Today we watched a news item on the 9 O’clock news bulletin, where by 3 men, who had been arrested for assaulted a young lady indecently dress in 2014, were today sentenced to hanging to death by a court in Nairobi. I was commenting with a friend about what this means for us as Christians. As far as we do not condone the heinous act by these men, we need also to be objective about what we think about the whole issue of being decent. Miss Winnie had this to say:
“Dressing /decency may easily be termed as a very controversial issue. Communities, cultures (West vs. East), religious circles seem not to reach a consensus on this issue. Whatever is termed as decent dressing in one culture may be in another culture viewed differently. Previously the bone of contention about dressing was more focused on ladies but today even the dressing for men is questionable. The newest fashion trends/hype from the western culture may have caused a serious paradigm shift as far as decency is concerned. Every person wants to feel nice about what they have won but we should be conscious of the consequences. Social media and TV have played a major role in this – the copying of foreign trends without understanding the factors surrounding them. Some dresses are used on stage as costumes; others are simply determined by the kind of weather.
What does the Bible tell us about dressing? Paul in his 1st letter to Timothy 2:9 says: “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes”.
Modesty in our dressing should not be only a church thing, but rather it should be part of a Christian lifestyle. We don’t have to wear decently on Sunday and dress indecently Monday through Saturday. This shows that we live a double kind of life. Being a Christians means being conformed to Christ in every aspect of life.
In another place, the Bible indicates that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit and our bodies are not our own; they were bought at a price. 1st Corinthians 6; 19: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies”.
Bearing that in mind we do not want to leave the temple of the Holy Spirit indecent! I especially like what the Bible says – our bodies were bought at a price. Whatever is costly need to be taken care of!
There is a new notion in town: ‘My dress my choice’. We have been given a free will but it does not mean to do want we feel like but rather being free to do what is right.
Decency is not only a social value; it is at the very core of Christian values. Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. Why should our dressing cause anyone to sin? When you cause someone to sin, it does not make you free, it makes you selfish and you will have sinned as well. “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mt 18:6). Indecency doesn’t glorify God in any way; whatever is not of God is from the evil one.
Miss. Winnie Murugi Kamau