Thursday, June 18, 2009

Proper Apperal.

1 Tim. 2:8-10 (ESV)
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; [9] 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, [10] but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
I suppose I’m walking on eggshells here. I’m not good at that. On the one hand I will address the issue of modest apparel. What is considered modest does change over time, I don’t think a woman has to wear a burka to be modest. And I don’t know that I care much what anyone wears outside of church. I do sometimes long for the days when people dressed up to go to church. Not that I would want it to be a fashion show. And this goes for men and women alike. I understand that God takes you as you are. Perhaps there are people out there that can’t afford the nicest clothes in the world. But that is really aside from the point. I think treating Sunday morning worship with a consideration for awe and reverence means dressing a little different than you would for the beach, a camping trip, or the night club Friday night. I don’t know that we need to dress up, but maybe dress for church, as in recognizing where we are going and what we will be doing.
That was a large aside. For quite frankly, I don’t think Paul is addressing outward apparel here at all. He isn’t saying that women shouldn’t wear costly apparel, jewelry, or have to wear their hair down. At least I hope not! I kind of like to see women dressed nicely, and in a manner pleasing to the eye, or at least their husband’s eye. Sometimes I see people dress without a care for the world. They make no effort to put on a good face for the public, both men and women. Sometimes that strikes me as rude, maybe not as rude as the man I saw wearing a sports bra, girl jeans with lace slits in the hips and high heels at the airport the other day, but sort of rude in the same manner. They always have this idea that it people should take them for who they are on the inside, and don’t take into account that they send a strong message as to who they are on the inside by how they dress on the outside. They are people who don’t care what you think, that is the message they send. And that is a rude sort of attitude with which to address the world. To be sure people can go to extremes the other way too. I’m fairly sure though that the leading women, and women of high standing in Thessalonica dressed appropriate to their station in life.
What Paul is saying here, goes as much for men as it does for women. That is our true adornment, that we should be most conscious of is not so much how we are dressed, but what we are doing. We should seek to show people who we are, not only by how we dress, but what we do. We should be working to adorn ourselves with good works. Any girl can look pretty in a dress. But I know many guys who have dated the “high maintenance” girl, and have been in the end disgusted with the vain self-centeredness that often accompanies it. I know a few vain men, that can’t hold a girl friend for the same reason. They can get a date easy enough, but… There is something about adorning yourself with good works, that does speak volumes concerning who you are. It is good advice for a girl, not to get her identity confused with how she dresses, or what she looks like. There is more to life, there is Christ Crucified, who has given us life in which good works are even possible.


Nancy said...

Great post! As I have begun to understand Lutheran speak (still trying...) it is great to read this...and realize that using the phrase "good works" is not actually cursing...*; )

I agree that tiptoeing through the tulips is not one of your strong point...maybe it's the footwear...

Brigitte said...

You are hilarious, Nancy. :)

When I hear about the braided hair and such, I think about pictures of Roman patrician women with these elaborate hairdos that would put Marie Antoinette to shame.

It would not make much sense to parade around the church like that, especially with so many poor folk and even slaves around and people heading towards persecution. You'd think there would have been constant opportunity and sheer, raw, desperate need for doing good.

I think a guide for today would be not to draw unnecessary attention to your clothing in a negative or sloppy way, an outlandish way, or in a overly showy way. Other than that pick something you like.

Nancy said...

My daughter was involved in an under the bridge ministry and they were always counseled to remember who they were ministering to when they chose "an outfit" for the occasion.

Jesus chose His "outfit" especially on our behalf...*; )

Bror Erickson said...

I have been at the Rocky Mountain District Convention since Wednesday of last week, and so have not been commenting. Sorry. I have these posts scheduled.
I am now the new Circuit Counselor for the Utah Circuit. So pray for the Utah Circuit, they will need it!