for us to understand that and obey God’s standards. I want to share some truths that are very important to consider concerning how we dress.
Even though how we act and dress is very important, our salvation is not dependent on it at all, other than if we would reject God and His salvation because of it. The Bible says,
Our works, whether they are good or bad, do not bring us to salvation, but salvation does bring us to God’s works. No type of clothes can make any difference in people coming to God for salvation, unless those seeking to come to God demand that God will not interfere with how they dress afterword. For example, if a person would come to God for salvation but would declare to Him that he is naked, and will continue to be, so after he has received salvation from Him, he would have to repent first, and then humbly come to God pleading for forgiveness. But for another person that comes to God naked not knowing that he was even supposed to be wearing clothes, God would save him and not even speak to him about clothes until his heart and mind were transformed. So, God does speak to people about how to dress, but that is something completely separate from salvation, other than when we make that a primary issue. Don’t allow your clothes to keep you from God, come to Him and trust in what He did for you for your soul to be saved, and then let Him teach you how to dress properly. If you are already saved, just seek to respect God in the manner of how you dress, knowing that it has no part in your salvation.
There is a big difference between the Old Testament’s teaching on dress and the New Testament’s. Why? The message of God is spread throughout both, but they cover separate aspects of the entire truth God is teaching us. The Old Testament is a physical demonstration of spiritual standards. If God had not demonstrated these spiritual truths and standards in a physical, practical way, we could not understand them. There is a physical temple and a physical nation in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament that is all spiritual. Likewise, many of the dress standards in the Old Testament are only illustrations of spiritual standards and truths. We must honour the principles and standards that are taught in the Old Testament, but we must also keep in mind that that time is completed, and we are now under the new covenant. God’s moral standard has not changed, but the establishing of all of God’s standards has already been fulfilled. The emphasis is now on people’s spiritual condition.
God made mankind both male and female, and both together in His image, according to CLICK-Genesis 1:26, 27. He did not just make one person and declared him to be in His image, but first made male and female and then declared them to be made in His image. Both men and women have a certain aspect to declare in the image of God, and that distinction must be honoured in all aspects of life, including dress. God never says, especially in the New Testament, what is specifically men’s dress or women’s dress, but He does declare that there is to be a difference. A lady must dress in a manner that is specifically feminine, and a man must be specifically masculine in his clothing. This standard was clearly established under the old covenant, and must still be honoured today. Dress styles and customs change from culture to culture and from time to time, but God’s people must protect the distinction principle.
The New Testament does not say a lot about how men are to dress. However, it does say some things about a standard, especially for women, that is to be followed, and that is to dress modestly. Likewise, also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire. CLICK-I Timothy 2:9.
Dress in the Old Testament was very showy and very flashy; it demonstrated the spiritual truths and riches that we have in Jesus Christ, but now the focus is on those spiritual truths. Therefore, the calling is for ladies to dress modestly. Not to just show their wealth, their beauty or their sensuality, but rather showing their devotion to the spiritual world and Jesus Christ as the Head of the spiritual body.
The Bible teaches that believers, born-again Christians, have been purchased by the Lord and are now owned by Him.
CLICK-I Corinthians 6:19, 20. Whatever we as believers do, we must keep in mind that we have been bought, we are owned by the Lord, and in all our actions and dress we must demonstrate that. Christians should never dress in a manner that makes it look like they are trying to sell their body or use it to get their way or draw attention to themselves. It is not a showpiece or a negotiation instrument; it is a possession of the Lord, and dress must demonstrate that.