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PRINCIPLES IN CHRISTIAN DRESS & ADORNMENT

dress

Extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart

The love of dress endangers the morals and makes woman the opposite of the Christian lady, characterized by modesty and sobriety. Showy, extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder. God sees that the ruin of the character is frequently preceded by the indulgence of pride and vanity in dress. He sees that the costly apparel stifles the desire to do good.{CG 416.4}

Love of dress and pleasure is wrecking the happiness of thousands. And some of those who profess to love and keep the commandments of God ape this class as near as they possibly can and retain the Christian name. Some of the young are so eager for display that they are even willing to give up the Christian name, if they can only follow out their inclination for vanity of dress and love of pleasure. {CG 435.3}

Proper dress has influence in favor of truth
Many dress like the world in order to have an influence over unbelievers, but here they make a sad mistake. If they would have a true and saving influence, let them live out their profession, show their faith by their righteous works, and make the distinction plain between the Christian and the worldling. The words, the dress, the actions, should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all around them, and even unbelievers will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. If any wish to have their influence tell in favor of truth, let them live out their profession and thus imitate the humble Pattern. 268 {CCh 182.5}

Character May Be Judged by Style of Dress.
The dress and its arrangement upon the person is generally found to be the index of the man or the woman. We judge of a person’s character by the style of dress worn. A modest, godly woman will dress modestly. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of a simple, appropriate attire. The one who is simple and unpretending in her dress and in her manners shows that she understands that a true woman is characterized by moral worth. How charming, how interesting, is simplicity in dress, which in comeliness can be compared with the flowers of the field. {CG 413.5}

Unnecessary means expended on dress deprives the spender of a precious opportunity to do good.
The more means persons expend in dress, the less they can have to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; and the streams of beneficence, which should be constantly flowing, are dried up. Every dollar saved by denying one’s self of useless ornaments may be given to the needy, or may be placed in the Lord’s treasury to sustain the gospel, to send missionaries to foreign countries, to multiply publications to carry rays of light to souls in the darkness of error. Every dollar used unnecessarily deprives the spender of a precious opportunity to do good…. {CH 602.2}
In the professed Christian world enough is expended for jewels and needlessly expensive dress to feed all the hungry and to clothe the naked. Fashion and display absorb the means that might comfort the poor and the suffering. They rob the world of the gospel of the Saviour’s love. . . . {CT 302.3}

Dress should be of good quality, of becoming colors and clean
But our clothing, while modest and simple, should be of good quality, of becoming colors, and suited for service. It should be chosen for durability rather than display. It should provide warmth and proper protection. The wise woman described in the Proverbs “is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with double garments.” Proverbs 31:21, margin.Our dress should be cleanly. Uncleanliness in dress is unhealthful, and thus defiling to the body and to the soul. “Ye are the temple of God. . . . If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17. {CT 303.1}

Simply and yet tasteful dress saves much time for Gods work
My sisters, if you would bring your manner of dressing into conformity with the rules given in the Bible, you would have an abundance with which to help your poorer sisters. You would have not only means, but time. Often this is most needed. There are many whom you might help with your suggestions, your tact and skill. Show them how to dress simply and yet tastefully. Many a woman remains away from the house of God because her shabby, ill-fitting garments are in such striking contrast to the dress of others. Many a sensitive spirit cherishes a sense of bitter humiliation and injustice because of this contrast. And because of it many are led to doubt the reality of religion and to harden their hearts against the gospel.–MH 207 (1905).{DG 153.3}

The future happiness of your families and the welfare of society depend largely upon the physical and moral education which your children receive in the first years of their life. If their tastes and habits are as simple in all things as they should be, if the dress is tidy, without extra adornment, mothers will find time to make their children happy, and teach them loving obedience. {FE 156.2}

Dress Influences Health; choose soberly
Mothers who dress their children in accordance with fashion, endanger their health and life. Fashion leaves the limbs of children unclad, save with one covering, or, at most, two. If they are exposed to the chill autumn, spring, or winter weather, their limbs are bathed in a current of cold air. Over the heart, where is the greatest amount of vitality, there are from four to eight coverings. These unclad limbs and feet become habitually cold. While traveling, it is customary to see little girls dressed fashionably, but not healthfully. The upper portions of the body are abundantly clothed with warm cloaks, and over these are furs, while the limbs are scarcely covered. . . . Christian mother, why not clothe your daughter as comfortably and as properly as you do your son?. His limbs are protected by from three to five thicknesses; hers by only one. Is she feebler? Then she needs the greater care. Is she indoors more, and therefore less protected against cold and storm? Then she needs double care.–H. R. {HL 148.1}

In all respects the dress should be healthful. “Above all things,” God desires us to “be in health”–health of body and of soul. And we are to be workers together with Him for the health of both soul and body. Both are promoted by healthful dress. It should have the grace, the beauty, the appropriateness of natural simplicity. Christ has warned us against the pride of life, but not against its grace and natural beauty. {CG 398.2}

Special attention should be given to the extremities, that they may be as thoroughly clothed as the chest and the region over the heart, where is the greatest amount of heat. Parents who dress their children with the extremities naked, or nearly so, are sacrificing the health and lives of their children to fashion. If these parts are not so warm as the body, the circulation is not equalized. When the extremities, which are remote from the vital organs, are not properly clad, the blood is driven to the head, causing headache or nosebleed; or there is a sense of fullness about the chest, producing cough or palpitation of the heart, on account of too much blood in that locality; or the stomach has too much blood, causing indigestion. {CG 426.2}

The suffering caused among women by unhealthful dress cannot be estimated. Many have become life-long invalids through their compliance with the demands of fashion. Health and life have been sacrificed to the insatiable goddess. Many seem to think that have a right to treat their bodies as they please; but they forget that their bodies are not their own. The Creator who formed them has claims upon them that they cannot lightly throw off. Every needless transgression of the laws of our being is virtually a transgression of the law of God, and is sin in the sight of Heaven. The Creator knew how to form the human body. He did not need to consult the mantua-makers in regard to their ideas of beauty. God, who created everything that is lovely and glorious in nature, understood how to make the human form beautiful and healthy. The modern improvements upon his plan are insulting to the Creator. They deform that which he made perfect. {CTBH 87.2}
Proper dress will prevent the weaknesses which prevail among women to such an alarming extent.
Another error in the dress of women of the present day is that of wearing their skirts so that the weight is sustained by the hips alone. This heavy weight, pressing upon the bowels, drags them downward, and causes weakness of the stomach and a feeling of lassitude, which leads the sufferer to incline forward. This tends further to cramp the lungs, and prevent their proper action. The blood becomes impure, the pores of the skin fail in their office, sallowness and disease result, and beauty and health are gone. Ladies may resort to cosmetics to restore the tint of the complexion, but they cannot thus bring back the glow of health. That which renders the skin dark and dingy, also clouds the spirits, and destroys cheerfulness and peace of mind. Every woman who values health should avoid hanging any weight upon the hips. The shoulders should sustain the weight of every article of clothing worn upon the person. This will go far to prevent the weaknesses which prevails among women to such an alarming extent. {CTBH 88.3}

Dress should not be too long to sweep the ground
Women are subject to serious maladies, and their sufferings are greatly increased by their manner of dress. Instead of preserving their health for the trying emergencies that are sure to come, they by their wrong habits too often sacrifice not only health but life, and leave to their children a legacy of woe, in a ruined constitution, perverted habits, and false ideas of life. {CH 91.3} One of fashion’s wasteful and mischievous devices is the skirt that sweeps the ground. Uncleanly, uncomfortable, inconvenient, unhealthful–all this and more is true of the trailing skirt. It is extravagant, both because of the superfluous material required, and because of the needless wear on account of its length. And whoever has seen a woman in a trailing skirt, with hands filled with parcels, attempt to go up or down stairs, to enter a streetcar, to walk through a crowd, to walk in the rain, or on a muddy road, needs no other proof of its inconvenience and discomfort. {CH 91.4}

Beware satan constantly inventing new styles
Satan is constantly devising some new style of dress that shall prove an injury to physical and moral health; and he exults when he sees professed Christians eagerly accepting the fashions that he has invented. The amount of physical suffering created by unnatural and unhealthful dress cannot be estimated. Many have become lifelong invalids through their compliance with the demands of fashion…. {CH 599.1}
Aided by the grace of Christ, women are capable of doing a great and grand work. For this reason Satan works with his devices to invent fashionable dress, that love of display may so absorb the mind and heart and affection of even professed Christian mothers in this age, that they have no time to give to the education and training of their children or to the cultivation of their own minds and characters, that they may be examples to their children, patterns of good works. When Satan secures the time and affections of the mother, he is fully aware of how much he has gained. In nine cases out of ten he has secured the devotion of the whole family to dress and frivolous display. He reckons the children as among his spoils, for he has captivated the mother. {CG 433.3}

Satan stands in the background, devising the fashions which lead to extravagance in the outlay of means. In forming the fashions of the day, he has a fixed purpose. He knows that time and money which are devoted to meet the demands of fashion will not be used for higher, holier objects. Precious time is wasted in keeping pace with ever-changing and never-satisfying fashions. No sooner is one style introduced than new styles are devised, and then, in order for fashionable persons to remain fashionable, the dress must be remodeled. Thus professing Christians, with divided hearts, waste their time, giving to the world nearly all their energies…. {OHC 272.3}

Improper dress dishonors the house of God
We warn our Christian sisters against the tendency to make their dresses according to worldly styles, thus attracting attention. The house of God is profaned by the dress of professedly Christian women of today. A fantastic dress, a display of gold chains and gaudy laces, is a certain indication of a weak head and a proud heart. {3SM 244.1}

Sabbath Best
There are those who are careless of their apparel, and are always harping on pride in dress. They think it a virtue to be untidy, and to dress without order or taste. They class decency and neatness with pride, and excuse themselves for their neglect of apparel, even upon the Sabbath, under pretense of carrying out that separation from the world which the word of God requires of his people. If these persons had an engagement to meet a friend honored by the world, and they wished to be especially favored by him, they would exert themselves to appear in his presence with the best and neatest apparel they could obtain. Yet when they meet upon the Sabbath to worship the great God, they think it is of no consequence in what dress they appear, or what is the condition of their person. In His house, which is as the audience-chamber of the Most High, where heavenly angels are in attendance, they assemble with but little respect or reverence. All who meet upon the Sabbath to worship God, should, if possible, have neat, well-fitting, comely garments to wear in the house of worship. It is a dishonor to the Sabbath, to God, and to his house, for those who profess to believe that the Sabbath is the holy of the Lord, and honorable, to wear upon that day the soiled clothing which they have worn through the labors of the week, if they can obtain anything more suitable. {CTBH 86.2}

Follow bible rules on matters of dress
All matters of dress should be strictly guarded, following closely the Bible rule. Fashion has been the goddess who has ruled the outside world, and she often insinuates herself into the church. The church should make the word of God her standard, and parents should think intelligently upon this subject. When they see their children inclined to follow worldly fashions, they should, like Abraham, resolutely command their households after them. Instead of uniting them with the world, connect them with God. Let none dishonor God’s sanctuary by their showy apparel. God and angels are there. The Holy One of Israel has spoken through His apostle: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3, 4. 459 {CCh 253.2}

                                                                Cosmetics

Destroys Cheerfulness and Peace of mind
Ladies may resort to cosmetics to restore the tint of the complexion, but they cannot thus bring back the glow of health. That which renders the skin dark and dingy, also clouds the spirits, and destroys cheerfulness and peace of mind.. {CTBH 88.3}

Endangers Life
Many are ignorantly injuring their health and endangering their lives by using cosmetics. . . When they become heated, . . . the poison is absorbed by the pores of the skin, and is thrown into the blood. Many lives have been sacrificed by this means alone.–H. R.

Many use to hide defects
The majority of pleasure lovers attend the fashionable night gatherings, and spend in exciting amusements the hours God has given them for quiet rest and sleep in order to invigorate the body. . . . They are robbing the cheeks of the glow of health, and then to supply the deficiency use cosmetics. Would it not be better, therefore, to break up this habit of turning night into day, and the fresh hours of morning into night? If the youth would form habits of regularity and order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, and in disposition. {ML 143.6}

Many are ignorantly injuring their health and endangering their life by using cosmetics. They are robbing the cheeks of the glow of health, and then to supply the deficiency use cosmetics. When they become heated in the dance the poison is absorbed by the pores of the skin, and is thrown into the blood. Many lives have been sacrificed by this means alone. {HR, October 1, 1871 par. 20}

The sufferers may resort to cosmetics to restore the complexion; but these can not bring back the glow of health. And the physical condition that makes the skin dark and dingy, depresses the spirits, and destroys cheerfulness. A multitude of women are nervous and care-worn because they deprive themselves of the pure air that would make pure blood, and of the freedom of motion that would send the blood bounding through the veins, giving life, health, and energy. Many women have become confirmed invalids when they might have enjoyed health, and many have died of consumption and other diseases when they might have lived their allotted term of life had they dressed in accordance with health principles, and exercised freely in the open air. {PHJ, May 1, 1905 par. 11}

                                                         Jewelry

To abstain shows keeping of our faith
To dress plainly and abstain from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind is in keeping with our faith. Are we of the number who see the folly of worldlings in indulging in extravagance of dress as well as in love of amusements? {CG 423.3}

True Beauty not from outward adornment
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3, 4, NIV. {LHU 305.1}

Meek and quite spirit an ornament
Let us live simply, and work in simplicity. Let us dress in such a modest, becoming way that we will be received wherever we go. Jewelry and expensive dress will not give us influence, but the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit–the result of devotion to the service of Christ–will give us power with God. Kindness and forethought for those about us are qualities precious in the sight of heaven. If you have not given attention to the acquirement of these graces, do so now, for you have no time to lose.–Manuscript 83, 1909. {3SM 248.4}

Jewelry is Idolatry
There are many whose hearts have been so hardened by prosperity that they forget God, and forget the wants of their fellow man. Professed Christians adorn themselves with jewelry, laces, costly apparel, while the Lord’s poor suffer for the necessaries of life. Men and women who claim redemption through a Saviour’s blood will squander the means intrusted to them for the saving of other souls, and then grudgingly dole out their offerings for religion, giving liberally only when it will bring honor to themselves. These are idolaters (ST Jan. 26, 1882). {2BC 1012.1}

Jewelry not accepted by Christ
We see ladies professing godliness wear elegant gold chains, necklaces, rings, and other jewelry . . . while want stalks in the streets, and the suffering and destitute are on every side. These do not interest them, nor awaken their sympathy; but they will weep over the imaginary suffering depicted in the last novel. They have no ears for the cries of the needy, no eyes to behold the cold and almost naked forms of women and children around them. They look upon real want as a species of crime, and withdraw from suffering humanity as from a contagious disease. To such, Christ will say, “I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: . . . sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.” {BLJ 269.5}

A lack of spirituality is revealed
Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments. All this display imparts no value to the character. The Lord desires every converted person to put away the idea that dressing as worldlings dress, will give value to his influence. The ornamentation of the person with jewels and luxurious things is a species of idolatry. This needless display reveals a love for those things which are supposed to place a value upon the person. It gives evidence to the world of a heart destitute of the inward adornment. Expensive dress and adornments of jewelry give an incorrect representation of the truth that should always be represented as of the highest value. An over-dressed, outwardly adorned person bears the sign of inward poverty. A lack of spirituality is revealed. {BTS, May 1, 1908 par. 4}

False Beauty
It is evident that fashionable ladies are losing the consciousness that true beauty of dress consists in its simplicity, rather than in ruffles, flounces, puffs, tucks, and elaborate embroidery. The arranging of jewelry, sashes, laces, and unnecessary ornaments upon their persons, alone must occupy a large share of their time. It is apparent that women professing godliness have their minds and thoughts absorbed with, “What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” It really seems to be the mission and object of a large class of women to exhibit their wardrobe. Their burdens, trials, and perplexities, are mostly in regard to dress. {HR, March 1, 1874 par. 1}