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Entries in 1 Peter 3:3-4 (1)

Tuesday
Jul232013

Do Your Clothes Complement Your Life Message?

I asked Pat Ennis, the Director of Homemaking Programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, to share from her expertise. Here are some thoughts on upgrading our appearance to the glory of God.

“What is your Life Message,” Ennis asks. “Or have you never really considered the need to develop a statement that guides your decision-making process?”

She continues…   

My Life Message is a guide that controls my decisions. As a Christian, my Life Message began when I was adopted into God’s eternal family (spiritual birth) and continues until I draw my final breath.

It even affects the clothes I choose to wear. Let me explain.

1. The central theme of one’s Life Message is to focus on passions that will have eternal value.

Perhaps the questions that I use to evaluate my life will assist you in selecting clothing.

  • With what issues do I want my name associated?
  • When my Lord calls me home or He comes for me, what evidence of your faith will others find when they sort through my belongings?
  • Will they be drawn to the One who loved and redeemed me, or will they only be impressed by my accomplishments, accolades, and possessions?
  • When I meet my Lord, will He say of me, “Pat, you chose the good part, which will not be taken away from you?” (Luke 10:42)

 2. Modesty is the foundational criterion for selecting clothing to complement your Life Message.

 Spiritually, modesty is an issue of the heart. 

In the New Testament, modesty goes beyond the adornment of clothing to include inner beauty and attitude. Modesty calls for avoidance of anything that is impure or short of biblical standards. If your thoughts are focused on the attributes found in Philippians 4:8-9, then likely your external appearance will be modest.

Your sense of modesty will be regulated most of all by your commitment to Christ. Beauty and fashion are not condemned by the Bible, but they must be expressed through the lens of Scripture.

3. The number of garments in your wardrobe is important. Too many garments can reflect that more attention is being focused on the outer appearance rather than complementing your character (1 Corinthians 12:23; 1 Timothy 2:9). Carefully selecting garments to align with your season of life and its accompanying responsibility allows you to practice the principle of modesty.

4. Quality workmanship is another key criterion. A carefully selected garment constructed with quality workmanship will serve the wearer through numerous seasons. By choosing garments with quality workmanship, the wardrobe will not require constant replenishing. This is especially true for the maturing woman.

5. Use your “Personal Shopper.” Upscale department stores frequently provide a personal shopper service to assist their clients in selecting clothing.

Christian women have the most reliable personal shopper available, the timeless Word of God. As its truth is applied to their clothing choices, they will find that what they are wearing will consistently support their Life Message (Proverbs 31:18, 21, 25; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4).

What is your Life Message?

Pat Ennis is a distinguished professor of Homemaking and Director of Homemaking Programs at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas. She is a speaker and author, and her most recent release is The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook with Dorothy Patterson (Crossway, March 2013).