By Larry Ray Hafley
The snippet below was sent in by Bill Reeves, a brother beloved in the Lord.
According to a televised CBS news report, Aug. 30, 1999, a privately owned Lutheran High School in Michigan demonstrated how it deals with teen violence: a strict dress code! Girls wear modest dresses; boys wear shirts and trousers — no jeans for either sex! One day out of the month both can wear jeans. The principal reported that it is on that day (Jean’s Day) that he sees more students in his office needing disciplinary action or lecturing. “You act according to your dress.” Additional restrictions presented in the dress code were these: no pierced ears on the boys, no bright nail polish on the girls, no shorts on either sex.
Of course, I am not proposing that ladies wear jeans one Sunday a month, or that we measure the brightness of nail polish. Otherwise (at the risk of being charged with being the “clothes police”), perhaps brethren need to adapt the Lutheran School’s dress code. Yes, I know that the poor are not to be judged or shunned because of shabby clothing (Jas. 2:1-5). However, poverty is one thing. Slovenly, sloppy, indecent attire is quite another (Gen. 41:14; Prov. 7:10; 1 Tim. 2:9).
Is the scriptural appeal for “modest apparel” without meaning? Does it elude all judgment and discretion? Is it impossible to define and apply (cf. Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9, 10; Heb. 5:14b)? Evidently, though some brethren think so, a certain Lutheran High School does not so believe. Sad it is when children of the world act and dress with more wisdom than the children of light.