How Should We Dress For Worship?

by Tom Wacaster

I came across this little tid-bit of information that you might find interesting.  A number of years ago Sears and Roebuck imposed the following dress code on its employees:  Jeans are not allowed; tennis shoes are not acceptable; shirts with writing and cartoons are not approved; hair styles must be neat, trim and clean.  Their explanation?  "There is no substitute for good judgment in appropriate dress. Our customers deserve and expect to shop in a pleasant, professional-appearing customer's environment.  Our employment relies on our ability to attract and retain the business of our customers."  In a separate article, attention was called to a list of "dress codes" for visitors to a jail house: "Attention Visitors: No person admitted unless properly dressed. 1. Shorts must be knee length; 2. No tank tops; 3. No short dresses; 4. No sun dresses; 5. No shirts with obscene language or pictures; 6. No see through clothing.  Any person that cannot abide by these rules will be refused visitation. No Exceptions."  Why is it that people in business, and even those who work with men behind prison bars, expect some kind of dress code?  It has to do with proper "decorum."  My dictionary says that "decorum" means, "Conformity to the requirements of good taste; propriety in behavior, dress."  There are few (if any) of us who would attend a funeral in sloppy jeans, shirt and/or dirty looking tennis shoes.  Common sense simply says it is not proper, and to do so would bring a sense of embarrassment upon us.  Would any of you ladies wear shorts to a wedding?  or allow your children to do so?  Men, would you be so casual in your appearance if it were your lot to visit an important dignitary in our community?  Why is it then, that week after week, it is not uncommon to witness fathers, mothers, teens, children, and otherwise sensible folks, walk into the auditorium to engage in worship to God, and be dressed in such a way that we communicate a "casual" and "irreverent" attitude toward Jehovah God?  Now before you respond, "Well, it's not what's on the outside that counts, it's what's on the inside." Where did we ever get that idea?  We certainly don't think that way when it comes to social events of great importance.  It would seem to me that Biblical principle teaches that we are to give our BEST to God. That's the best in our worship, the best of our monetary resources, the best in our participation, the best in our everyday life as a Christian, and the best in our appearance, especially when it comes to the way we dress.  Yes, a sweat shirt and jeans is acceptable in the sight of God, IF it is the best we have. But if the best we have is a suit, white starched shirt, and dress slacks, how can we say we are giving our God the best in our appearance when we leave that hanging in the closet and wear sloppy jeans to worship? When I was growing up it was not uncommon to hear the phrase, "Your Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes."  It was always the best!  No exceptions.  If the world recognizes the importance of proper decorum, and its effect on those who see us, perhaps it is time that we took some lessons from those who demonstrate wisdom in the most important area of our life!  Give it some serious thought.