For all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes (Galatians 3:27 NLT)
I grew up in a very conservative church. I loved it, love it even now, but looking back, and remembering some unpleasant episodes experienced within the bosom of that venerable institution, I can say that there are some aspects of church life I wish had been a little different.
The majority of “kids” of my generation are MIA when it comes to church, fed up with the numerous rules of conduct, dress, behavior, and all the various do’s and don’ts that were hammered into us during our formative years.
For example, there was a very beautiful girl in our church. The sixth-grader me was a little envious and not a little awed at the sixteen-year-old beauty with the angel voice, pretty figure, and the gorgeous wardrobe. The fellas were, of course, attracted to her—and the adults would regularly feel called upon to scold the young pariah for not being a little more modest. And for goodness’ sake, could she not wear so much make-up?
We eventually moved, so I don’t know what became of her. My hope is that she did not feel discouraged by the continual disapproval of the adults and, instead, hung on to Christ. I know, however, that few are able to get to that point. It is by a miracle that I am hanging by a thread!
Others still remain inside church, but their spiritual experience is non-existent. They go to church because of habit; sad specters that haunt the church halls and limp about under a heavy load of church-imposed rules.
I am now an adult—a young adult—but still, I find myself in a position of some leadership in the church. I look at myself and I wonder what kind of Christian I have become. What attire do I enforce by the way I treat others—especially the younger, (and as they are at times called) “wilder” youth?
I hope that I may never forget the simple truth. Above all regulations of skirt length, trouser fabric, hair style, or body adornment is the one supreme requirement for all Christians. We must put on Jesus Christ.
Because all of us who have been baptized and born in Christ are clothed in Christ. And with that attire we have to privilege of putting on his humility, purity, and—above all—his love.
And that is the only attire that we Christians should really care about.