John Baptist Henry

The Book, The Blood and The Blessed Hope!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Christian Dress

The Dress of an Ambassador
By Stacey Shiflett

            As we have studied the life of an ambassador, you've discovered that there is a lot more to this life of an ambassador that you originally thought no doubt!  Once you realize the seriousness of your calling as Christ's representative, you should realize that it requires a serious approach to that calling.  This chapter will deal with your outward appearance as an ambassador and the way that you will reflect that inward desire to be all that God wants you to be.  Read this chapter with an open heart and open mind and examine closely the Bible verses that will further explain God's requirements for His ambassadors in this area of outward appearance.

A. The Importance of Appearance

            Sad to say, many of Christ's ambassadors do not see the importance of our appearance.  They often refer to a verse in 1 Samuel 16:7  "... for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."  They have been thoroughly convinced that getting their heart right and having the right desires and right motives is all that God expects.  Unfortunately, with that conclusion, they have forgotten two key facts.

            Fact 1: God also sees the outward appearance.  He sees everything!

            Fact 2: Man sees the outward appearance. He can't see the heart!

            To deny the importance of our appearance would simply contradict way too many Scriptures.  You will find the Bible speaks of clothing, clothes, apparel, garments, robes, breeches and other references to people's clothing literally HUNDREDS of times in the Bible.  God obviously DOES care about the outward appearance of people.  He talked a lot about it.

            Some people think that because there are no verses dealing with outward appearance in the Ten Commandments, that it is left up to the individual to decide.  Some have even said that since God didn't repeat the requirements in several places, that they are not really important.  This is bad logic.  If God said it once, He meant it!  Furthermore, the word 'rapture' is not even in the Bible, but we believe it!  The word 'trinity' is not in the Bible, but we believe it!  What's more, the word 'Bible' is not even in the Bible, but we preach it and read it and love it!  There are principles taught in the Word of God that we cannot ignore as ambassadors for Christ.

            As ambassadors, You are commanded to prove what God's will is – not what God's will is not!  You are commanded to prove what is right with something– not what is wrong with it.

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

            Many times as an ambassador, people will try to get you to prove what they are doing is wrong.  That is not your place; that is not your job.  You are called to reconcile people to God.  It is God's place to convince them of Himself and of the truth.  However, it IS your place to preach it and teach it and live it and be an example.  You do not have to defend what you do, if you are obeying God's commandments and His rules.  The burden of proof is not on you to explain and defend His Word.  You are just supposed to tell it and live it.

            Before we explore this aspect of ambassadorship, it would be good to be reminded of the fact that it is not just God that has requirements toward clothing.  The unbelievers and the lost world also place quite a bit of importance on what people look like.  The truth is, Christians many times are the ONLY one's that do not see the importance of appearance.  If you want to argue that appearance is not important, then you should try to go to your average golf course.  Most of them have a sign signifying the dress code of the golf club.  Even their websites have clear instructions as to what to wear.  Notice this statement found on the website for Woodlands Golf Club.

Members and visitors are requested to attire themselves neatly and suitably, both on the course, and in the Clubhouse and surrounds.

            When you click on the link, it shows you detailed pictures of what kind of clothing is acceptable and unacceptable!  You can't wear your shirt-tail out, you can't wear dark socks.  You can't wear striped socks.  You can't wear running shoes or casual shoes.  You can't wear shirt without a collar.  You can't wear T-shirts.  You can't wear blue jeans.  You can't wear shirt with pictures or logos.  They even require a tie and jacket in the clubhouse after 5:30 PM!  It is amazing at how strict the unsaved world can be in the area of appearance, yet Christians want to always scream about their liberties in Christ and their freedom to do what they want to do.

            Interestingly enough, on this same website that so strictly told paying customers what they could and couldn't wear, it placed the responsibility of enforcing the golf course rules and policies on the person with the lowest score! (That's the most experienced one there in most cases.) Here's what they said:

The lowest marker of the group is responsible for ensuring that each player observes the etiquette of golf and the Club at all times.

            This would stand to reason that God also expects those with a limited knowledge of His Word and less experience as an ambassador to listen to those ambassadors that have been in the work of God longer.  As ambassadors, we do not have the freedom to do what we COULD.  We have the freedom to do what we SHOULD! 

B. The Implications of Appearance 

1. The Statement of your Appearance

            It is a fact.  Your clothing makes a statement.  As one book so accurately states it: Your Clothes Say It For You!  How many times have you  figured out what somebody's occupation was by their appearance?  Have you ever been in a store and somebody approach you and ask you if you worked there?  You know why they did that?  You looked like an employee of that store!  If you were to walk into the shopping mall and walk into one of the nicer clothing stores in a pair of faded, worn out blue jeans and a dirty T-shirt, nobody would think you worked there!  The employees of that store are dressed in nice, expensive clothes because they are representing that store and what that store has to sell.  They are told what to wear in order to cause people who do not have nice clothes to come in and buy them.  It's all part of the job.  Your clothes make a statement.  What you wear affects people and it affects people's attitude toward you and what you do.

            There have been times that I have gone into the grocery store to pick up a few items for my wife.  I will be in town making visits or running errands, and I will have on my suit and tie.  If I go to the checkout to purchase the groceries, and a checkout is not available, many times the manager will open one just for me and show me to the checkout.  That manager can tell by looking at me that I have work to do and I do not have time to stand in the line the whole day.  What caused that manager to go the extra mile for me?  It was based totally on my appearance.  I looked professional and businesslike, and they wanted to cater to my needs.

            I have made it a practice when I am flying on an airline to wear only a dark suit with a white shirt and a tie.  You would not believe how much better the service is when your appearance is nice and professional.  The airline people will carry my luggage, offer me snacks and soft drinks and go out of their way to make me comfortable on my trip.  I've even been mistaken for a Secret Service agent on one occasion because of my clean cut, professional appearance.  The President of the United States was flying to the same destination on Air Force One at that same time, and the staff of the commercial airline had all agreed unanimously that I was part of his group somehow.  Imagine if the world saw you and agreed that you were part of God's group!  Your clothes make a statement! 

Notice these two men

[]   []

            Which of these two men is a doctor?  Let me ask it this way. If you were dying of a heart attack, which of these two men would you prefer to work on you in a hospital operating room?  Without a doubt, you immediately chose the man on the right.  The man in the green surgical scrubs and stethoscope is a doctor right?

            Guess what?  You would be wrong.  The man on the right is not a doctor.  In fact, he has never even spent one day in medical school.  He knows nothing about heart surgery!  Your chances in an operating room would be just as well as if the man on the left performed the surgery.  You know why?  The two men above are not a doctor and a mechanic.  They are MODELS dressed up like a mechanic. and a doctor!  They were paid to put on the apparel of a mechanic and a doctor and pose for a photographer that was taking pictures!!!

            Isn't it amazing how quickly we jump to conclusions without knowing the truth about somebody?  Here you were, ready to have this guy work on your heart, and he's not a doctor!  You judged him by his clothing.  That is what God was talking about in I Samuel 16:7 when he said that man looketh on the outward appearance.  Is that a sin?  No.  It is a fact.  People judge you by your appearance.  What you wear will affect the effectiveness of your calling as an ambassador. 

            You can turn people away from God or you can point them toward God.  Your answers must be right, your attitude must be right, your ambitions must be right, and your appearance must be right.  Your attitude cannot contradict your answers.  Likewise, your appearance must not contradict your message.  As you present the gospel, you must present yourself.  As you carry His message, you must carry yourself properly.  This is just common sense actually.

2. The Satisfaction of your Appearance

            As you learn God's guidelines for dressing and His desire for you as an ambassador, you will find that with that knowledge will come a decision.  You will have to decide if you are going to accept God's guidelines for appearance and obey them, or if you will continue to do what you might have always done and look the way you have always looked.  This will create a crossroads in your life.  You will be forced to decide whether to obey it or not to obey it.  It is just that simple.  There are no other options.  Obey or disobey.  God will hold you responsible for what you do with His commands on these issues and other issues that He will reveal to you in the weeks and months ahead.

1 Kings 18:21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

            As you grow and learn and follow God's Word and His leadership, you will notice a peace that will settle in your heart.  Whereas before you were uncertain and afraid and unsure of God's will, you will become more and more confident and more powerful as a Christian.  You will realize that the old saying is true – Knowledge is Power!  Knowing God and knowing His will and knowing His Word will produce a satisfaction that can only be understood by another Christian that has learned to trust and obey God in every aspect of their life. 

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

            Fear is caused by two things.  Disobedience and ignorance.  When Adam sinned in the garden, he was afraid.  He hid from God.  Why was he afraid?  First of all, he had disobeyed God's direct command.  He knew God was a just and a holy God, and that he was in big trouble.  Secondly, he was afraid because he didn't know what to do about it!  He had never sinned, and he was completely ignorant about how to fix the mess he had made. 

            Satan uses these two things in a Christian's life to keep them in a spirit of fear.  They hear the Word, they learn God's direct commands, and they disobey because they want to do their own thing.  As a result, they are afraid of His wrath, afraid to witness, afraid to do anything that will draw attention to themselves.  They hide behind the bushes while the world goes to Hell because of their disobedient and fearful life.

            Obedience will produce power and satisfaction that you have done what God commanded and that you are putting forth every possible effort to be the ambassador that He wants you to be.

C. The Instructions of Appearance

1. The Man's Appearance

            Let's look at God's instructions in this area of appearance.  These are not suggestions by the way – they are commandments.  God is a holy and a righteous God.  His commandments were given to us for a guideline and though we have liberty in Christ, that liberty has boundaries and restrictions.  The simple fact is, we can not do what we want to do.  We are commanded to follow Him, and obey Him.  If that bothers you, then your heart is not right with the Lord.  You do not love Him like you should.

1 John 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

            Let us begin with the guidelines that God has set down for the men.  As an ambassador, you are God's representatives here on earth.  Paul the apostle said that you are here in Christ's stead. (II Corinthians 5:20)  That means that you are His substitute to the world.  You are to be 'little Christ's' if I may say that.  A Christian means a follower of Christ.   That means that whenever you do something, you have to think, "What would Jesus do?"  As a man, the guidelines are quite simple.  Would Jesus wear this if He here were here today?  If we take an honest look at what we know about the character of Christ, we shouldn't have a difficult time.  The problem is men today do not really and truly care what Jesus would do!  They really could not care less.  They are more interested in what pleases them that they don't give it a second thought.

            In order for us to get a better idea of what happens to a man that meets up with Jesus, look at these verses.  He put his clothes on!

Luke 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs."

But look at him after he met Jesus!  verse 35  Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Here's another verse you need to look at.  This one involves Peter, one of Jesus' disciples.  He was out on the lake fishing.  He saw Jesus on the shore.  Watch his reaction!

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.

            Why do you suppose Peter, who had spent 3 years with Jesus, cast himself into the sea?  Do you suppose he knew that Jesus had a problem with public nudity?  I think that would be a safe assumption!  Let's ask some really practical, pointed questions and just test our knowledge of the character of Christ, the Son of God.

1. Would Jesus walk around in public with his shirt off?

2. Would Jesus walk around in public with only half a pair of pants? (shorts, jams, cutoffs)

3. Would Jesus go swimming in only a pair of underwear? (swim trunks, boxer shorts, same thing...)

4. Would Jesus go swimming in only a pair of underwear with women in their underwear? (actually, underwear is more modest than most swimsuits, but we'll get to that later on!)

5. Would Jesus wear tight, sexy, revealing pants?

6. Would Jesus wear his shirt open to show his hairy chest?

7. Would Jesus wear a necklace around his neck?

8. Would Jesus wear earrings?

            If we really look at these questions, they almost seem foolish.  Of course, the answer to every question would be a NO!  But Christians, who are supposed to be God's ambassadors to the world, think they can do any of the above and still be obedient to God?  How can you represent Christ when you are representing everything He stands against?  The illustrations above contradict God's word and God's guidelines for the Christian.  Nakedness is a sin.  If you are shirtless, you are half naked.  If you only have on a pair of shorts, you are three fourths naked.  If you have on a shirt and shorts, you are one fourths naked.  Do you think it is alright for a man to wear shorts in public?  Look at this verse that plainly explains what nakedness is to God.

Isaiah 47:2,3  Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

            It is quite clear that the bare leg and the uncovered thigh is nakedness.  For those that do not know what a thigh is, that is the part of your leg that starts at your hip and goes to your knee!  Notice God's detailed dress standard for the Old Testament priest.

Exodus 20:26  Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

            They were not even allowed to walk up steps because people could see up their outer robes!  Since these robes reached the ground, what do you suppose would be showing?  Only part of their legs!  Notice this.

Exodus 28:42  And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

            Under their robes, they were commanded to wear pants that covered their thighs.  Even with these breeches on, they still couldn't climb steps in front of all the people!  God hates nakedness.  Period. 

            The first thing God did for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden after they sinned, he put coats on them.  Not waist jackets, but coats.  That means a long covering. (Genesis 3:21)  As an ambassador for Christ, put your clothes on!  You can't win the world to Christ if you are half naked.  The only people in the Bible that were naked were heathens and people that were demon possessed.  That is definitely not good company nor good examples for an ambassador!

            Ok men, let's look at one other aspect of an ambassador's appearance.  As an ambassador for Christ, some things might be considered a little questionable.  Some things are more clear than others.  One area that is perfectly clear in Scripture is the Biblical guidelines for hair. 

Which one of the men in these pictures give the impression that they are a born again, sanctified, separated, Spirit-filled ambassador of Christ?

[]            []

1 Corinthians 11:14
  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

            The words "long hair" in the Greek is "komao", which means: "To let the hair grow".  There are always people that want to push the limits of God's word and argue that what is long to you isn't long to them.  However, God gave every man a natural hairline.  It is over the ears and off of the collar.  Hair that grows past the natural hairline is "komao" or long.

            People have defended long hair by saying that Jesus had long hair.  First of all, they only say that because of the paintings that have been painted of him by people that never saw him.  They say that Jesus was a Nazarite, therefore he had long hair. Numbers 6:3-6 gives the requirements for the Nazarite. They included not eating grapes or drinking grape juice, (which Jesus did), not touching dead people, (which Jesus did) and not shaving the head. He was NOT a Nazarite; and he never did take the Nazarite vow.  He was a Nazarene, meaning He was from Nazareth.  Amazing how ignorance of the Word of God always results in justifying sin and wrongdoing isn't it? Long hair on a man is a sign of rebellion, plain and simple.  God's Word says even nature should teach you that!

            An article appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, and the writer of the article was Anthony Surbony, a personnel manager for a large corporation. He had interviewed more than 14,000 men for jobs in the past years that he had been there. He said that the length of a person’s hair tells a lot about him. He said the left-wingers generally have long hair.

"They reject self-discipline, authority, regulation, proven logic and reasoning. They are more easily swayed by popular opinions and propaganda. They tend to accept and do anything if somebody simply suggests it’s a style. Many employers find that they tend to be more dreamers than doers, where the reverse is the trend on men with short hair. Why is it so? Mainly it is due to a self-centered personality."

            The bottom line is, as ambassadors for Christ, you need to look like one.  Plain and simple.  To call yourself a child of God and dress like a child of Satan is hypocrisy.  Nobody is going to listen to you.  You are wasting your time!  You have the task of reconciling people to God, and you can't do it if you are in the same mess that they are!           

            Some men have asked me what they should wear to the house of God.  I think that question would be completely unnecessary if they realized just exactly Whose house it was!  The church is the house of God, and we should go there with the respect that we would show for any president or king that we might visit.  It is a shame that people would dress nicer for school, work or a night out than they would at the house of God!  A man that takes his assignment as an ambassador seriously should dress in a way that commands respect both for his position as an ambassador and the place of worship.

1 Timothy 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

            To show up at church in a T-shirt, tennis shoes, blue jeans, shirt tails out, hair messed up and unshaven is a disgrace.  That shows a total lack of respect for the house of God.  Practice a little personal hygiene.  Be prepared to help somebody.  Be ready to lead a lost sinner to Jesus Christ.  Bring your Bible.  Iron your clothes.  Brush your teeth.  Comb your hair.  Put on some deodorant. Polish your shoes.  If you don't have church clothes, go buy some.  Put on a tie.  It won't kill you.  Some people wear them every day, all day long.  There is no excuse for coming to church dressed like a street bum.  You are an ambassador for Christ!  Your Father is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! You are supposed to be a representative of Him!  Act like it!

                       Remember that you are in Christ's stead.  He has placed you here with a huge responsibility.  Get serious.  Get concerned.  Paul said in I Corinthians 13: 11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."  Grow up.  Stop playing around and get with the program.  God's got a job for you if you'll step up to the line and be available.  Fill that position with dignity and God will help you be a great ambassador. 

Ezekiel 22:30  And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.

2. The Woman's Appearance

            Just as the Bible gives clear commandments for the male ambassador, it also gives clear commandments for the female ambassador.  Believe it or not, the Bible talks about women's clothing on many occasions.  Women have always had a stubborn streak when it comes to clothing.  They don't mind doing almost anything God tells them to do, but when it comes to Biblical guidelines for clothing, that's when they fight and put on the brakes!

Isaiah 4:1  And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (they wanted a new name but wanted to keep their old clothes! Sounds like some women I know....)

            Several times in the Bible, God describes women by her clothing.  There is godly clothing and there is worldly clothing.  There is the clothing of the Christian and there is clothing of the unbeliever.  There is clothing for a chaste woman and there is clothing for a harlot.  As an ambassador for Christ, you must not confuse these two kinds of clothes!  Remember what we said earlier: your clothes say it for you!

Proverbs 7:10  And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Genesis 38:14,15  And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place...When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face.

Ezekiel 16:16  And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.

            What are your clothes saying about you?  How disastrous it would be as an ambassador for Christ to be mistaken for a worldly, sensual woman!  The Bible lays down some pretty clear guidelines concerning women's clothing.  The 2 basic requirements for ladies apparel is number one: It must be feminine and number two: It must be modest  Let's look at these two requirements in the Word of God so there will be no misunderstanding or confusion on the matter.  Let's look at the first requirement – it must be feminine.

Deuteronomy 22:5  The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

            This verse is to the men as well as the women.  In this verse, we see God's will for clothing.  A man must wear man's clothing, and a woman must wear woman's clothing.  However, it goes one step further.  It says that a woman must not wear that which pertaineth to a man.  That means they shouldn't wear anything at all that resembles man's clothing.  God wants women to dress like a woman and to look like a woman.  Even the world knows that there should be a difference between the man and the woman!

Notice the universal signs for public restrooms.


            Amazing isn't it?  A common argument that women use to defend wearing clothes that pertain to a man is that this verse is Old Testament and therefore is not for people today.  Strangely enough, the Ten Commandments are Old Testament, Psalm 23 is Old Testament, yet people have no problem with these verses.  I don't think that women realize the seriousness of an 'abomination'.  That word means God hates it severely!

Leviticus 18:22  Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

            If a woman wearing clothes that pertain to a man is OK, then it is also OK for homosexuals to engage in their lifestyle.  God uses the same language concerning both.  If it is OK for a woman to wear pants, then it is OK for a man to wear skirts.  To argue that the pants for women are different than the pants for men would be as foolish as the argument that there are men's skirts and women's skirts.  If this verse does not apply to women wearing pants, then what verse what you use if someone wanted to defend men wearing skirts or dresses?  To say a man is a pervert because he wears women's clothing, but to excuse women that wear men's clothing is a gross double standard.  This verse applies to both in the same severe terms.

            The problem is not with God's word.  The problem is with women's will.  They don't WANT to live God's way.  They don't WANT to be the right kind of ambassador and they are selfish. 

Which one of the women below do you think best illustrates a ladylike, Spirit-filled, sanctified, separated, dedicated ambassador for Christ, based only on their outward appearance?

[]    []    []

            I think it's pretty obvious don't you?  Let's look now at the second requirement for women's appearance.  It must not only be feminine. It must be modest.  If a woman's clothing is modest but it is not feminine, it is improper.  If it is feminine, but it is immodest, then it is improper.  It has to fit BOTH requirements in order to please the Lord.  As an ambassador for Christ, that should be your number one priority.  Pleasing God means sometimes not pleasing yourself or your friends. Dressing God's way is more important than being popular.  Dressing God's way is more important than looking 'sexy'.

                        A common misunderstanding is that women have to look poor, scraggly and ugly in order to be modest.  That is nonsense!  God created women as beautiful creations.  He doesn't want you to be ugly and unattractive.  But He does want you to be modest.  That is very clear.

1 Timothy 2:9  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel...

            The woman's clothing is her responsibility.  She is to adorn herself.  She is to do this herself, of her own desire and free will.  God forbid that a woman should have to be forced to dress modestly.  That phrase "modest apparel" in the Greek means "katastole", which means a letting down, a lowering, a dress, a long loose flowing garment.

            That verse doesn't leave much room for argument.  Not only should a female ambassador for Christ adorn herself in a dress, or a skirt, but it must be LONG, FLOWING and MODEST.  That means short skirts that reveal the thigh is not right.  Remember, the thigh is considered nakedness to God.

Isaiah 47:2,3 ...uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen...

            The woman's clothing has to be long, and flowing. Shorts do not fit this description.  Bathing suits do not fit this description.  Mini skirts do not fit this description. Pants do not fit this description!  They are not flowing.  They are long, but they are also masculine (manly).  It is amazing how manly women act when they have on men's apparel!

The Bible gives several recommendations to women on this area of outward appearance.  It is very clear that a woman's clothing is a reflection of her character.  What is on the inside will be manifested on the outside.  If you dress in a way that is contrary to what is really on the inside, you will still be violating God's word as well as creating problems for other people.  Do you dress in a way that emphasizes your body?  Does it draw attention to certain parts?  Blouses or shirts that are too low or too tight are not modest.  Skirts or dresses that are too tight are not modest.  Skirts that show the thigh (above the knee) are not modest. Skirts that have splits up the side so your leg flashes through when you walk is not modest.  These clothes are seductive and will cause ungodly men to lust after you.

Matthew 5:28  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Don't let it be your fault if they do!)


            You must be very careful that as an ambassador for Christ that you do not cause a man to lust after you.  You are supposed to be drawing his attention to Christ, not your body!  Speaking of drawing attention to your body, let us take care of one other issue.  I will be very plain and leave no room for misunderstanding.  A woman that appears in public in a swimsuit, whether it be one piece or two piece is NOT MODEST.  It is absolutely impossible for me to comprehend how a woman can profess salvation and imagine herself to be a godly, Spirit-filled woman and then strip down to her underclothes and walk around in front of men, little boys, little girls and total strangers!  Would you answer the door in your underwear?  Of course not!  But you will purchase colorful underwear at the store in the swimsuit department and wear it at the beach or the pool with no shame or no embarrassment at all simply because it's accepted by the world!  What a shame!  What a disgrace! God forbid that our ladies would wear these things.  Remember – God hates nakedness.  Period!  It is a sin.

            Just as the Bible has guidelines for men's hair, it also has guidelines for the hair of women.  The Bible teaches that a woman should have long hair.  These verses makes it quite clear.

I Corinthians 11:6  For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

I Corinthians 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

I Corinthians 11:15  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

            The Bible says that a woman's long hair is her glory.  Her hair is given to her for a covering.  A woman that has short, chopped off hair has denied herself of the glory that God intended for her to have.  Again we see God stressing the distinction between a woman and a man.  A man wears pants; a woman wears dresses.  A man has short hair; a woman has long hair.  Again, some argue about the definition of "long hair".  The Bible is clear that a woman's hair must be long enough not to be mistaken for a man's.  That would mean it must be well past the natural hairline.  A woman's hair that is cut above the ears and off of the collar is dangerously close to the man's guideline for hair.

     []     []

Which one of these women's hair is most Biblical?

            Not only must a woman's hair be long, but it must not be extreme or wild or elaborate and draw unnecessary attention to herself.

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;

1 Peter 3:3  Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair...

            For some reason, women struggle over this issue more than anything else.  It seems that when a woman gets victory in her life in the area of godly clothing, she has reached a level in her walk with the Lord that shows that she is committed and ready to live for God, no matter what the price may be.  Satan has effectively corrupted our society with perversions of every description.  Same sex marriages, abortions, pornography and homosexuality are everywhere.  It is time that Christian men and women go back to Biblical standards of dress and be a witness and an example of true ambassadors of Christ!

            It is not a chore.  It is not a hard thing that God asks His ambassadors to do.  Serving God is a joy, and serving Him according to His will is a tremendous pleasure.  God has not given us a difficult list of rules and regulations.  He has simply given us some great guidelines so that we can serve Him more effectively.

1 John 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

            If the commandments of God are grievous to you, why don't you bow your head right now and ask the Lord to forgive you.  God doesn't hold you accountable for what you didn't know.  But He does hold you accountable for what you do know.  You can decide today that you are going to follow God's Word and live the life of a Biblical ambassador.  Don't fight with God.  Jacob tried, and lost.  Paul tried and failed.  It is much more fun serving God and working with God than it is fighting His plan for your life.  Determine today to yield your life, your plans, your will, your mind, your desires and your wardrobe to Him.  Not just at church; but every single day of your life.

Proverbs 31:10,22,25  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies...She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple...Strength and honour are her clothing...Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

This is an excerpt from my book, The Life Of An Ambassador by Stacey Shiflett, Missionary to South Africa.

No comments: