Bible Study · Modesty

How Our Clothing Choices Reflect the Gospel

“God looks at the heart. It doesn’t matter what I wear.”

I have heard this phrase, or a variation of it, time and time again. This statement grieves me. And yet, I realize that it is totally by God’s Grace that I no longer have this mindset. I definitely used to feel like the rest of the world.

At this point in my Christian walk, my heart really craves God’s best. I’ve been learning more about the interconnections between the Old and New Testaments lately, and while studying a totally different topic earlier in the week, I came across an idea concerning modesty and clothing that I’ve never thought of before. Of course, I’d love to share it with you! I hope you find it encouraging.

What we wear is totally related to sin and shame. It is also a picture of God’s redemption, which is why it is so important that we choose wisely.

Once Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, their eyes were opened and their nakedness was shameful. They tried their best to fashion clothing out of fig leaves, but their attempt wasn’t good enough. (Please note that here God does care about what we wear. He didn’t allow Adam and Eve up to their own devices when it came to clothing).

In order to cover their sin and shame, blood had to be shed. The first animal was sacrificed, and they were given a coat fashioned from it’s skin. It covered them appropriately, and most likely, fully.

Why do I say that this coat covered them completely? Because the first clothing covering fashioned by God was a parallel to the coming Messiah, and the blood that would be shed to cover our sins. Our outward body requires a covering since our inward sin requires a covering. My MacArthur Study Bible calls it “a shadow of the reality that God would someday kill a substitute to redeem sinners.” (Genesis 3:21) Our clothing is a visual representation of the blood that must be shed to cover, or pardon, our sins before a just and holy God.

Does Christ’s blood cover some of our sins, or all of them? Praise God that it covers them all! Our clothing should mirror this by covering our body completely as well. Tight jeans that reveal every curve and clothing with holes, (cold shoulder shirts, I’m talking to you!), do not mirror the Gospel. There are no holes or gaps in the blood that was shed for us.

In Isaiah, we can read more about what is shameful when it comes to clothing.

“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.” Isaiah 47:2-3

This verse tells me that uncovering the leg, thigh, and hair is shameful. This verse is one of the reasons why I’ve recently started to wear head coverings or wide headbands on a more regular basis.  This shame or sin should be covered, and when it is covered, it points people to God’s ultimate sin covering through Christ.

These passages and this HUGE parallel and meaning is difficult for us to wrap our minds around in our culture today. It goes against everything that we have been taught.

None the less, I believe we will be blessed if we are obedient. When we wear clothing that covers us in God’s way, and not our own like Adam and Eve attempted with fig leaves, then we are a walking picture of redemption for everyone to see. We are a walking picture of the blood that Christ shed on our behalf.

The Lord is so amazing, isn’t He?

Some may say that since Christ has shed His blood for us already, we no longer must be obedient with our clothing choices. But unfortunately, as long as we are in this flesh we are still reminded of our sin and shame without a proper covering.

What an AMAZING opportunity we have to point others to Christ through our clothing choices, ladies. And men, this applies to you, too.

Sisters, if you are wondering how to best be a picture of redemption, please do a bit of research of the Greek word “katastole.” This word is found in 1 Timothy and relates to women’s clothing. Katastole is a feminine noun.  “Kata” means “a lowering, letting down.”  “Stole” in and of itself is not necessarily feminine, and is “a loose outer garment.” As Christ followers, God’s will for us is to wear long, loose fitting garments. Long dresses and skirts fit the bill perfectly. What we wear is an act of worship!

May God bless you as you walk out your calling. How amazing it is to be a walking picture of the redemption the Lord offers through Christ!

Food for thought:

But after Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, immediately, “the eyes of both were open, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” Notice that no one had to tell Adam and Eve that being naked in their sinful state was a problem; they realized it naturally. Some have linked this self-awareness with sexual knowledge, somehow implying that sexuality in and of itself is sinful. However, this cannot be, since Adam and Eve were married before they sinned, and had already been told to be fruitful and fill the earth. If now they were ashamed to be naked in front of each other that is a secondary focus at best. Their real concern (and the inadequacy of their own attempts) is revealed when they heard God walking in the Garden: they knew that they could no longer appear before God naked—their nakedness was now shameful, because of their guilt before their Creator.

Adam and Eve’s shame at their nakedness was really an outward reflection of an inward reality. Their exterior bodies required a covering, because their inward sin required a covering. God’s subsequent actions confirmed that their instinct to cover themselves was appropriate: He took care of both their inward guilt by slaying animals (creating the precedent that sin is covered by the shedding of blood) and their outward nakedness by making clothes out of the skins.Credit

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

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