Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New You: Fashion and Christianity

For the first week of January, we have been focusing on You!  Using Shari Braendel's book Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad: A Style Guide for Every Woman, we are learning the importance of taking care of ourselves - the outward appearance.  Also Shari is teaching us how to dress our best with what God has blessed us with. 

Yesterday we discussed the question of fashion and motherhood.  But yet as I think about my appearance, I wonder how fashion fits into my relationship with Jesus Christ. 
Can I be a Christian and be fashionable?
Should I, as a Christian, be fashionable?
What does a fashionable Christian look like?
If God made me to look this way, why do I need to wear makeup or dress a certain way?
As I battled these questions in my mind, I asked Shari to share her wisdom. 

Shari explained that my appearance is the first impression that people receive upon meeting me. 

Let's look at an example.  Most of you do not know what I look like.  From reading the ABCJLM website and this blog, you have a preconceived idea of how I dress and look.  How would your opinion of me change if you found out what I really look like? 

Positively?  Negatively?

Whether I like it or not, what people perceive of me because of my dress and makeup affects my testimony and creditability. And unfortunately the style that I have comes with stereotypes.

Let me tell you, if how I look negatively affects my Christian witness then, Lord, give me a makeover!

My outward appearance is important but where is the balance? 

I believe if I am dreadfully out of style, I would lose credibility with some of you.  Yet, if I look like I just walked off the runway, some of you would struggle to relate with me.

How can I win? 

Shari reminded me that each person must find his/her own balance.  For some of us, being fashionable will mean that the closet contains a revolving door to keep up with the latest cute styles.  Others of us will find balance in simply getting a shower and putting on a little makeup each day.

You know what...both of these examples are fine if the balance is where God desires me to be.

 Do I need to take better care of myself?
  • My husband would appreciate me taking a little time to fix myself up.
  • If someone came to my door unexpected, I and he/she would freak at my appearance.
  • The clothes that I wear are covered in stains and have holes. 
  • I do only enough to get by.
  • I am wearing clothes that are older than sin (well maybe not that old but close!).
Do I need to get rid of the fashion idol in my life?
  • Staying fashionable is putting a strain on our marriage, budget, and finances.
  • The appearance that I choose to have takes time away from my family.
  • I spend more time working on my outside appearance than matters of the heart.
Some tough questions. 

Ladies, God made us as women beautiful.  If a little eye makeup or purchasing a new pair of jeans that fits the ole body better is needed to help you feel beautiful, do it.  But if staying fashionable has become an idol in your life, it is time to put God back in the place that only He should hold. 

I don't know what side of the spectrum you are on.  But remember, only you - through the convictions of the Holy Spirit - can figure out where the balance is.

I think that is why I like Shari's book so well.  After reading it, I don't feel pressured to look like a model.  I do feel encouraged to take a few minutes to focus on me for the sake of those around me. 

You can be encouraged and learn what you need to do too.  Shari is allowing me to give away a copy of her new book - Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad: A Style Guide for Every Woman.

To enter your name into the drawing:
  • Share about the giveaway and the "New Year, New You" Blog Series on your blog, Facebook or Twitter account, or on a forum that you are a member of
  • Follow this blog - Facebook, RSS Feeds, Google Friend, Twitter, Email - Sign up using any of these methods on the right hand column of this blog (This option is only available for new followers)
Leave a separate comment per entry Tuesday's post.

Friday will end our "New Year, New You" series.  Sisters...the best is yet to come.  See you tomorrow!

1 comment :

  1. I had the pleasure of seeing Shari live recently and haven't had a chance to grab her book yet but I love her and the message God is sharing through her! Thank you for taking on this topic Heidi!


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.