For Glory and For Beauty
By Jenn Martin
“And you shall make holy garments…for glory and for beauty.”
– Exodus 28:2 (ESV)
I’m not going to hide it – I LOVE Fashion, fashion magazines, models,… and I believe God does too! Just look at the world around you – all the detail and design. How many different shades of colors does the sky have? Look at the detail in insects and all the gorgeous living things in the ocean. What about the design of hundreds of flowers? And yet the most beautiful design is man because we are created in His image.
Fashion designer Roberto Cavalli said, “God is the most fantastic designer.”
Women often have the misconception that they cannot, or should not, enjoy shopping or appreciate clothing. They sometimes take 1Timothy 2:9-10 to the extreme. They think that putting so much time and money into appearance is materialistic or self-centered. I was actually told that many times by some Christian sisters, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around that! I wasn’t putting my love for fashion before my True Love. I was saddened and confused; this was my career and what I enjoyed!
So I started to read commentaries on that particular verse. In one commentary, it stated that the Greek word for modest is kosmios, which means well-ordered and becoming. It’s where we get our English word cosmos, the universe seen as a well-ordered whole. The commentary went on to say that things should be neat, fit, and decorous. I don’t know about you, but when I look to the heavens, I do not see subtlety, I do not see a bland use of color, nor do I see a Designer who was holding back any His creativity. He went all out – BUT it has order. Everything has its place and purpose.
Have you ever read the account when God gave instructions to Moses about building the Tabernacle? Starting in Exodus 25, the Lord gives Moses such detailed and specific instructions regarding colors, use of stones, the gold rings on the Ark, the lamps, even down to the tassels on the curtains. But my favorite verse – my “styling” verse – is found in Exodus 28:2, which states, “And you shall make holy garments…for glory and for beauty.” In light of that verse, just because I keep up with fashion forecasts and enjoy watching fashion shows, it doesn’t mean that I love Jesus any less. It shows me that the Lord gives thought to clothing and design. Yet, I have to remind myself that it also means that I should not wear anything that doesn’t represent the God who lives in me. I don’t need to follow every trend if it is not glorifying to God, or if it compromises my beliefs. Our bodies are His temple and the Lord did not give willy-nilly instructions on creating His temples. They were well thought out and decorous. That is how I feel about my wardrobe.
When I shop, I look for things within my budget, first of all, and then I look for what styles suit my body type. Do I LOVE it? When getting dressed at home, I make sure I check out every detail in the mirror. Is the fit right? Is it too short or too tight? Can I bend over safely? Do I need to put on a slip? Do I feel beautiful? When I look in the mirror do I see a bride waiting for her Bridegroom? Am I dressed properly and stylishly as I await our Lord’s arrival? Will He be pleased with what He sees?
Psalm 45:11 says, “The King is enthralled by your beauty; HONOR Him, for He is your Lord.”
Just how He handpicked and designed the garments for the priests in Exodus, allow Him to help you pick your daily outfits too. Don’t be afraid to try new trends; color block, head to toe white or tan, dark florals, and many more – just remember it is all for beauty and HIS Glory.