The “woman” (802) was easy to recognize as a “harlot” (2181). Does that seem strange to you? We live in a world of freedoms we never think about. Down through history one of the ways that the ruling elites have controlled the masses is by what were called “sumptuary laws.” These were laws controlling how people dressed. Most of us have heard how the Romans reserved purple for the emperor. It went much further than that. You could look at someone and know their social class, their occupation and their religion. There were punishments for violation.
Although it is not the law any more there are still messages sent in how we dress. I say this as someone who tends to be overly sloppy. I have usually paid little attention to how I dress. As I get older I am beginning to wonder if that hasn’t been a matter of pride rather than humility. Face it, people judge a book by its cover. As someone once said, if you can’t judge a book by its cover, why does it have a cover.
I will never become a clothes horse but I am reminded that part of what I say to people about my Jesus is spoken with my appearance. When we dress for sex appeal we are stating our priorities. When we are concerned about the “image” we portray, is it to glorify God or broadcast our coolness? Do I dress grunge or Goth to say I am too above it all to care?
So? What did Peter say?
(1 Peter 3:3-4 NASB) Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.It is given to women but applies to all of us.