The dress code
What to wear where and where had been discussed in the Brethren circle for decades and it still remains an unsolved problem. While in my teens (during the late 60s) one young man raised a question in a youth meeting, “Is it appropriate for a believer to wear T-shirts?” Around the same period of time in a prominent assembly in Kerala one young brother send a notice to one of the elders saying that all financial support to Bro. “S”- who was a prominent evangelist in North India, should be withdrawn as his daughters have come wearing churidar to the assembly during one of their family visits to Kerala. To my understanding, the girls were wearing the only dress they had, which was their school uniform.
While the Bible says that man should not wear women’s dress and a women should not wear man’s dress it did not specify on the type of dress in the eternal wisdom of God, because the type for man and women varies according to the culture and time in which we live. In my understanding it only means that man and woman must dress in a manner that their sex should be identified at the very first sight.
While no one can insist a dress code for Christians an honest Christian must understand and consider certain things. A true Christian is not selfish and he/she seeks the good of others. That means the rights; desires and comforts are sacrificed for the good of others who might be weaker in many ways. We must understand that we are living in the midst of three generations all the time. The older generation who are in their seventies (60-80) may not and cannot understand or accept the present trends and the present generation who are in their 20-40s may not understand the older generation and their feelings and in most cases willfully neglect to consider them. Remember, honor your father and mother is a command with a promise. Then we also have the third generation, which are the grand- children of the older generation. Now a good and genuine Christian must be considerate to all the three generations of people. They should not insist on wearing something which would be offensive to the older generation and are not an example to the third generation. There are certain standards that were established by our forefathers and the elders of an assembly. One should not violate and hurt them and bring dishonor to them for his/her own comfort and selfish ideas. Our rights and privileges should be exercised in a balanced way to bring Glory to the name of the Lord and also harmony to the body of Christ. This is a strong teaching established by Apostle Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians.
My second thought in regard is from the parable of the marriage feast. Here the man who was found without a proper wedding dress was cast in to the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing. Why the king was so cruel? All the guests were supplied with proper garments. But this one man purposely rejected the king’s own gracious provision. While it speaks of the garment of righteousness which the Lord offers to a believer, may I take it in the primary realm. Not wearing a proper garment was an insult to the king who invited him to the feast. Why we wear good and valuable dress when we go for a wedding party? In my opinion the way I dress for an occasion indicates my respect to my host. If we are dressed in a shabby outfit when we come to the assembly meetings which are in the presence of the King of kings and in to His banqueting table we are dishonoring the Lord. Will you go to your brother’s wedding in that outfit or for a job interview or even to meet your boss at work? Is the Lord in whose presence you come is of any lesser importance and respect?
Show some respect to the Lord and to your elders and be an example to your younger generation