You have seen them: their pants are belted below their derrière and you are wondering in vain if these young boys possess a mirror or parents who could gently advise them that the belt goes above the behind… Then there are the girls who with their tight mini skirts and short tops resemble ladies of the horizontal profession rather than this country's hope for a future.
If these thoughts have been going through your mind, you are not alone, but lest you judge these young souls, consider what God has to say on the subject:
1. God and Samuel had an interesting conversation about outward appearance one day when the latter was charged with anointing Israel's first human king. 1 Samuel 16:7 recounts the conversation in which God admonishes Samuel to look past the exterior because God does so as well. Remember that the next time you are treated to the view of a teen's boxer shorts which are clearly visible because his pants are buckled below the tush; who knows, he may be a future evangelist who will bring thousands to Christ!
2. Just like God fails to be impressed with the outward appearance of a man, He also is frequently not impressed with what is found on the inside either. Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 23:27 that even though on the outside they looked great, on the inside they were more disgusting than rotting bones. As you contemplate the girl with the somewhat daring outfit and the girl with the prim blouse and long skirt, do not be fooled! The former might be a future replacement for Mother Theresa while the latter may become little more than a tedious busybody who majors in the minors.
3. Inner beauty and outer attractiveness are not necessarily related. Peter is very clear when addressing the wives in 1 Peter 3:1-6 and warning them to quit paying too much attention to their wardrobe and instead take stock of their spiritual inventory. Rather than trying to perfect the accessorizing, it is wise to spend some time perfecting that gentle spirit that permits a husband or child to just "be" without imposing one's will at every turn.
4. Paul's warning for women to be found attractive for their actions rather than their outward appearance goes hand in hand with Peter's admonition, and 1 Timothy 2:9-10 should be a warning to any Christian-male or female-who talks a good game but whose actions are less than attractive.
What does this mean to the Christian parent?
In a nutshell, those of us who are tempted to judge others, especially the young, by their outward appearance will be wise to quit. God is not impressed with the way someone looks, and neither should we be. In the same way, appearance can be very deceiving and if a person does not possess the beauty that comes from doing good deeds and walking the walk, then not even the most modest and appropriate clothing for Sunday worship will make any difference.
This kind of wisdom should be imparted to our children as well. Sure, we want them to dress modestly (and for crying out loud, DON'T buckle your pants below your bottom) and appropriately, but at the same time, they should shy away from judging their peers strictly by exterior means.
Teach your child to look below the surface and find out what is really making their peers who they are. Are they kind on the playground? Are they peace makers? Are they bullies? Do they live and die for popularity? Can they be friends with anyone or just with those deemed to be cool or hip? Especially children professing a fear of the Lord will be wise to pay more attention about their spiritual health and appearance than their outer look or the outward appearance of others.
About Sylvia Cochran
Sylvia Cochran - Christian Parenting Corner and Common Sense Parenting and Parenting By the Book Christian Parenting Book Reviews
Sylvia is a seasoned writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years, and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money. Sylvia also provides Free Online Courses at Suite 101. Sylvia's goal is to provide help and encouragement to raise the next generation of Christ-followers.
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