Making First Impressions a First Priority

July 3, 2008 at 12:38 am (Articles, Godly Living, Modesty) (, , , )

I’ve had many discussions on the subject of modesty lately, including one with a mother of teenage daughters who has asked if we would address the issue of modesty on this blog. We have links to other sites that are helpful on this subject, but still there are questions concerning the practical application of modesty—and what it looks like. In this article, I’ll just touch the tip of the iceberg by addressing the importance of dressing for God’s glory and not our own.

Judging. Stereotyping. It’s what we do. When we notice someone walking into a room, we immediately begin to categorize them, making assumptions as to what kind of person they are. We classify them based on their dress, their body language, their facial expression, the amount of noise they make. Perhaps it would be helpful to avoid this kind of thinking, but we do it none the less.

Now think about it on the flip side—YOU are the one walking into the room. What does your “first impression” (your appearance, the way you carry yourself) tell others about your character? The mindset today is that clothing is a form of self-expression. So what are you expressing? Does your clothing scream “look at me!” or does it display the qualities of godly character you possess and are pursuing—purity, confidence in the Lord, a readiness to serve, and gentleness and reverence to name a few?

Do you make heads turn when you enter a room because you are trying to look like a model (whether you succeed or not)? Or do they stare because you dress purposely out of touch with the culture so that you’ll feel more holy? I’ve been there—on both ends of the fashion (or non-fashion) spectrum.

A Christian woman should be neither an eye-sore nor eye candy. When we place as our primary goal either conformity or nonconformity, we have missed the target completely. Our ultimate goal in everything is to point to our great God and Savior (1 Corinthians 10:31)—and in our clothing, as Christian women, this means we desire to reflect both His beauty and His purity. We are to be an adornment to the gospel of God—making Him the good news we deliver by our appearance rather than promoting ourselves.

So are first impressions really that important? To a daughter of the King, given the privilege and responsibility of representing Him to a lost world, you bet they are!


Much more to come…

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2 Comments

  1. Jessica said,

    I thought this was a wonderful article. I thought it very well-balanced with regards to the issue of modesty. I too, think that the other extreme of dressing to the point of appearing to be more holy was right on target. It’s hard for me to strike that balance. I would appreciate it if you could please write more articles about how to be well-balanced, look attractive, and still be modest in today’s world. Right now, my wardrobe is sadly lacking, and I would love to be able to get ideas about how to obtain a wardrobe that’s pleasing to God, attractive, and yet still modest. Any suggestions would be helpful in future articles. Thank you so much! You girls are an inspiration.
    Keep up the good work!

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