9/2/12

Hold The Dressing Please


Written by Guest Writer: E.D.Y.



It is 1 a.m. and after being up since 6:30 a.m. doing clinicals, school, work, and several errands, I should be exhausted. However, I’m wide awake. What do you do when you can’t sleep? Text your insomniac friends? Watch tv? Creep face book and twitter? I’ll tell you what this girl does. She goes to the bible and searches her heart. If I’m not tired and can’t go to sleep, I figure it’s because God isn’t through with me yet for the day so we’re going to do some work.
 
I ran across an interesting quote from a wise friend the other day that read: If something bothers you for more than seven minutes, you have 48 hours to address it. I think it’s pretty good and definitely convicted me of a few issues I haven’t addressed, especially one main one that gets under my skin every day. I have been bothered by it for several years off and on and I have addressed it several times. However, this is a new year and a new crowd and sometimes the cure to ignorance is knowledge. However, in order for something to be learned, the knowledge has to be worth something to the individual. So if you don’t agree or care or are already tired of reading, this probably isn’t going to teach you anything. However, I am going to address the dressing of America. Unfortunately, guys and food fanatic fans, I’m not talking about turkey and dressing. This is the way we as individuals, cliques, a society, a country, and a world dress.
 
I am literally appalled every single day I walk outside my door or turn on the tv. Now before I go any further, I want to take this to God’s word because what he says about us and what we are to do is crucial and important and bottom line. First, let’s address the girls (since we are the main problem). Do a quick scan through of Proverbs 31 for me real quick. This woman is known for what she does, not what she wears. In fact in verse 25 it says she is clothed with strength and dignity. How can a girl in short shorts and a tight, low top, walk around with strength and dignity? Or what about the girl that takes over an hour to get ready everyday because her worth is in how she looks? I sure can’t. If you can, I want to challenge you to check your heart and see where your relationship with God lies. Is it second to your self-image and confidence or to your material possessions or the attention and fame or so on and so forth?
 
Guys, why do you wear muscle shirts or cut offs? To accentuate what you have and what girls drool over. You come in showing off your muscles or butt (or whatever else guys like to show off… chest hair?? I don‘t know), but, heads will turn. I challenge you to read Isaiah 53:2. I don’t remember people following Jesus because he was so hot or had nice guns or washboard abs. I’m not saying that’s wrong but why show it off? What are you seeking? What is your thought process of showing that part of your body off?
 
This brings me to the athletes (the main people I am supposed to be writing this for). It is important for us to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body. Does that mean dressing the body in a provocative fashion? Does that mean that since I’m working out all rules go out the window? Goodness no! Is it fun to run around in baggy double layered shorts at 2 p.m. in Wichita Falls when it’s 115 degrees? Absolutely not! What about pushing sleds and doing the ruck challenge in a huge shirt so it covers everything when you move? Definitely not. It gets in the way. However, this is what we call sacrifice and being not of this world. Yeah, it’s a small sacrifice to pay compared to the one our Savior made for us. But, this may be your cross that you have to pick up daily. This may be a big step for you (and don’t worry it gets easier when it becomes a lifestyle). People are going to look at you different and most will think you are crazy. But guess what? It’s a door opening. People see your stand and see you being different and unworldly and eventually will ask. This is your witness opportunity to glorify His name. Do you get that? We get to glorify God with our body! Don’t believe me? Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. I may be an extremist when it comes to this but it’s better than a fence hopper Christian. The world thinks a Christian is one who goes to church, sometimes. They say nothing about how they act or dress or talk different because most don’t. What if we could change the standard of Christianity? What if we could make it more?!? Read John 17:15-16 and Romans 12:2. Let me tell you, God’s best isn’t this world or what’s in it. It’s something so much more.
 
Let me give you an example: as a little girl, I was daddy’s little athlete. (Some of you can relate.) Even as guys you wanted to impress your dad and do the best you could. I did just that. I ditched the dresses and bows and worked my tail off to earn his love and approval and to hear him say: “good job baby girl, I’m so proud of you!” Then I’d usually get a snow cone or something small like that that was a delicacy to me. I dressed the part: baggy t-shirt, basketball shorts, and tennis shoes every day. As I got older, I soon realized the importance of doing this for my heavenly father. I am HIS little(some of you are big) athlete. He has equipped me (and you) with certain talents and abilities, and yes athletic abilities are huge. So much witnessing can go on through miraculous finishes of an intense workout or grand slam at the end of the game or final buzzer shot or lifting three times your body weight. The list goes on and on. You have to work hard to get there but who is getting the glory? Who are you working for? What is your purpose? We are here to bring glory to God through all we say and do. Yes, you can do that through a workout by the words you speak, the music you listen to, the attitude you have towards others, and especially the clothing you wear. I don’t know about you but I want my father at the end of the game (life) to tell me, “ ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’ (Matthew 25:21-23), I’m so proud of you!” And then he will take me by the hand and reward me with a place to glorify and sing of His wondrous name for eternity. I want him to know what I did with the talents and body he gave me. I want to store up crowns in heaven, not material things here. Yeah, I might look good in that cut off shirt, but who is getting the glory? What would Jesus say about that if he were here? When I have to account how I spent my time, did I spend it grabbing attention via clothes, makeup, hair, tanning, etc. It’s all so worldly. As HIS little athletes, we MUST dress the part. We’re playing on HIS team. How many can tell? A lot of us may look down at our clothes and see we are actually wearing the other team’s (Satan and this world’s) uniform.
 
I’ll tell you what God’s concerned about: your heart. And your heart always reflects on the outside. What about the girl that’s so nice and Christian and wears a cross on her necklace and booty shorts everyday? That’s your call, but I wonder what Jesus would say about her wearing that same cross he carried up a hill and died on for our salvation. That’s sacrifice and selflessness and love.
 
I’m certainly not here to judge, but we are here as brothers and sisters in Christ to admonish one another and sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17 and Colossians 3:16-17). Unfortunately, we have free will and can choose for ourselves what to wear everyday. Just let me ask you guys, how would you like your daughters to dress? The same way the girl you think is hot and sexy is? Because if you marry her, that’s most likely how her daughter will dress. What about on that special wedding night when you get to see the beautiful creation God made her to be? She’s still going to be beautiful but it’s nothing the rest of the world hasn’t already seen. Keep sacred what is meant to be kept in private. Proverbs 31: 30 tells us what a beautiful woman looks like: one who fears the Lord with respect and love. If I love God more than myself, I’m honoring him with my clothing and body, not me with attention and lust. What are we teaching the younger generations? How are we telling the guys to treat us? Read 1 Timothy 2:9-10. Let me remind you that modesty and obedience to God’s word comes from your heart and how much we love God compared to ourselves or those things. Read Proverbs 11:22. Her indiscretion takes away her beauty and doesn’t reinforce her good qualities. How can anyone see Jesus in your heart if your outside is screaming worldly?
 
Read 1 John 2:16-17. Every morning and afternoon and night you must look in the mirror and examine whether your body and outfit are screaming “look at me” or “my home isn’t here.” It’s hard and your dress code will not be the same. I challenge you to pray on it and read scripture and talk with God about how he desires us to dress and present our bodies. Read John 3:30 (my favorite verse). How does your outfit decrease you and increase him? It does nothing for me, Erica. I don’t stand out. I’d say Neither did Jesus. But Erica, I’ve worked out so hard and lost weight or bulked up or got toned and I want people to see. I’d ask if You want people to see you or Jesus? Who are you looking good for? It should be for you and you can enjoy the results in the privacy of your home, not in the world that is so fleshly and worldly and so desperately needs Jesus. But it’s too hard to find modest clothes. It takes time and effort. Well, I’d tell you it’s worth it. I think Jesus knows a little about effort. It’s a sacrificial relationship and we should be so in love with him that we want to do these things for him! Why? Because he first loved us and gave us the greatest gift of all!
 
Let me tell you how your clothing can send a message. Tamar used clothing to trick Jacob into honoring his promise because her clothing told him she was sexually available. Joab dressed a woman in sackcloth to influence David in a deceitful way. Esther dressed in royal robes so the king, her husband, would easily identify her and she would be pardonable from death. The priests in the book of Ezra dressed in specific clothing to set them apart as special people. Mordecai was given the king’s clothes in the book of Esther to signify status after he saved the king’s life. These are just a few examples of how the Bible illustrates what you wear telegraphs a message. When we wear what everyone else wears because it’s “cute or in style or the fashion”, we’re saying what everyone else is saying about their bodies. What that is? I’ll let you be the judge of that. Your dress says something about who you are, what your heart is like, what you believe, and what you do. Your clothing is important and will always tell a story.
 
I hope I convicted you and gave you something to ponder and examine. If you’re already living this sold out life, I want to praise you and thank you for your stand and encourage you in saying that Jesus is proud and receiving glory, and you are certainly not alone. We’re wearing the same jersey. And us athletes sure aren’t scared of some hard work! I hope it opened your eyes to the things of this world that we so often say,” Eh, that’s society now” or “that’s this generation”. It doesn’t have to be people! Stand up and make a difference and let Jesus be known. Dressing modestly obeys the 2 greatest commandments: love for God and our fellow man (Matthew 22:37-39). (Love is an action that has the other person’s best interest at heart.) Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying trash anything that doesn’t have a cross or Jesus on it, just use your Bible, the Holy Spirit, and some good Godly friends that will ask you the hard questions and make a difference! It only takes one!
 
Here’s some added reading to study up on. It’s worth your time.: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 1 Peter 3:3-4, 1 Peter 2:12, 1 John 2:16, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.