What does it mean to dress like a lady?
I had a fun chat with Catie a couple of weeks ago, looking at 1 Peter 3 together, and hoping that we don’t have to take it as a ‘What Not To Wear’ declaration:
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. [1 Peter 3:3-4 – ESV]
Particularly since we both happened to be sporting ‘braided hair’ at the time.
I personally don’t think that I’m going to find a style blueprint in the Bible (unless you count 1 Cor.11 as a dress-code – and I don’t), but I do think God made my body as well as my soul, and so I think he cares about what I put on that body, and with that in mind I’ve invented my own rules of feminine style, consisting of two standards: modest and pretty.
As it happens this has led me to make another wardrobe decision, specifically, I don’t wear trousers. In fact I don’t even own trousers.
I used to, but nearly two years ago I learnt to use a sewing machine and in the pursuit of improving my skills I turned all my trousers into skirts.
The thing is – unlike some bloggers out there (if you have a spare hour or two, have a look here) – I don’t actually consider wearing dresses and having long hair to be a mark of being a proper Christian, but I do wear dresses and have long hair.
- I like my long hair and I like dresses and skirts. I think they are pretty, and think pretty things are nice.
- Dresses are comfortable (no waistband is good).
- Dresses are modest (as long as they’re not too short, natch.) since you don’t have the awkward low-slung-underwear-on-display situation when sitting that often comes as standard with jeans.
- Not showing my underwear to all and sundry is pretty important to me.
- Wearing clothes that make taking part in dodgeball tournaments, attempting high-ropes assault courses and/or climbing over fences to play a mandatory game of ‘bat & ball’ impossible is an added bonus.
Ultimately, one of the things I love about being a girl is the fact that God has made us beautiful. There is a danger in that beauty – when, like with all of the other good gifts from God, we forget the Giver and obsess over the gift – but that’s a post for another week.
Today I feel like enjoying the gift and thanking him for it. I think what’s going on in 1 Peter 3 (and 1 Timothy 2) is not a list of what not to wear, but rather a reminder to keep our focus on the heart behind it all.
Braid your hair, wear jewels and pretty things, but remember that the most beautiful thing about you is the fact that your heart is turned towards the beautiful One – Jesus.
What about you? What does dressing like a lady mean to you?
In summary: I heart skirts.