1. THE DIVINE PROVISION
a. When Adam and Eve lost their original garment of light after the Fall and realized their nakedness, what did Satan put in their mind to supply the lack? Psalm 104:2 (first part); Genesis 1:27; 3:7.
“A beautiful soft light, the light of God, enshrouded the holy pair. This robe of light was a symbol of their spiritual garments of heavenly innocence. Had they remained true to God it would ever have continued to enshroud them. But when sin entered, they severed their connection with God, and the light that had encircled them departed. Naked and ashamed, they tried to supply the place of the heavenly garments by sewing together fig leaves for a covering.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 310, 311.
b. What did the Lord do so that Adam and Eve could preserve their modesty and be protected in the changed conditions? What signifies that this covering was more than a single, small animal skin? Genesis 3:21.
“The atmosphere, once so mild and uniform in temperature, was now subject to marked changes, and the Lord mercifully provided them with a garment of skins as a protection from the extremes of heat and cold.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 61.
2. DRESSING FOR HEALTH
a. How should our clothing be appropriate for the activity we are performing? Exodus 28:2; Matthew 22:11, 12.
“Christian sisters should not at any time dress extravagantly, but should at all times dress as neatly, modestly, and healthfully as their work will allow.”—Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 465.
b. How should our clothing be adapted to the weather? Proverbs 31:21.
“Our clothing . . . should be chosen for durability rather than display. It should provide warmth and proper protection. The wise woman described in the Proverbs ‘is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with double garments’ (Proverbs 31:21, margin).”—Messages to Young People, pp. 351, 352.
“There is but one woman in a thousand who clothes her limbs as she should. . . . Females should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as the males.”—Selected Messages, bk. 2, p. 479.
“Mothers dress their children with limbs nearly naked; and the blood is chilled back from its natural course and thrown upon the internal organs, breaking up the circulation and producing disease.
. . . [The limbs] should be so thoroughly clothed as to induce the blood to the extremities.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 531, 532.
c. What basic illustration did an angel use to convey to a high priest our need for healthiness of soul? Zechariah 3:4. In order to preserve our physical health, what is necessary in regard to our clothing?
“Our dress should be cleanly. Uncleanliness in dress is unhealthful, and thus defiling to the body and to the soul.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 288.
“God has claims upon us to take care of the habitation He has given us, that we may present our bodies to Him a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable. . . . If we enfeeble the body by self-gratification, by indulging the appetite, and by dressing in accordance with health-
destroying fashions, in order to be in harmony with the world, we become the enemies of God.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 63.
3. COPYING THE WORLD IN OUR DRESS
a. How do we too often use clothing for our own glory instead of God’s glory? What does God’s word teach us in this respect? 1 Peter 3:3, 4; 1 Timothy 2:9.
“The vain and trifling lovers of fashion may claim to be followers of Christ; but their dress and conversation show what occupies the mind and engages the affections. Their lives betray their friendship for the world, and it claims them as its own.”—Messages to Young People, p. 355.
“The outside appearance is frequently an index to the mind, and we should be careful what signs we hang out for the world to judge of our faith.”—Ibid., pp.346, 347.
b. Why did God command that the clothing of each gender should be different? Deuteronomy 22:5.
“There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. . . .
“God designed that there should be a plain distinction between the dress of men and women and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion and great increase of crime.”—Child Guidance, p. 427.
c. What is the duty of the church regarding the dress of her members?
“Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 647, 648.
4. DRESS AND SPIRITUALITY
a. Does the way we dress have anything to do with our Christian experience? Name some examples of godly and ungodly people, and describe their dress and appearance. 2 Kings 9:30; Matthew 3:4.
“People of discernment will look upon your attempts to beautify the external as proof of weak minds and proud hearts. Simple, plain, unpretending dress will be a recommendation to my youthful sisters. In no better way can you let your light shine to others than in your simplicity of dress and deportment. You may show to all that, in comparison with eternal things, you place a proper estimate upon the things of this life.”—Messages to Young People, p. 348.
“We judge of a person’s character by the style of dress worn. A modest, godly woman will dress modestly. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of a simple, appropriate attire.”—Ibid., p.353.
“Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ or scattering abroad.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 641.
b. What else can we learn from God’s command regarding our dress? Numbers 15:38–40.
“God expressly commanded a very simple arrangement of dress for the children of Israel for the purpose of distinguishing them from the idolatrous nations around them. As they looked upon their peculiarity of dress, they were to remember that they were God’s commandment-keeping people. . . . An Israelite was known to be such as soon as seen, for God through simple means distinguished him as His.
“The order given by God to the children of Israel to place a ribbon of blue in their garments was to have no direct influence on their health, only as God would bless them by obedience, and the ribbon would keep in their memory the high claims of Jehovah and prevent them from mingling with others nations, uniting in their drunken feasts, and eating swine’s flesh and luxurious food detrimental to health.”—Ibid., vol.1, pp. 524, 525.
c. What symbol is used in the Bible for righteousness? Revelation 19:8.
5. IDEAL FOOTWEAR
a. In order for our footwear to be healthy, what qualities should it have?
“If any part of the body should be favored with extra coverings, it should be the limbs and feet, which are at a distance from the great wheel of life, which sends the blood through the system. The limbs should ever be clothed with a warm covering to protect them from a chill current of air. . . . If the feet are clothed with good-sized, thick-soled, warm boots or shoes, for comfort rather than for fashion, the blood will be induced to circulate freely in the limbs and feet, as well as other portions of the body.”—Healthful Living, p. 124.
b. What references are made of the feet of those who engage in spreading the gospel? Isaiah 52:7; Ephesians 6:15. Apart from the impractical and unhealthy nature of high-heeled shoes in spreading the gospel, how does the Bible describe someone who walks in a mincing manner, such as that produced by the wearing of high heels? Isaiah 3:16, 17.
“Let us be shod with the gospel shoes, ready to march at a moment’s notice.”—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 48.
“The prophecy of Isaiah 3 was presented before me as applying to these last days, and the reproofs are given to the daughters of Zion who have thought only of appearance and display.”—Ibid., vol.1, p. 270.
“A reform in dress is essential to physical and mental health. God’s people have, to a great extent, lost their peculiarity, and have been gradually patterning after the world, and mingling with them, until they have in many respects become like them. This is displeasing to God.”—Ibid., p.525.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What was the covering God provided for humans after the Fall, and why?
2. What are some health factors to consider when choosing our clothing?
3. Why does God make a distinction between the clothing of men and women?
4. Explain the connection between dress and spirituality.
5. What are some of the effects of wearing improper footwear?