The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom and foolishness, about righteousness and wickedness. It is easy to read these proverbs and remove ourselves from the idea of being the foolish person mentioned in many of them-to subconsciously think that that does not relate to us/me. I had done this for years. Then one time I read Proverbs 14:1 "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." I felt like a bucket of cold water had been thrown on me, when I sensed God telling me that I was the foolish woman spoken of! I had said some words and done some things that were destructive to my family, and God was telling me that I was acting like a foolish woman.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her booklet, Leigh Sheds "Becoming a Woman of Discretion in a Sensual World" tells of when she was asked to speak about living a life of purity to a group of women in full-time ministry. Although she was hesitant in seeing how such a message would relate to these Christian women, the Lord showed her the relevance. She realized three reasons Christian women need to hear about living a moral life are 1) there are women with adulteress and immoral intent in every church, evidenced by the number of relationships that have been shipwrecked in the church, 2) in every group of Christian women, there are those who don't realize they are foolish -they need training in the ways of God, and 3) even women with a genuine heart for wisdom have been subtly influenced by the world's way of thinking.
Another teaching of Nancy Leigh DeMoss is that an outwardly modest appearance reflects a modest and wise heart and immodest dress suggests a foolish, immoral heart. In studying this subject and preparing for these teachings, I have come to realize that I have been the foolish woman many times in my life and I am longing to become more and more wise in my attitudes and actions. I also want to help encourage others to be wise. This is why we have been learning about the topics of the past few lessons, and this is why we will look at some principles in this lesson to help us all to think about our attitudes. You see, it is our heart-attitudes that influence how we dress and how we act. What we wear + how we look = a picture of what we believe
Here are 3 principles that Nancy Leigh DeMoss shares in her booklet "The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear?" These are points I hope you will ponder.
A. Ownership-You are one of God=s prized possessions
I Corinthians 6:19-20 - Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
Think about one of your prized possessions. How would you feel if someone took it and trashed it? I have a special possession here-a teddy bear that was given to me. It symbolizes the beginning of a friendship. The woman who gave it to me was showing her gratefulness for an opportunity she had received. Because of that opportunity to spend the weekend together with a bunch of ladies, she and I got to know each other. I happen to know that this lady had lost her job just before this women's retreat where we were, and this teddy bear means even more to me because she really did not have extra money to spend on something like this. It cost her something to give this gift. If someone took it and tore it up, I would be very sad because of what it means to me. And I am sure that she is happy to know that it means something to me. That is how God feels about you. He gave you the gift of a body in which to dwell-- does it mean something special to you? Going to the next level, God sent Christ to live in a human body and to suffer death of that body so that each of us could have eternal life in heaven, and then He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Are you acting as though you appreciate His gift and His sacrifice? You are one of His prized possessions!
B. Lordship - Jesus is Lord over all.
Romans 14:8 - If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Psalm 24:1-2 - "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters." God isn't just something we put in a box and stick in the corner until Sunday morning. He is the Creator of the entire universe! He created each one of us. He is Lord over everything because He made it all. God has the right to every part of our lives. This begs the question, "Who do we allow to control what we wear?"
C. Citizenship - I belong to a different kingdom.
Romans 12:2 - Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world...(NIV) If you visit another country, you expect them to wear clothes that are reflective of their culture (Muslims, Native Americans, Africans, etc.). Our clothes should reflect our citizenship in God=s kingdom. The Message says it this way: "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out." That should really be our goal-to be changed from the inside out.
Remember: What we wear + how we look = a picture of what we believe
Prayer: Our Lord and our God, you created us, you gave us the gift of our bodies and our physical life, and you gave us the gift of spiritual eternal life. You have the right to every area of our lives. Help us to understand and apply the principles of ownership, lordship and citizenship as we go about our daily lives. Help us to be wise women. And may it all be to your honor and glory.