The days are brighter, the nights are warmer. Your senses are overwhelmed with familiar friends – the smell of honeysuckles, the twinkle of fireflies (or what my family calls lightnin’ bugs), the taste of fresh watermelon, and the unbelievable refreshment of an ice-cold glass of sweet tea on a hot day.
Hey there, summertime. You’ve been missed.
There are so many wonderful things about summer I anxiously anticipate as it approaches.
However, one thing I do not look forward to about my beloved summer is the clothing choices my sisters in Christ make.
I know, it’s hot (temperature hot that is), but that gives us no excuse to bare-all and let the whole world take a front-row seat.
You’re probably thinking either one of two things as you read this, “Amen!” or “She must be out of touch/ doesn’t care how she dresses.”
To my sisters who are leaning towards the latter of those two thoughts: I love clothes and I love fashion.
Yup. You that read correctly.
I love to be “in style.” I love to shop and wear trendy clothes. In fact, just last week I was in a boutique when a glimmer of turquoise blue caught my eye under a pile of clothes. I excitedly pulled this beautiful garment out from its captivity, just to be let down.
This beautiful turquoise top was not really much of a top, rather a glorified bra with a zipper.
Disappointed in the lack of fabric on this so-called top, I started to walk away until it hit me: this top was the only one in the store, which probably meant its friends were purchased and now reside in closets all over my area.
Then I thought to myself, “Sara, get real. It’s not a big deal. Put the top down and move on.”
But I couldn’t. I couldn’t help but think of the message this tiny top screamed to every person it came into contact with.
A message of insecurity, brokenness, disappointment, a desire to fit in and to be noticed; and that message hurt me for my female friends.
1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us, “Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Okay. Before you think I’m unreasonable and exit out of this post, hear me out. I don’t think this verse is saying you can’t wear jewelry or braid your hair (I have my hair braided right now). This verse is saying: the heart matters more.
Adorn or “dress up” your heart with things like the Fruit of the Spirit.
In other words, spend more time grooming your spiritual life than your social life.
Several years ago, I heard a thirteen-year-old girl tell a friend of mine, “My momma tells me the more you love Jesus the prettier you become, so you must really love Jesus.”
Those precious words have stuck with me ever since because there is so much truth to them.
The clothes I wear do not make me more pleasing in God’s sight. He just wants my heart.
Have you ever really thought about that?
Think of someone you know who radiates Christ, a woman who people are drawn to because of her love for our Father. Does that person seek for attention through her clothing…or lack thereof?
That individual focuses way more on becoming like her Savior, which is what’s so captivating.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
I’ve heard girls justify what they wear by saying, “It’s my body, I can do what I want with it,” time and time again.
Scripture tells us otherwise.
We are not our own. We were bought at the highest price – Jesus’ blood.
I don’t know about you, but when I spend a pretty penny on something, I take care of it. I treasure it, keep it safe, and certainly don’t flash it about so it risks being taken.
Ultimately it comes down to, what message are you trying to send?
You can be the most well-intended woman and send a message quite contrary to your beliefs simply by what you choose to put on (or not put on) your body.
As women seeking to be more like Christ we should want to reflect Him at all times and if something we wear compromises the message of Christ, we should remove it from our wardrobe.
Summer is a great season for fashion, but itsy-bitsy cut-off shorts, a revealing string-bikini, or a midriff-baring crop-top (no matter how “in” they may be) just do not point to the cross. Instead they point to self, even if that’s not your intention.
After all, you were created to promote Christ not self – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
So while you’re out shopping for summer clothing ask yourself, “Would I be a good representation of Christ in this?” “What message would I send in this outfit?”
Put down the teeny-tiny turquoise bra top and never look back.