It is said of the Proverbs 31 woman that she is dressed (or clothed) with dignity and with strength (verses 17 & 25). These are important, hugely important, for any woman of God. A lot could be said about that at another time.
But I’m thinking about something different at the moment. I just finished ironing a pile of clothing. The majority of it belonged to my darling husband. I realized that I love to iron his pants and shirts, and was trying to figure out why.
I love to take care of his clothing — removing stains, washing it, drying it, folding it, ironing it, putting it away, etc. He doesn’t let me pick out his clothes for him or even go through his drawers to decide what things need to be retired — those are his self-appointed jobs. 🙂 But I do the caring of his clothing (reminds me of Prov 31:21). Not only so he looks good, but also so people who see him know that he is loved — that he has a wife at home who loves to care for her husband in physical, tangible, visible ways.
You see, the way my husband looks, reflects upon me.
Just like the way that I look reflects upon him.
This reminds me that my body is not my own. I know that 1 Corinthians 7 is speaking of marital love and the marriage bed when it says “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does”… but I really think that principle is well applied in other areas. It is the very idea of self-sacrifice, putting another before one’s self, and Christlike love coming into play.
I do not dress for myself.
I dress for my husband.
And I’m not just talking about cute little nighties.
I’m talking about jeans, t-shirts, dresses, footwear, sweaters — anything that goes on my body.
I dress for him.
It reflects upon him.
I do dress to please him — what wife doesn’t want to catch her husband’s eye when he walks in after a long day’s work?
But I also dress to reflect well upon him.
(And yes, my words, my stance, my clothing, my actions — they all reflect upon my husband.)
To reflect well upon him, I want to show the world that I have a hardworking husband who provides for our needs very well; that he loves to adorn my beauty and fill my closet; that he loves beauty as well as godly modesty; that he loves my skin enough to conceal it; that he keeps my body for himself.
And, likewise, the way he dresses reflects upon me.
The way our son dresses reflects upon us.
So yes, while also taking passages like Matthew 6 and 1 Peter 3 into consideration, clothing is important. Like actions. Like words.
We should desire to praise God through everything we do, including the way we adorn the physical bodies He has blessed us with. I want to honor God through my clothing. And I want to honor my husband through my clothing. (Prov 31:22)
So next time you’re ironing your husband’s clothes — think about reflection. Your reflection. His reflection. Your reflection of Christ. How we reflect upon one another.
Clothes are important. Dress with care.