I recently watched a broadcast of a well-known lady minister with integrity who has been preaching the gospel for many years. Her entire broadcast was devoted to women covering themselves by dressing appropriately. In one statement, she asked, “What kind of message are you sending when you dress that way as a Christian?”. “That way” was meaning in a seductive way. A friend of mine told me she had been disturbed when she saw a lady minister preaching in a low cut dress, exposing her cleavage. My Mother was watching TBN recently and saw a prominent lady minister preaching and, when she bent down a little, she could see a lot of her cleavage. It was so shocking that she had to turn the channel. I had another friend tell me about attending a state camp meeting and seeing a lady in the choir wearing a very tight, almost see-through, top revealing she wasn’t wearing a bra.
In June I taught a bible study on the works of the flesh out of Galatians 5. One of the works was lasciviousness, meaning anything that would foster lust and sex. During this discussion, a lot of women spoke up and began airing their concerns over Christian women coming to church wearing low cut dresses or tops, short skirts, short skirts with bare legs, tight pants, low cut jeans showing the belly and behind and attire exposing the back. One lady in the class told about her husband having to turn his head in church to keep from looking at a woman who was wearing a low cut dress exposing a lot of cleavage. Not only did it affect his worship, but hers as well. When that comment was said, other women began to vent their frustration of having to deal with the same thing. It hindered their worship and receiving from God.
So, by saying all of this, it seems to me that the Holy Spirit is sending a clear message to the women of the church. I know this is a controversial topic, but I feel strongly it needs to be addressed in love. What I am about to say is not legalism, but a call to holiness in our attire. Ladies, we may not realize the effect our body parts have on men, especially when they’re not properly covered. Men, young and old, are very visual. It doesn’t take much, especially with the help of the enemy, to get their minds wandering and distracted in sensual land. I know we ladies like dressing in the latest fashions, but does it honor God? We are not to be conformed to this world’s seductive fashion trends. A few years ago, I went shopping and found a very nice skirt. I just loved it, so I went to the dressing room and tried it on. It looked great from the front, but when I turned around, the split was too high. My thoughts immediately were, “I can’t minister in this, and I can’t dance in this, and I can’t fall out in the Spirit like this.” The Holy Spirit plainly told me to take it off. I admit I wrestled with it for a few moments, but I didn’t want to displease Him. So, the skirt went back on the rack. I could have purchased it and had it altered, but I believe it was a test of obedience. I went shopping for new shoes last year and, when I found a cute pair, the Holy Spirit said, “Not those shoes.” Why? They were too seductive. I found it’s the same when I go shopping for jewelry or anything else, whether for church, work or play.
The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and Helper, not just for speaking in tongues on Sunday morning. Before Queen Esther came into the king’s presence, she got to choose whatever she wanted to wear. She ask the person who knew the king’s taste better than anyone – Hegai, the king’s chamberlain – what attire would please him. She followed Hegai’s instruction, and won the king’s approval and the crown. The Holy Spirit knows what pleases the King of kings, so we need to allow Him to dress us, especially when we go into His Presence. I had a very precious friend of mine make a comment about the church offending the harvest, the new converts, when addressing proper attire during worship. I totally agree it should be handled very delicately. But, what about the church, more seasoned saints, offending the church just like the examples the women gave in our bible study? If we don’t set the standard, how will the harvest see and know the difference when they come in? The holy priests of the temple were instructed by God to cover up for worship. They set the example for other worshippers. Ladies, I believe we can dress very stylishly, hip and attractive and still be covered. Let’s dress for success in the kingdom – pleasing our King and setting the right example for others to follow. It may mean we have to take inventory of our closets, but think of it this way…another excuse to go shopping and with our own personal stylist, the Holy Spirit! 🙂 Vickie Henderson