I have decided to retire my first-date outfit. You know, the go-to “this is meeee … me trying to be cute, fun, easy-breezy gal, without looking like I really tried” outfit. When in reality, I have actually ransacked my entire closet, combing through every piece of clothing, meticulously inspecting each item. What does this top REALLY say about me? Because I want to make sure that this Lilly top that I found, by an act of God, on SALE, CLEARANCE even, says, “I am confident and classy. I am smart, up-to-date on current events, thoughtful, witty, an excellent cook and sexy. Very sexy.” Yes, that Lilly top should say all that.
And I have several of these looks. The “I am going to wear jeans because that is cool,” BUT “I will wear dark denim because I am sophisticated like that.” Or the “I will wear heels to dress up, but wedges ’cause that’s how I roll.” (And how cool is a chick who says “That’s how I roll,” anyway?)
My standard first-date outfit always involves black. Because black is classic. Black is cool. Black is SLIMMING. At 30, I feel like I have perfected the first-date look.
I wonder, though, in all the time I’ve spent perfecting that first-date look, have I been overlooking what I should really be putting on? In Ephesians 6, Paul talks about putting on the full armor of God. You have heard this passage before, I am sure. Many a Sunday school teacher may have told you to put on your armor before going out into this “evil world” every day. As Christians, we are taught to fight the battle against the evilness of the great big bad world. The enemy is there, for sure, but his schemes are even more cunning. He is out to invade our thoughts and hearts. We are called to protect this. So thankfully, the Lord uses Paul to show us how.
The first is the Belt of Truth. God’s Word is truth. God is truth. Jesus is truth. If I have this belt on, I know He is with me. He is with me when I feel a lot more like a nervous sixth grader at her first middle school dance than a woman out and about town. I can trust that He knows my heart and my intentions, even if I completely break every social etiquette rule I know and say something completely awkward and uncouth (hypothetically).
The next piece of armor is the Breastplate of Righteousness. I like this because it protects my heart. The enemy is so good at deception. He wants so badly for us to put our WHOLE trust and hope into something that is less than God. Of course, loving something or someone is a risk because you may lose them, but putting my ENTIRE hope and trust in something other than God is idolatry.
My high heels or flats (depending on the height of my date) are called to be fitted with the Gospel of Peace. If I am firmly planted in this, forget the Kleenex under the arm pits; I can cast my anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7). He has given me the Gospel of Peace. Granted, this not-so-easy-breezy girl will probably always need a couple of Kleenexes before a date, but maybe if I remember He is the Prince of Peace, I wont go through an entire box. (Fact: there is a direct correlation between the handsomeness of a man and the amount of Kleenex needed pre-date.)
I love an accessory. I like to mix up my first-date outfit sometimes with a scarf or a funky handbag—you know, to really drive home that easy-breezy-cool-chick thing. (Clearly, I am a pro, right? Ha!) But The Lord commands a very different accessory: the Shield of Faith. And what a shield it is! “In all circumstances … You can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Wow! That’s cool. So even if that date is lame, and you practically fall asleep on the date because of his monologue … even if you totally trip and fall or spill a glass of wine (hypothetically, of course) or even worse, he doesn’t call and you are convinced he has been beamed up by aliens, you have a faith in God’s sovereignty and His complete goodness.
Finally, God reminds me with this outfit that I have the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit. He is reminding me, His precious child, that I am His and He is mine. Salvation is my victory. My outfit is made complete when I seek Him all day, every day, through prayer, meditation, reading His word and sharing Him with others through praise.
I want this to be my new dating attire. It isn’t trendy, and it won’t go out of style.