I consider myself lucky and privileged to be chosen to speak on the topic on the projector for several reasons. First, the topic is simple and common that everybody can discuss it. Everybody, I guess, can give explanation to another the dressing that honours God; even a child can do.
Secondly, I have behind me men of great and deep faith – members of the panel – to ensure that even if I fumble, they will not allow me to tumble, and will be there to clear the mess. But I promise not to leave much mess behind.
Every Lord’s Day, the Deacons have a running battle with young girls who take it a delight to keep their hair open during worship. At the first floor where the Registry is, Bro EnefiokEtuk battles daily with young boys with rasta hair and general poor dressing, and young girls with skimpy dresses and heavily coated lips.
Every Sunday, the announcer, Brother U.T. Jimmy, literally begs worshippers, especially women, to dress honourably before God. And two months ago, Elder Umanataught on how our daughters who become brides at some point in life paint and decorate themselves to the extent that people, including the husbands, find it difficult to recognize them.
These scenarios rightly encourage the church to once again beam searchlight on dressing with the topic: Dressing that honours God.
Implicit in the topic are two things – one being the opposite of each other – there is a dressing that honours God, and there is dressing that dishonours him.
Objective of the Lesson
To encourage Christians to dress in a way that is pleasing unto God.
What is Dressing?
In this lesson, dressing is a covering, adornment or appearance at a particular time. By this definition, dressing is more that our clothing; it includes everything with which we use to decorate ourselves; it includes final appearance as a result of our clothes and adornment. Dressing covers our appearance from our heads to our toes – our hair, our headties/gears, our shoes, our nails, our lips, our … count them.
Purpose of Dressing
The three purposes for dressing are to:
- Cover our nakedness. In Gen. 3:7, after the eyes of Adam and Eve were open and they saw they were naked, they sewed fig leaves together and made an apron.In Gen. 3: 21: The merciful God made unto Adam and his wife coats of skins and clothed them.
- Protect human race against extreme weather conditions.
- Make us appear beautiful both in our eyes and in the eyes of others.
Importance of Dressing
- Dressing reflects your personality and who you are.
- Dressing reflects your lifestyle. There is the popular saying that you should dress the way you want people to address you.
- People who dress shabbily are never taken seriously.
Why is Dressing important to God?
Dressing is important to God because God is beauty; He is beautiful. All His creations are beautiful. Therefore He wants His creations to remain beautiful and pleasant before him.
Psalm 96:9 – Admonishes us to worship God in the beauty of His holiness.
Psalm 96:6 – Strength and beauty are in the sanctuary of God.
Psalm 90:17 – And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.
If God is beautiful, then His creations have to be beautiful.
Why do people behave the way they do?
Note what Eccl. 7:29 says:Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out manly interventions.
God made man perfect. Gen. 1: 31 says: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was good. This included man. But man has devised many interventions for himself. One of such schemes is the poor attempt to push aside the perfection with which God created man, and substitute it with what man thinks is right or better than God’s perfect creation.
Why do people behave the way they do? Because Satan has corrupted their sense of beauty.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan told Eve that she was naked but He did not provide dresses for them. After God had provided for man, Satan has come to confuse man in order not to accept the beauty that God has given to man.
In particular, Satan has made women to believe that without painting or make-up, they are not fine.
Some women openly and shamelessly say that without make-up, they are not beautiful. But what is the meaning of make-up? Someone should explain?
Make-up implies deficiency. It suggests that the original is not good so that something has to be done to put it right.
A general statement: All women who paint, lightly or deeply, are by their action, telling God that God created them with defects;hence they have to perfect the handwork of God. They want to improve on God’s work.
But, truly speaking, can we improve on God’s work? Painting makes people stand out so as to be noticed or attractive to look at. It does not make anyone beautiful. Beauty is natural.
WAYS THAT MAN IS ATTEMPTING TO IMPROVE ON GOD’S WORK
- The face, the lips, the eyes. Take a look at the Sister nearest to you, even far from you. Is her face natural? What about the lips and the eyes? Are they the same as we have on the projector?
Gen. 1: 27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them. What you have seen – is the sister a true image of God?
- Slit – What is the effective length of the dress?
- See the kind of brassiere that women are wearing, even in the church.
- The crop top that exposes the belly and navel of women.
- Today men wear earrings and plait their hairs. Many men who wear earrings, plait their hair or keep long hair are homosexuals. You who keep – are you one.
- Now men wear sagging and feel proud. Do you consider this an honour to God?
- Look at the punk men are carrying?
- And the ripped or torn jeans.
- The Rasta men
- The curly Heads
- The Nails
- The Low waist
- The Minis Skirt – some women sitting are covering their legs with handkerchief, even before the Elders, Deacons and preacher. Look around.
Another naughty area is covering one’s head. The Bible says women should cover their heads during worship. Many women push this commandment aside in order to display their so-called hair. So-called because it is not their hair. You are dishonouring God when you do not cover all parts of the head. There is no middle ground.
Undies – Things that are worn or should be worn under. Undies include underskirt, pants, bras and tights. In those days, a woman felt ashamed for any of these to be exposed. Now, it is a pride. Some now expose their tights, pants and bra straps as if they have ceased to be undies. Anytime you expose these intentionally, you are disgusting.
Transparent dresses – women purposely wear that which is transparent to enable the opposite gender to see and perhaps be attracted to them.
Tight dresses (men and women) that show the contours or curvature of the body. What about hair dyeing, especially men?
Sources of Dressing that Dishonours God
- Comedians – Note that they are on stage, on a make-belief that fetches them money.
- Mothers/Wives – Many women dress shabbily and their children copy from them. They buy make-up kits for their daughters. They buy dresses unbecoming of a Christian for their children.
- Fathers – some dress shabbily too. They fail to rebuke their wives and children. Some sisters say it is their husbands that encourage them to apply the make-up. Can that be true? But such a wife would have had the spirit of painting in the first instance.
So What Dressing Honours God?
The beauty of God is found in His holiness. Incidentally, the Christian concept of beauty – the Biblical concept – tallies with the Ibibio concept of beauty – Edu ado uyai. This also tallies with what God expects from His people as expressed in 1 Tim 2:9 – That women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.
1 Pet. 3:3: Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time, the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their husbands.
Shamefacedness – showing modesty. Modesty is the quality of not being too proud; quality of dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention.
Sobriety – still refers to modesty or thoughtful character.
The Bible warns against undue display of wealth in dressing. It says the real beauty is not in the wanton display of apparel but in the meekness of heart and quiet spirit. Indeed, true beauty lies in one’s character because this one cannot fade unlike the physical beauty that fades with age.
Incidentally, no amount of painting can make an old or ugly person look young or beautiful. Rather, those who indulge in painting end up disfiguring themselves and looking even older or uglier.
Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that all this is vanity upon vanity. We cannot by all these acts add one inch to our stature.
Dress code for Church
Dressing is culture specific. The church has a culture – the culture of modesty, the culture of shamefacedness in dressing. Dress code is not a uniform but a set of rules with regards to clothing. Dress codes are created based on the purpose of an organization. Since the church is to honour God, the dress code must comply with Christian principles.
Dress code teaches one the importance of a respectable appearance that can impact on one’s self-respect and self-esteem. People want to express themselves; but imposing boundaries can prevent them from resorting to extremes that can sometimes lead to undesirable consequences. Anything outside that is outside the approved dress code of the church.
No one wears a dress without looking at it in the mirror. Therefore our dressing, good or bad, comes from the heart. Prov. 4: 23 says, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
When we paint our lips, we are only desirous in our heart to be like the Phoenicianprincess, Jezebel, whom 2 Kings 9:34 describes as an accursed woman. In the whole of the Old Testament, no other person answered Jezebel. Till today no one does, yet her works, her legacy has been imbibed by the children of God.
PARENTS AND THEIR CHILDREN’S DRESSING
Parents – both father and mother – have crucial roles to play. There is no excuse whatsoever for a child living with his or her parents to dress like a cult boy or a prostitute. Are we saying that our young men who come to church with bushy and unkempt hair and beards do not come from the house?
Or the young girls who paint their lips, decorate their eyes and their entire face, wear skimpy skirts that force them to use handkerchief as an extension of their skirts, who wear blouse, and bras that expose or push out their breasts – do their parents not see and approve of such satanic dresses? One does not need to advertise her gender.
Prov. 22: 6 says,Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Parents should dress their children in a way that pleases God, and that will inculcate in the children the virtues of godly dressing.
DRESSING AND EXCUSES
People look for excuses to dress shabbily. For example, people say God looks into the heart and not our dressing. Yet, it is from our heart that we decide towear something in order to portray ourselves the way we want people regard us.
Others will ask, what about those who do sports, or are on military assignment and so wear trousers. My question is, are you on a military assignment?
Some will say the New Testament does not bar one from wearing any cloth; that Deut. 22:5 is of the Old Testament. Deut. 22:5 did not say women should not wear trousers or men should not wear skirt. Rather God desiring to keep the distinction between man and woman – man and woman he created them – says:
A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord of your God.
If you know what pertains to the other gender and you put it on, you ask God if He detests such act. Don’t ask me. Don’t ask the panelists. Don’t ask the preachers and elders.
Note: Prov. 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is death.
The Bible does not speak of trendiness – does not talk about fashion. That many people dress in a way that dishonours God does not make it commendable before God. The path to God is narrow, and only very few want to remain it.
Rom. 12: 1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Pet. 2: 9: We are a chosen generation…a peculiar people that we should show forth praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. One of the ways of doing this is to dress in a way that is honourable to God,
What is the dressing that honours God? Dressing that is shamefaced and modest and devoid of the trappings of Satan.
AN INDOOR LECTURE HELD ON 01 SEPTEMBER, 2019
AT UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
BY BRO UwemUdoAkpan(08023560755)