If you read your Bible even a little bit you may have come across the verse that tells you how you are “a royal priesthood” and a “holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9).
It is pretty cool to see how high God esteems us, which should be the same way we see ourselves- beautiful, precious, royal.
Some countries all around the world are run by a monarchy, let’s take England for example. They have a King, a queen, princes, and princesses.
As you may know, these people are held to a high standard. They live in a particular way. How they eat, how they speak, the way they walk and the way they dress are just some of the things they have to do in a certain way to keep the royal standard.
Being a Christian is no different. I mean, we serve a King. The Creator of everything.
Once we understand this principle then it is easy to see how we as the children of a God are supposed to carry ourselves around.
In this article, I am not going to talk about all the particular ways we are supposed to act. I want to focus on the way we are supposed to dress.
The Bible talks about everything. It is relevant even today and contains truths on all things that pertain to life and godliness, this includes the way we are to wear our clothes.
Most people know the usual verses, the ones that seem to forbid jewelry or tell you to not style your hair and how to dress modestly (Exodus 16:17; 1 Timothy 2:9). I call them prescriptive verses and they usually have a commanding tone about them.
The problem with these kinds of verses is that when they are misinterpreted by others and then twisted to become law and doctrine they become a stumbling block for many who are trying to live the holiest lives they can.
Because I do not want this article to be too long I will, in summary, go over two points from Exodus 28 that I believe give a true idea of how God wants us to dress.
Dress For Service, Be Relevant
This one is a tricky one and really has a lot of subjectivity within it. To make it easier, let me say this; when in Rome do as the Romans do and if Rome isn’t your kind of place then go to Spain!
In Exodus 28:3, God instructs Moses to have skillful people create beautiful garments for the priesthood to wear.
With God beauty is inevitable but when He mentions “so that they may serve me” He then introduces an element of functionality.
Not only was this royal priesthood (remember that we too are a royal priesthood) to serve God with beautiful garments, they were also meant to be functional.
Without saying too much, dress for the occasion. Dress appropriately, and when I say appropriately, dress functionally. Different places, different dress codes.
If you’re at school and they have a particular dress code, dress like that. If at a certain church, then dress like that. At a wedding. At a business event. I’m sure you get it.
However, just like you want to be respected for your individuality, respects others for theirs. If you want to be where they are then at least respect their wishes until you’re in your own space.
I know some churches are very judgmental about how others dress but I also know other churches that have bigger things to worry about than how you dress. Try those. I personally attend a church that is laid back when it comes to such.
Dress For Beauty
I won’t spend a lot of time here.
In Exodus 28:2, Moses is instructed that the clothing the priests should wear must be made “for beauty and for glory”.
Let’s talk about beauty.
Beauty can be very subjective so the only way we can understand what God meant here was to look at what He considers beauty.
The first place you can look at is in Genesis 1 & 2. After that, you can then look around you. All the things God created are beautiful. You can even look at yourself. If you don’t believe you’re beautiful then you best believe you are.
However, in Exodus 28 alone you can get an idea of how God sees beauty, at least in clothing. Read through the chapter and see how detailed God is and try and count the materials and precious stones used to make the priestly apparel.
I’m sure you can see how far we are from that standard and if anyone had to wear anything that glamourous today they would fall under the title of being “materialistic”.
I guess to put all this in a few words, dress the best you can and in the way that would best represent what you believe in. Everything must be done to finesse.
This is where the “for glory” part comes in. Does what you wear glorify God or man? Does it glorify God or does it glorify you?
Think about it. It will be different for all of us. God does not steal our individuality or personal tastes but in our unique ways let us be moved by His Spirit and only a true relationship with God will lead you to the right things that perfectly unite your uniqueness with Gods.
There’s definitely more to say on this topic but I cannot put it all into an article. I do, however, encourage you to seek more truth on your own guided by God’s Spirit.
Beauty is defined by God and we often see beauty in different ways being different individuals. Don’t let anyone guilt trip you into dressing like them. Find your own unique way of dressing for beauty and for glory.
You don’t have to feel guilty about having some expensive clothes. God gives us all different gifts and some have access to more pricier clothes than others. This is okay, as long as, again, it is for beauty and God’s glory.
If people can’t accept your style then go somewhere where they will. God has a bunch of creatives and liberals serving Him out there. Don’t hate anyone, even if they judge you. If their Rome doesn’t work for you, go to your Spain or Africa. Just go to a place where you feel at peace with yourself.
If you want to learn more on the different ways people adorned themselves and how God viewed it you can check out this link on jewelry.
Stay blessed and don’t forget to keep your life unfiltered…
This article was originally written for Chaptbrand. A online store that sells Christian clothing.