We’re nearly to the end of the book The Hidden Art of Homemaking. I love how Mrs. Schaeffer takes a subject – clothing – that can be very controversial and shows us that the important thing is the heart of the person not their outward appearance. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything she says in this chapter, but it is very thought provoking.
She spends quite a bit of time with this passage from Matthew 6:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?…28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Consider the abundance of colours, sizes and textures found in flowers. Of course, this passage is teaching us that if God cares so much for flowers to make them so beautiful will He not also care and provide for us. The answer is an obvious “YES”. But there is more than that.
If God cares so much to beautify simple flowers don’t you think He cares about how we look too. Christians should reflect this quality of God in how they dress. Our clothes should not call attention to us in a negative way by being drab, unattractive or immodest. Just as flowers reflect the character of God so should we, and what we wear can detract from this.
It’s also important to make sure our heart is right. Mrs. Schaeffer said…
The beauty of dress and person, shining hair and glow of skin cannot assure one of the beauty of the character inside nor, incidentally, tell us anything as to whether that one has been inwardly cleansed from sin by Christ. So some serious thinking must take place in the area of our basic attitudes and our judgement of people must be free from superficiality.
Some people – my daughter is one of them – have an innate knowledge of what looks good. This is an art to be developed. They can bless other people by helping them to know what looks good on them. I rely heavily on others in this area because I have very little fashion sense.
There is also the art of making your own clothes – knitting, sewing, embellishing with embroidery (or buttons!), crocheting.
I love how the chapter ends…
Christians all doing and acting the same? Christians all looking dowdy and seedy with their clothes the wrong cut and length? Somehow it doesn’t seem to fit in with the flowers and all the rest of the amazing variety in God’s creation. Flowers and sunsets, moon on water and delicate grasses in the starlight – would the designer of all this dress His own children, created in His image, in clothing which would make them unhappy and self-conscious? Would He have them all be alike and look alike?