So here I am, writing about my thoughts on fashion and how that intersects with my Christian faith. Inevitably the question comes up, “Does God even care about fashion?”
It’s a fair question. As Christians, we should concern ourselves with what God cares about. How the heck does what we wear play into this?
Clothing in the Bible
If you’ve been around the church for very long, you’ve heard a few sermons about what the Bible says about dressing. God wanted the Levitical priests to dress a certain way (Exodus 28). He was very particular even about the cloth that they wore. That’s clue number one that God cares about the clothes on our backs.
There’re also notes to the women in the New Testament about dressing in a modest fashion. They should use their devotion to the Lord as decoration instead of the ornaments in their hair and body (1 Tim 2:9). So Paul at least thinks that how we dress should be an outward expression of our relationship to God.
Jesus also mentions that God will clothe us in the same way He clothes the lilies of the field (Matt 6:28). There are some people who interpret that scripture to mean that Christians shouldn’t care about what we wear. But I would propose that this verse means we shouldn’t worry about our resources, including clothing. There’s a big difference between worrying and not caring at all. In fact, if clothing is a resource, we are also called to be good stewards of our resources (1 Peter 4:10).
Being a Good Steward of Fashion
If we’re called to be good stewards of our clothing, then what does that look like?
Christianity is, for the most part, an “inward-out” religion. This means that our actions on the outside should stem from our hearts and rightness with God. Paul says that we can do lots of things that signify religion, but if we do them without the Love of Christ, then we’re no more than clanging symbols.
With that in mind, how we shop for clothing and how we dress should be a reflection of the Love of Christ. This should go beyond the good ole, “Don’t be a stumbling block to your sister/brother in Christ.” It should also include the redemptive love of Christ. For me, this means that when I get dressed in the morning I dress in a way that honors God and the woman He created me as. In fact, style could be considered as a creative form of worship if we do so with God in mind.
Freedom to Choose the Right Thing
Does that mean I can wear whatever I want? No, of course not. There are societal expectations that I have to meet, like not wearing jeans and t-shirts to work.
More importantly, we have to consider that while we may have freedom in Christ, we don’t get to trample all over that freedom with our selfish desires. Paul says in Romans 6,
“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
God has given us freedom from the ramifications of sin. The best way for a Christian to respond is to follow the laws of God out of love, without fear.
Guidelines to Consider
With these two thoughts in mind, that I want to dress in a way that honors God, but not in a way that means I get to do whatever I want, then knowing about fashion becomes incredibly important. We should know:
- What rules of fashion we should and shouldn’t follow, like the line between “tasteful V-neck” and “whoa titty.”
- What messages we’re conveying with our clothing including religion, gender, and ethics.
- Where our fashion comes from, and if we’re buying in a way that’s a good use of our resources.
NONE of these things are easy to figure out, but that’s why it’s such an important topic! God has called us to “do all things as unto the Lord,” and that includes navigating the world of getting dressed.
I am not the first person to write about whether God cares about fashion, nor am I even remotely the best person to write about it. If this conversation has piqued your interest, I strongly suggest you read the following articles. I found these resources via the website Unwrinkling, which straight up changed my life.
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I’m excited to start this conversation, and I would love to hear what you think.