What We Confess With Our Clothing

What we wear says more about us than we might think.

Many of us probably barely think at all when we get dressed in the morning. But something really profound is happening every time we pull on our pants and slip into a shirt — or five shirts if you live in Minnesota this time of year.

John Piper writes, in his brand new book of devotionals, A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves You, “God ordained clothes to witness to the glory we have lost.” Clothes were part of the wrath of God against our rebellion. They are a loud stamp of disapproval upon a disobedient people — people who before had been pure, innocent, shameless, and naked. There was no need or purpose for Gap or Old Navy prior to the fall, but now we wear clothes at all times — fall, winter, spring, and summer.

Our clothing is a really humiliating reality — humanity’s longest-standing cover-up operation. Amazingly, we almost only think of it now in terms of pride and approval, in terms of fashion. But the dressing room of the garden, far from being fashionable, was one of the most fatal moments history’s ever known.

When God clothed Adam and Eve after their pitiful attempts, Piper describes, he was saying, “You are not what you were and you are not what you ought to be. Covering yourself with clothing is a right response to this — not to conceal it, but to confess it.” We confess with our clothing that we are sinful, that we need to be cleansed, and that we must be covered until we’ve been made new.

Our clothes confess our sin and need for salvation, but Piper goes on to say, “…and it is added rebellion to throw them off.” Tragically, the horror of having to wear clothes because of our rebellion is increased when we inappropriately expose ourselves or indulge in others doing so. Nudity, once pervasively pure and good, is manipulated, abused, and flaunted in order to satisfy sin, a yet worse mutiny before the God who created and covered our bodies.

Read the rest here.

Recommended Resources
Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America
A Godward Heart: Treasuring the God Who Loves You
Dressing with Dignity
The Beauty of Modesty: Cultivating Virtue in the Face of a Vulgar Culture

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