Lessons on a Camping Trip

As the first morning broke and we all ventured out of our sleeping spaces, the beautiful women that I shared the weekend with were decked out in their finest.  Flannel jammies, oversized coats, best sweat pants, boots, multi-layers of socks, etc.—you get the picture—we were all coming up wayyyy short of hitting the fashion runway. Add to that ball caps, knit caps, wooly pull-downs and all sorts of coverings to calm our heads of hair.


As I stood there looking at these gorgeous women in their made up outfits like mine, I couldn’t help but think of a verse in the Gospel of Matthew: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’”(6:31)


Boy, we really had this verse down to a tee!  I would say on that morning, and the ones that followed, we truly did not worry about what we were wearing.  And in my eyes, that was a great thing! While we were camping, while we were just hanging out, I deeply felt the verses of releasing the worry over clothes.


But I also thought of a verse in Proverbs 31?  For those of you unfamiliar with this Proverb, it is an example for being a woman and wife of noble character.  It has made its way to being the guiding principal for Christian women.


Proverbs 31:22 says,  “She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen (silk) and purple.”


Really?  Fine linens?  Elegance?  If I am a Godly woman, to be known as a wife of noble character, am I to wear clothes made of fine linens?  Will this make me a “good Christian?”  If so, I have to tell you, I am really missing the mark on that one because my closet is full of Faded Glory and Kirkland brand clothes.  Wal-Mart and Costco consider me one of their greatest customers!  The few clothes I do possess that have noteworthy labels are few and far between.  And quite frankly, my standard Yoga pants really don’t come in designer grade.


So, what does this mean, these two different verses?  Is this a contradiction in the Bible?  Am I a failure one more time in my walk as a Christian woman?  If your closet resembles mine—are you now asking the same questions?  What if  your closet is full of high-end labels, does that mean you are more favorable with God?  How can either side of these beliefs be true?  Or are they?


It may not seem like it, but I believe both verses say the same thing. God doesn’t contradict Himself—ever—He merely gives us different angles to see the same message.


In Proverbs 31, you have to take into context the thoughts of dress for that period.  For those that called themselves followers of the God of Abraham, dressing in drab, colorless, sackcloth type clothing was the trend.  It was the idea that if a woman believed in God, then they must forgo wearing anything that was beautiful. It was an external representation of their faith.  Think solemn.


In Matthew’s Gospel, the opposite took place.  The pendulum had swung so far the other way, women were all about adorning themselves. Fashion and clothing were the prevailing thoughts, and with that came worry of what to wear and how to wear it.


Do you see how the two are the same?  Both spectrums were misguided.  So God told them to put away these thoughts of clothing.  Put away the importance of outer garments.  On one side, go ahead, put on fine silk; don’t make a spectacle of yourself through the drabness and sackcloth to show others you are a believer.  On the other, take off the adorned robes; don’t make a spectacle of yourself through flamboyant clothing. Quit worrying about it all. Quit allowing it to be a stumbling block to a connection with God.


Can you hear those words still today?  Are we somewhere in between?  Are the voices in our heads saying we must wear clothes that are dull to prove we are Christians?  Or opposite, are the voices saying we must get all dressed up in fine clothes to show we’re all put together?  God says STOP!   The mark is being missed when our focus is on the external.


Like I saw in the women on the camping trip, their beauty had nothing to do with the clothes on their bodies.  And if I were standing in front of you, I would see the same.  Our internal beauty must become the focus of our efforts. Let’s make a pack that we put the importance of clothes aside—whether inexpensive or high-end. That cloth on our bodies will never keep us from focusing on God. Let’s let our budgets determine our types of clothes and not our faith.  You in?



  1. Here’s your chance to read about the Proverbs woman.  Proverbs 31:10-31.  It’s a great place to start to see the examples set forth for us.
  2.  As you encounter other women this week, give it a try to look past their clothing.  Whether exquisite or plain, consciously think about her heart and soul.
  3. Is it time to work on the internal?  Do you struggle with either of these verses–keeping it dull to prove a point, wearing labels to be showy?  Are you willing to give a try to put it aside?



12 Replies

  1. Cissy

    I’m all in! I recall one of the first teachings I had as a new believer, Eph 6:10-18 in which I learned about the battle “gear” we should wear in order to ward off the enemies attacks…belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet and sword…well as women we may not think of this “armor” as the most glamorous of attire but when we get dressed for our day with the garments provided from His closet under our otter garments, we can feel confident and the confidence will shine thru from the inside out! Thanks Renae for the reminder to dress to impress Him not others. Luvya Cissy

    1. Great perspective Cissy–it is so true, the battle gear needs to go on under the garments we choose for the day. So many times we think all that gear goes on over our clothes, but when we put those on first, the rest fits just right. Thank you so much for sharing, and a great reminder!

  2. Lori Perez

    that was a great story. That is always one of those reasons why I love camping so much. You don’t have to worry about the way you look. It is comforting to know that there is One Person who doesn’t care what designer clothes we were. If He did I would be in trouble.

    1. Whether designer or not, you are right, He doesn’t care about clothing, other that providing it for us. Our thank-you for that should always be in our connection with Him. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sheila Sanchez

    Thank you Renae, great story this week, those women are beautiful even though I only see their feet . I have a memory of being young, maybe about 12 or so and traveling with my mom and 3 sisters to see our grandparents. It was in the middle of July, temperatures were in the 100’s, it was a Sunday morning and mom found a church in a small town that we stopped at. Any other time we would have headed to the front pew, but because we were in shorts, cool tops, and pretty disheveled, we followed mom into the last pew. It was if the priest new why we were sitting way back there. His sermon was on not worrying about clothing yourself in the finest silks but that he was thankful we were there to worship and praise the Lord, for that is what was most important. Was he talking directly to us, it sure seemed like it. When I headed to communion I held my head high and remember thinking, it doesn’t matter that I have shorts on even though I am sure there were those that were judging me, I am here for Jesus and that’s all that matters. I am almost 60 now and that day is one of those memories that for whatever reason has stuck in my head. From then on I had a different thought when I saw someone in church not dressed up as we were always taught to do. Maybe they were traveling as we were, maybe they couldn’t afford nicer clothes, maybe they just got off of work. What ever their story was I no longer was judging them, they were there for Jesus which was the most important thing! Thanks for the reminder that our internal beauty is what is important.

    1. This post came alive with your story! Thank you so much. Funny how that incident stayed in your memory bank and gave you a perspective how “dressing for Jesus” is irrelevant. God’s timing was there for you in that message long ago. Sermons are not just given, there is preparation and practice–and oh how God had a little set of ears waiting to hear. It was put on your heart for a reason. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  4. Diane

    When you come to the fork in the road of beauty over eating, practical reasoning kicks in. Thank you for the reminder that my worth isn’t based in the cosmetic line I use, or the lines in my face, but the work in my heart that accomplishes His will. . .what a sweet reminder that all I need to do is live out my life for Him not Vogue Magazine! Wahooo.. .Faded Glory here I come!

    1. I’ll see you in the clothing aisle soon! Great words Diane…the work in our hearts is what accomplishes His will.

  5. Lori West

    I’m in! I am the type of person that puts very little effort and emphasis on my clothing/style. I do need to be a better example of feminine dress to my daughter but keep it focused on God and not move the focus on cloths/style. This is a great reminder that it is about where our heart is and if it remains on God, the cloths are not important.

    1. That’s the point Lori, our dress is not the focus–whether in style or not. We can chase the latest fashion trends or stay stagnant–its all ok as long as the desire to do so doesn’t out shine our desire to stay with God. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Leslie Whitley

    I’m in! one of my favorite faith talks at WOF from years ago was “come as you are, just come”. Thanks clearing up the two verses. I so love the part about making coverings for my head because I love to knit. Les

    1. Yea, you’re in! Sounds great. It truly is about coming as you are, isn’t it? Priorities have to be set sooner or later.

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