Rachel is a member of First Protestant Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. This article was written as a senior writing assignment at Covenant Christian High School.
I wake up, roll out of bed, and drag my half-awake body over to my collection of clothes that are overflowing my closet. I pull out a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and throw them onto my mess of sheets and blankets. My door flies open, and in comes my sister with dripping wet hair and wearing a tight pair of jeans with a tight tank top under a sweater. She asks me how she looks, and all I can say is to go put some real clothes on. She storms out and finishes getting ready for school without saying another word to me until we get in my car to leave. My sister and I have different opinions on dress, like many within our churches. This is obvious just by walking through the halls at Covenant Christian High. Many of the young people in the schools or at convention wear whatever they want, no matter what the rules say. They might not be showing off the skin, but the clothes are so tight they might as well be. As Christian young people, our dress should reflect what glorifies God, not the world’s idea of what is fashionable.
As I walk through the halls of Covenant Christian High, I see tight designer jeans, shirts that are barely long or high enough to cover everything, T-shirts that have brand and band names right across the chest. It is a walking fashion show; students at Covenant try to get away with wearing the least amount of clothing possible without getting in trouble for it. The rules are no “chop tops,” yet girls run around pulling up their shirts all day long in order to not show anything from the front. All the while, they are pulling up their low-rise jeans so that they do not to show anything from behind. The jeans run so tight that many cannot even bend their knees to tie their shoelaces. May I ask what is wrong with this picture? If we are supposed to be a Christian school, then how does this dress reflect our beliefs?
I am sorry to say that it is not just the girls who wear clothing that does not reflect what a Christian should wear. Guys wear huge baggy pants that, even when wearing a belt, hang so low that every time they lift up their arms they show off a couple inches of boxers. They also try to get away with wearing shirts with rock bands that they know the teachers do not know.
I am not saying all of Covenant’s students dress this way. Many do follow the dress code without complaint. Their clothing is always appropriate even if they are not in school or at a school event. They might not wear all the latest and greatest fashions or brand names, but they are wearing apparel that glorifies God.
It is those who do not follow the dress code that make the lives of those who do miserable. The calling to be in the world but not of the world still stands. Why then do we feel the need to dress like the world? I am not saying we need to wear T-shirts with Christian views plastered all over them, but we should be wearing clothes that fit and that are not a size too small or too big. We are not supposed to look like the latest “in” girl or guy from Hollywood. We are supposed to look the part of a Christian as a light in a world full of lusts and corruptions. We were not meant to blend into the American melting pot.
When Christian young people dress in the way of the world, they do not recognize the message that they are sending the world. Many girls do not realize that the attention they get from many guys is not the attention that they want. In Matthew 5:28 it says, “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” If these girls want guys to like them for who they are and not for how sexy they look, they must not appear so revealing.
In 1 Peter 3:3-4 it states, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting (braiding) the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” If these young people do not want people to judge them by the way they dress, do not dress that way. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “what you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” It really is not that complicated: dress appropriately to make a statement of your own and be a beacon to the Lord’s fashion statement, not the world’s.
We must follow 1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Therefore, as Christian young people, our dress should reflect the Father’s love in us. Let us “walk worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10) rather than to blend in with the world.