Celebrity Biblical Womanhood: Caution! Your Clothes are Talking -- By: Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 08:2 (Fall 2003)
Article: Celebrity Biblical Womanhood: Caution! Your Clothes are Talking
Author: Nancy Leigh DeMoss


Celebrity Biblical Womanhood:
Caution! Your Clothes are Talking1

Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Host of the Revive Our Hearts Daily Radio Program,
Niles, Michigan

Editor’s Note: The following is the first in a series of columns on the issue of modesty by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. This series on modesty originally aired in the form of a three week radio broadcast, beginning June 16, 2003. Her radio program—“Revive Our Hearts,”—is heard on more than 230 stations.

If I tell you that there’s a woman coming down this church aisle in a long, white, formal dress, what would you say is probably the occasion? It’s a wedding; she’s a bride. How did you know? Because clothing communicates.

If I tell you there’s a teenager bundled up in a snowsuit, mittens, a wool hat and a scarf would you agree with me that the teenager is probably not on his way to a picnic?

Clothing and appearance send a message. They can communicate our occupation or an occasion we’re marking. In some of the world’s religions, women are clearly identifiable by their dress.

Clothing can communicate something about our socio-economic status. You can look at some people and think, “She looks like a wealthy woman.” Or you might look at another woman and—purely on the basis of her clothing—say, “She doesn’t look like she comes from a financially stable background.”

Clothing also communicates a message about our values, our character, our attitudes. For example, you can look at the dress of some and tell that neatness is not a concern to them.

The Bible speaks of occasions when people would wear sackcloth as a sign of mourning or repentance. So, if someone was wearing sackcloth, he was sending a message about what was going on in his heart.

Scripture also indicates that clothing can send a message about our morals or the lack thereof. For example, in Proverbs 7:10 we read of the adulteress that she was “dressed as a harlot” (NASB). The woman is dressed in such a way that you can look at her and see that her motives are not pure toward this man.

In Genesis 38:13ff., we learn of a woman named Tamar, a widow who wanted to seduce a man to whom she was not married. Accordingly, she took off her widow’s garments (v.14). Such garments were a specific type of clothing that would have communicated that she was a widow. Tamar, however, changed her clothes and put on the clothing of a prostitute, for the man she was tryi...

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