Fashion and Self-Image
November 9, 2019
Sara and her mom were cleaning out the basement, getting ready to pack their stuff before moving. “Hey, look at all the old clothes in here!“ Sara said, throwing open the lid of a dusty trunk.
Her mom looked over her shoulder, laughing. “Hey, that’s my stuff from high school!“ she said. “Haven’t seen that in a while.“
Sara pulled out two tie-dyed T-shirts. “These are pretty cool.“
Underneath was a pair of jeans. “What did you do to your jeans?“ she asked, seeing the bright triangles of color that ran up both legs.
Sara’s mom took the jeans from her. “This was very stylish in 1977, I’ll have you know!“ she said. “We used to buy jeans with the widest possible legs—bell-bottoms, they were called. Then we’d cut up the seams and sew in extra pieces of fabric to make them even wider.“
“It certainly is—eye-catching,“ Sara admitted.
“I thought wide-legged jeans were back in style now,“ her mom teased. “You could wear these to school.“
“Uh, thanks but no thanks,“ Sara said, continuing to look through her mother’s old clothes. “Isn’t that funny, though? Old styles come back, but they never come back exactly the same way, so you can’t actually wear old stuff over again. I wonder why that is?“
“Because the fashion industry is only concerned about making money,“ Sara’s mom said. “They have to keep things constantly changing so we’ll always be discontented and want something different.
Advertisers don’t want you to stay feeling good about your clothes or your look or yourself—they want to keep you a little off balance, wanting to buy something new and different.“
Sara glanced at herself in the mirror, holding the bell-bottom jeans against herself as if trying them on. “You make it sound as if they’re out to get us!“
“Well, out to get your money, anyway. What matters are the things that don’t change—the qualities inside a person.“ She came and stood next to Sara in the mirror, putting her arm around her daughter. “Who do you see in the mirror? I hope you see a child of God, someone precious and loved and valuable—no matter what style she’s wearing.“
Memory Text: “Do not let your adornment be merely outward— arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3, 4, NKJV).
Our Beliefs, no. 22, Christian Behavior: “While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 95-98
Read 1 Samuel 16:7.
You don’t get as much clothes-shopping money as your friends do because your family isn’t as well off. So you buy generic-brand jeans and shirts instead of the more expensive name brands. You don’t think anyone will notice or care, and most people don’t. But one of your friends starts making some comments about your “bargain-store“ look. Up till this point, you really haven’t cared, but her comments hurt your feelings. What do you say?
Read Romans 12:1, 2; Ephesians 5:1; 1 John 2:6.
What we wear is of less importance than who we are. What is important to God is the character we are building. God will provide for our daily needs. Our focus needs to be on letting God help us become more like Him and putting on the robe of His righteousness, which covers our sins and allows us to attend God’s wedding feast.
How does your life reflect the character you are building?
In what ways can you grow to become more like Christ?
Fill in the blanks.
“Therefore I say to you, do not about your, what you will or what you will; nor about your, what. Is not than and the than? Look at the of the air, for they neither nor nor into barns; yet. Are not of than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So? Consider the of the field, how they: they neither nor; and yet I say to you that even in all his was not like one of these. Now if God so the of the field, which is, and is thrown into the oven, will He not much more you, O you of little faith? Therefore, saying, ‘?’ or ‘?’ or ‘?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father that things. But the of and, and all these things shall be to you” (Matthew 6:25-33, NKJV).
Read Hebrews 13:8.
Styles change, but God does not. What was important to God yesterday is just as important to Him today. And what is important to God is you! He doesn’t care about the clothes you wear or what style is the coolest. He cares about you becoming His child, growing to be loving, caring, honest, and a reflection of Him.
You may be a trendsetter or a trend follower, or you may march to a different drum and wear only what you like, but what really matters is if you are wearing the robe of Christ’s righteousness.
People follow trends because they like to fit in and look as if they belong to the group. But a Christian’s focus should be more on Christ than what’s hot on the fashion runways?
As followers of Jesus, we know we belong to Him. We’re part of God’s family, agents of His kingdom. Our sense of belonging shouldn’t come from a designer label, but from the label of our Designer, pinned to our hearts. We are God’s. God made us, Jesus saved us, the Holy Spirit lives inside us. When you’re tempted to feel that you’re nobody unless you’re wearing the latest styles, remember that you’re always somebody in God’s eyes.
You will find a list of texts and a group of words below. Match each text with the group of words that best reflects its meaning.
A. Ephesians 6:13-17
B. 1 Samuel 16:7
C. Hebrews 13:8
D. Jeremiah 31:3
1. Everlasting, love, loving-kindness
2. Armor, God, salvation, firm, stand
3. Lord, man, outward, heart
4. Jesus, forever, yesterday, same
Read Ephesians 6:13-17.
Review the memory text.
Check your closet. What’s your attitude toward fashion? What do the clothes you wear say about you? Why do you choose the clothes you do? Looking nice and put together is great, but are you choosing your clothes so you feel good about yourself? If so, maybe you need to find a more solid basis for your self-esteem.
Today’s fashions will change—probably by next spring! But some things never change. God never changes. His love for you, and the value He places on you, won’t change. And the special work He has for you to do within His kingdom doesn’t change. He challenges you to suit up in the “armor of God.”
Of course, you still have to make choices about style and fashion. But those choices shouldn’t come from a need to be accepted or liked because of the clothes you wear. Instead, your choices should spring from a rock-solid foundation that says, “God loves me. He fashioned and designed me! I’m special just the way I am!”
Make a list of your top five favorite pieces of clothing. Next to each one, write why you like it. Look back over your answers. Do you like the things you like because of comfort, your own tastes, or what others think? Does this list tell you anything about your values? Now think about why you value yourself as a person. Remember, you’re not just this season’s fad—you’re here for eternity!
|TOP FIVE CLOTHING ITEMS||WHY I LIKE THEM|
WHAT MAKES ME A DESIGNER ITEM