I live in a warm, humid climate. My usual clothing attire consists of summer type clothing nine months out of the year. The temperature doesn’t even get particularly cold during our winter months with snow being a rarity. In our climate, the weather can change rapidly. We have days that start extremely hot and humid and then plummet forty or fifty degrees by late afternoon. Most of the time, these temperature variations occur during our transition seasons. Some would disagree, laugh, and say, “All of the time”.
Many years ago, I attended a fashion show sponsored by Glamour magazine. They were showcasing new summer wear. They modeled lightweight wool suits for business attire which they suggested we wear because the fabric doesn’t wrinkle. They suggested wool for us. Here. In the summer. The entire audience erupted in laughter. These fashion gurus, obviously, didn’t prepare properly for selling us clothes or weren’t from around here as we might say.
The latest trend in fashion is to cultivate a minimalist or capsule wardrobe. I’m fascinated by this trend. I really can’t imagine how people pull this off. Not only appealing for its simplicity, this wardrobe would make getting dressed easier than pie. These experts recommend I pare down my wardrobe to only thirty pieces. Thirty pieces including shoes! Some even suggest including undergarments. All of the sample wardrobes online contain only neutral clothing items. I don’t think this trend works for me. I need a little color in my life. My daughter would say pink; I need pink. Well, truth be told, I don’t like spending all of my time doing laundry and I would be, if I only had thirty pieces. Because many days between April and November, I change my clothes two to four times a day. Humidity has its challenges. After a morning walk, I’m drenched in sweat. No way – I can keep that outfit on. The second, third, or fourth outfit, typically, suffers the same fate.
“for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:27
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Romans 13:14
What does all of this talk about wardrobes and clothing have to do with the Bible? Not a lot and then again, maybe a lot. We are encouraged in scripture to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus. Sometimes, I wear inappropriate clothing like wool in a hot climate and those behaviors and attitudes leave me feeling uncomfortable and itchy in my spirit. God desires more from me. He knows that I know better than to wear gossip, envy, strife, or pride. Other times, I outfit myself minimally with God. I want to be thoroughly equipped for every good work. But at times, I forget to leave enough time for study and prayer with my busy schedule. Consequently, I haven’t thoroughly clothed myself in Him.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14
The only wardrobe that really matters is how I model Him to others. If I haven’t clothed myself with Him, then I have instead chosen to wear the desires of my sinful nature. These outfits don’t reflect my true relationship with Christ. I need to dress for the right climate at all times. How are you dressed today?
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Maybe like me, you have heard this verse used in a variety of ways. One example is as a promise to a hopeful young parent that their child will reach adulthood with socially acceptable ways. And another usage offers hope to desperate parents of a wayward teen that their child will return to them and to the path they were taught.
One word that stands out to me is hidden in the verse and that word is the implied You. I am to train the child. I am responsible to set the course of my child’s direction. In order to train my child rightly, I need to know the direction myself. How can I hope to train and help my child, if I don’t know the course or if I’m not prepared? I have a grave responsibility whether my child chooses to follow the path or not that I’ve set before him/her.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14,15
A child will have many teachers throughout life. Some will be good and others won’t. As believers, we have a spiritual responsibility to the children in our lives whether they are biological or not. The examples we set by our words and actions influence and impact their spiritual lives. In scripture, Paul encourages his spiritual son, Timothy, in the faith to continue in what he had learned. We, too, can encourage the children within our sphere of influence to grow up and hold fast in their faith. We can teach and instruct them in the ways of God, encourage them to read, understand, and memorize scripture, to help and love others, and to pray for themselves, their family, and their friends.
“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” Proverbs 1:8,9
We, the faithful, are called to pass on a legacy of faith to the next generation. Share your stories of faith. Tell of God’s goodness and lovingkindness towards you. Give God credit in the world around you. Live life as His servant.
“Love the LORD you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7