6 Important Things to Consider When Deciding What to Wear to Church
- Michelle Lazurek Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2019 24 Apr
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve always liked clothes. There is something exciting about putting on a new outfit and accessorizing it in such a way that tells the world a bit about who you are. Yet some churches have unspoken dress codes, expecting the congregation to put on their “Sunday best.” Others just care about welcoming people through the door, despite their outward appearance.
Here are six important things to consider when choosing your Sunday morning attire to wear to church:
1. What you wear expresses who you are.
With clothes, you can be who you want to be. You can put on a knitted beanie or an infinity scarf and trendy jacket to look like you just came from Seattle. Either way, you are letting the world know who you are and what you value.
I love 80s pop culture because it brings me back to a time when life was simpler, the music was more fun, and the world felt a bit safer. Because my church is pretty accepting, I will sometimes wear a graphic shirt that portrays the characters or a scene from one of those iconic 80s films. When I wear them, it brings out the fun side of me and is a great conversation starter.
2. Your clothes demonstrate what’s important to you.
Although I don’t dress up at my church often, there are certain holidays that lend themselves to putting on something special. For Easter, I often wear a colorful dress to signify rebirth through Christ’s death on the cross. On Christmas, I wear the traditional red and black that coordinate with most of the Christmas décor. I don’t wear outfits that degrade God or mock His presence in my life.
If you are someone who likes to dress up every Sunday, I commend you. Going the extra mile not only shows God you care but also demonstrates this to new believers who may grace your church’s doorstep.
3. What you wear to church can be a stumbling block to others.
Because male and female bodies are made differently, there will always be clothing that accentuates a woman’s curves or accommodates the broadness of a man’s shoulders. Whether the clothing has a label that indicates male or female or not, it still should be tailored to clothe our bodies in the way God made them.
That said, it is important to wear clothes that indicate a level of respect for ourselves and others. Women who wear revealing clothing demonstrate a lack of respect for themselves as well as the men who might be made to stumble.
Women and men alike must consider the impact their clothing will have on the sexual purity of those around them.
4. It can give a false perception of who we are.
In this consumeristic world, our clothes really do indicate a symbol of status. A person decked out in an Armani suit is considered to be more put together (and in some cases more important) than someone who got a suit at a second-hand store. We can be a mess on the inside but easily hide it by wearing expensive clothing. This may easily become a crutch for those who desire to elevate themselves in others’ eyes.
James 2:1-3 says, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,’ or, ‘Sit down at my feet,’ have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”
Scripture is clear, we do not demonstrate faithfulness by elevating those who wear fine clothes and degrading those who wear shabby clothing. All people should be treated with love and dignity, not judged by which company’s logo they can afford to wear. Followers of Christ are called to authenticity, and church ought to be the model of this. If we use clothing as a way to mask our true selves, we must attempt to lay down those shields and ask God what work he wants to do within our souls, transforming us inside-out. .
5. Church services are an opportunity to care for what you have received.
Although you may not be able to afford the most expensive pair of sneakers or trendiest coat, it does matter how you care for and steward your provisions to the best of your ability. Whatever is at your disposal, be it a washer and dryer, or a hand-washing bucket—caring for the clothing you have received is a way of honoring your Provider.
Everyone’s resources vary in how much they have at their disposal for maintaining cleanliness and for presenting themselves to the world. However much it is in your power, present yourself to God and to the world with love and care.
Although some people might not be able to afford a lot of clothes, non-profit clothing closets and other donation facilities offer clothing at affordable prices. Goodwill and Salvation Army are great places to find some clothing treasures.
6. What you wear can reflect where you are spiritually.
Only wearing your best clothes can lead to a long list of other legalistic behaviors as you try to earn God’s love rather than receive his love freely. However, everyone in your church is in a different spot spiritually. Wearing ripped jeans or t-shirts with an offensive idea on it may be a stumbling block to them.
Romans 14:13 states, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
Also, we are told that not everything is beneficial, even though we are able to do it. I may be allowed to wear clothes that express my personal style, but it may cause my brother or sister in Christ to stumble in the long term. If what I do may cause my brother or sister to stumble in their walk, it is best I don’t wear it at all.
Although clothes don’t indicate our spiritual fervor or maturity, they do leave an impression, not only to ourselves but also to each other. Ask yourself how you treat others who are dressed differently than you. Consider also how dressing yourself is an opportunity for expression, as well as honoring yourself, honoring others, and honoring God.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award winning author, speaker, writing coach, pastor's wife and mother. As a literary agent for Wordwise Media services, she is a sought after workshop presenter at popular writers' conferences like She Speaks and Greater Philly Christian Writers conference. Please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.
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