Articles

Articles

Dressing For the Occasion

There is a debate among children as to what is defined as modest (which should not be a debate between adults and children: should begin and end at home). In reference to the influence of appeal, statements such as, “I don't find it overtly distracting because I'm so used to seeing girls dressing like that. It's so commonplace that it just isn't a big deal, so it seems counterintuitive to forbid such a common way of dressing.” Such a statement brings to mind a phrase made by the Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul, saying, “To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15). When man becomes the standard, there are no boundaries. Solomon said, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 16:25). Thus, it is not uncommon to hear individuals say, “I do not see anything wrong with it.” If there were no higher standard of moral and ethical conduct, then neither would any individual or collective consensus be “morally or ethically” valid, i.e., who gives one man or group of men the intrinsic right to make laws? (There IS a higher authority: but I digress).

In reference to an individual’s choice of public display, there are two aspects that deserve consideration, i.e., “What does a person desire to promote”, and “What does it tell those who view it about the individual?” Solomon said to his son, “Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; And call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, From the foreigner that flattereth with her words. For at the window of my house I looked forth through my lattice; And I beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, A young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner…And, behold, there met him a woman With the attire of a harlot, and wily of heart. (She is clamorous and willful; Her feet abide not in her house: Now she is in the streets, now in the broad places, And lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, And with an impudent face she said unto him: Sacrifices of peace-offerings are with me; This day have I paid my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, Diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have spread my couch with carpets of tapestry, with striped cloths of the yarn of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning; Let us solace ourselves with loves…With her much fair speech she causeth him to yield; With the flattering of her lips she forceth him along. He goeth after her straightway, As an ox goeth to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the correction of the fool; Till an arrow strike through his liver; As a bird hasteth to the snare, And knoweth not that it is for his life.” (Prov. 7:4-23).

The apostle Paul exhorted Servants “but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” Note, i.e., “in all things.” Ezra the priest, “set his heart to seek the law of Jehovah, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances” (Ezra 7:10). In like manner the godly are to “adorn the doctrine of God” (Titus 2:10), thereby living “according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God” (1 Tim. 1:11).

When the godly leave their dwelling, or allow their children to leave their dwelling, are they dressed for the occasion of adorning the doctrine of God, or promoting lasciviousness in their own life, and/or in the thoughts and intents of the hearts of those who behold them, i.e., (if I may adopt another phrase from the apostle Paul, “beholding your chaste behavior coupled with fear” (1 Pet. 3:2). Ross Triplett, Sr 11.06.22