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    How Can I Violate God's Divine Dress Cale? Certainly, there must be exceptions to nakedness, shame, and God's "dress code." One understandable exception is found in the relationship between husband and wife. The writer of Hebrews stated: "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled " (13:4). Other exceptions might include the relationship between a doctor and patient or child to parent when the situations demand such.

    However, if we were to look at the world today, few might get the notion that there are numerous-even endless-exceptions. All you have to do is listen to the excuses some people give. Some say, "It is too hot to wear shorts to my knees or shirts that cover all of my stomach." Others argue, "I play a sport that requires me to wear this." Dear friends, very simply put, if those were plausible exceptions for what God has required us to wear, the He would have given them to us in Scripture! Because He did not authorize those reasons then we know they are not exceptions.

    Consider several ways in our society that we could be in violation of the divine dress code we find in the pages of Old Testament. In the first place, swimming attire in mixed company violates the requirement that God gave for us to be covered from our shoulders to our knees. Men without shirts and women wearing no more than their undergarments would cover is what you see associated with mixed swimming. Dear reader, that setting can, in no way, be in accordance with God's standard of modesty. The simple addition of water does not make right what has been declared to be wrong. Mixed swimming in normal swimming attire is sinful in the sight of God.

    A second way that we can violate God's dress code is by wearing clothes that reveal too much (i.e., shorts, skirts, dresses, and blouses). Skirts and dresses that come above the knee and rise even further when sitting down expose the thighs. According to the law of the priests, to expose the thigh is to be naked in the sight of God. Furthermore, when shirts are worn that expose the navel or blouses are worn that reveal the chest area, the principles of God in the garden are violated. Remember that the coats made for Adam and Eve covered from the shoulders to the knees. There are no allowances made in God's plan for modesty for exposing the upper part of a woman or a man. It would seem that some have a double standard when it comes to this point. Dear friends, it is just as sinful for a man to be in mixed company without a shirt as it is for a woman! Just because a man needs to cut the grass or wash the car does not give him the right to reveal himself to the world in doing so.

    Another way in which we might violate God's modesty standard is through wearing things that are too tight. The purpose of covering ourselves is so that certain parts of the body will not be seen. Sadly, some wear clothes that are so tight that you can see the outline and form of those body parts anyway. Such clothing can produce the same soul-endangering lust that is produced from total nakedness (Mt .5:28).

    Paul wrote to the Romans and encouraged them not to be controlled by the desires and philosophies of this world. He warned that they "be not conformed to this world..." (12:2). Because of modem-day fashions many have allowed themselves to be molded to the way of the world when it comes to what they wear. Remember that Word of God-not culture-will be our standard of judgment (John 12:48). Therefore, it ought to be the standard by which we live; even the standard by which we dress. -Wayne Jones

    S-M-1-L-E: I took a city Sunday School class to visit a farm, where one little girl saw her first sow. The huge animal was standing in the hog-pen. The farmer remarked: "Big, isn't she?" One little girl exclaimed: "She ought to be! A few minutes ago I saw eight little pigs blowing her up!" On that same trip a little girl picked up a kitten, and petting her, remarked: "She must be talking to somebody-for I can hear the "busy signal!"

    Jacksonville Church of Christ
    Vol. 7/August 29, 2002, page 3