Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Original Designer Fashions, Or Why Do We Wear Clothes?

Let's think about why we wore clothes today-warmth, protection, just plain common sense, cultural expectations. But does the Bible give us any clues about why we wear clothes?

Ken Ham, a well-known biblical creationist, teaches that the first eleven chapters of Genesis provide the basis for all the principles of Christian doctrine. So let's go to this book of beginnings to look for the answer to our question "Why do we wear clothes?".

In the Beginning

As believers in Christ, we have the story of creation laid out for us very plainly in Genesis. We know that in chapters 1 and 2 God created the heavens and the earth, formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, proclaimed that it is not good for man to be alone, and created a suitable helper for Adam. Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man."

The verse I would like to focus on is Genesis 2:25: "The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

We can only imagine the situation: Adam and Eve were created by a perfect Creator and placed in a perfect environment. They had no knowledge of anything evil; they walked with God in the garden and communed with Him directly; they had no reason to be ashamed or to feel shame at being unclothed. There was nothing impure about the situation.

I don't know how long Adam and Eve were privileged to enjoy such a pure existence, but the serpent entered the picture and preyed upon the naivety of Eve by enticing her to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She then led Adam into sharing in the sin.

This disobedience broke their perfect relationship with God, and suddenly the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked (Genesis 3:7). Their shame at this knowledge caused them to feel the need to cover themselves. Their plan was to sew together fig leaves to make aprons for themselves, thus covering their private parts. When God came to walk with them in the cool of the day they were so ashamed that they hid from Him.

Do you think He already knew what they had done? They needed to say and God needed to hear them say what they had done to break this wonderful fellowship they had enjoyed. So He got right to the heart of the matter, not commenting on their manner of covering their sin, but rather dealt with the sin that had been committed. Punishment was pronounced immediately.

From Master Creator to Master Designer

Then the Master Creator became the Master Designer as He made garments of skin for Adam and Eve. You might say they had the original Designer clothes! Here we see the first blood sacrifice for sin, as one or more animals would have had to be killed to make the coverings for Adam and Eve. Most authorities agree that the meaning of the word translated "garment" in Gen. 3:21 indicates a piece of clothing which covered the body at least from the neck to the knees. God's plan was not the same as Adam and Eve's plan!

In the following devotions, we are going to explore more about clothing and fashions, and what the Bible and other Christians have to say about how we dress. Right now I would like to pose the question to all of us as girls, young ladies, and women: Are we, like Eve, offering forbidden fruit by dressing in a way that does not match the original Designer's plan? Although men have the responsibility to control themselves, are we placing temptations in front of them that will cause them to desire what they should not desire?

Let's pray. "Father, You know the heart of each one in this room. You know the innocence, the naivety, as well as the sinfulness. Please speak to us in the language we can understand and show us how we can improve in our presentation of this feminine body You created. Help us to enjoy our time together learning how to use our creativity to honor You. We commit ourselves to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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