What Should I Wear?
Recently I was asked to speak at a women’s event in another state. Because I was not familiar with the church I asked, “What is the appropriate dress for this event?” The answer given was: “Something comfortable and cool. It is going to be hot!” In Woman Land that answer is a bit vague. Does that mean capris? Sundress? Maxi skirt? Modest shorts? T-shirt? Dress shirt? Cute sandals? Sport sandals? There are a thousand combinations that fall into the category of “comfortable and cool.” Needless to say I took multiple combinations!
“What should I wear?” is an age-old dilemma for many women. For those of you who are like me, I can lay out my clothes the night before, but by morning I have changed my mind at least three times. Not to mention shoe decisions, which in the summer are reliant on how the nail polish is doing on the pedicure! For others, like my sister, you are on a rotation cycle and it only gets complicated when the item in the rotation cycle has not yet been laundered!
For a pastor’s wife, this question can become even more complicated. How do I dress for church in a way that is acceptable for the traditional crowd and for the contemporary crowd? Or in our case, for the blended crowd? Who will I offend if I wear jeans? Who will I offend if I wear a nice dress? I never want my appearance to be a hindrance to my ministry. As a pastor’s wife, it is my responsibility to be reachable for everyone in our church family.
In recent days, events have transpired that, I fear, will make this age-old question all the more complicated as stores become gender-neutral. How does that work? How will we guide our children through that maze and help them to be proud of their gender and confident in whom God created them to be
Maybe the real problem is in asking, “What should I wear?” first. Maybe the more important question is “What is my under-wear?” No, not the “unmentionables” – the things we wear around our soul. Am I putting on the Armor of God to protect my soul? The list is given to us in Ephesians 6:10-18.
- Helmet of Salvation: Temptation starts in the mind. Just take a look at the life of David (2 Sam 11) or the story of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15). Both men started thinking about “I wonder if…” before they acted on the “what if.” What starts in the mind goes to the heart and then it turns to action. All of a sudden you are in a situation you never planned to be in. Wrap God’s protection around your mind. Love the Lord your God with all your…mind! Think on what is true, lovely, and holy (Phil 4:8-9). Meditate on His word day and night. There will be no room for temptation to find a place in that kind of mind!
- Breastplate of Righteousness: This protects our emotions. Too many of us, especially women, are led by emotions – both positive and negative. And then there is Satan’s best weapon…emotional baggage, like feeling worthless, guilt, bad habits, etc. The Breastplate of Righteousness wraps our heart, our emotions, with God’s righteousness. It filters what comes in and out of the heart. It protects from piercing blows. It reminds us we are His creation, created with a purpose as male and female.
- Belt of Truth: This wraps God’s truth around the core of our being so that we walk in truth, live in truth, and testify the truth. God’s truth protects us from error. It is easy to be misled by passion, but passion does not equal truth. Beware! The truth of God’s Word tells us there is only one way to salvation, we are worth the life of His very Son, and He can fill us with His fruit of love, joy, and peace that is not reliant on popularity, wealth, or body size.
- Sandals of Peace: This allows God to direct our steps. Wherever we go, we are peacemakers. Notice that peace making is not dependent on our outer attire. For us as pastor’s wives, that is huge! The spikes on the sandals anchor us in Christ so that we cannot be moved from His truth.
- Shield of Faith: The enemy is relentless. We must stand behind our faith, keeping our eyes on Jesus the Perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12:2). Faith can make the difference between victory and defeat. When we stand together (the church), shoulder-to-shoulder, we have the ultimate protection.
- Sword of God: This wraps our hands around God’s Word. When Jesus was tempted, His only weapon was the Word of God (Lk 4). It is defensive and deflects the enemy’s attack. It is offensive, and pierces the heart of sinful man.
The next time you wondering about what to wear, don’t run out the door without your under-wear (your armor). Yes, it is important to dress modestly. Yes, it is important to look our best and represent God well through our appearance. But what will allow us to run the race well and impact others for His glory is putting on our under-wear, the Armor of God.