bible lesson dressing appropriately

bible lesson dressing appropriatelyAs clothing gets more and more scant with each generation, we should be prepared to tell kids that they do not behave in a vacuum. Their behavior bounces others around, even if they’re not planning it that way.

Girls may be well-intending and not “get” that their clothes are charging boys up and drawing attention that can come back to haunt them later. Boys may not realize that they are hurting girls’ feelings by looking in wrong places or that they’re hurting themselves too! This Bible lesson should help them see that real love is not built on “visuals.”

Bible Lesson Clothing Activity

Today we’re going to talk about Christian principles in wearing clothes. Don’t freak. We’re not going to send you off with the impression you have to become a pilgrim or go to school in a blanket. In fact: We’re not going to tell you how to dress at all. We’re just going to share some principles that you can use to decide for yourselves or with your family, if they’re involved in that part of your lives.

First let’s demonstrate a couple of principles.

The Activity:

  1. Have students form a line, standing one in front of the other.
  2. Have them put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.
  3. Have each step back until their elbows can lock lightly but their palms are firmly pressed on the shoulders of the person in front of them.
  4. Go to the back of the line. Using both your hands, push firmly on the back of the last person. Watch the line sway under the pressure.
  5. Ask those students who felt themselves move raise their hands. It may be all or it may be just some, depending on the resistance of the last person.
  6. Remove the last person, but have the rest of the line get back into their line.
  7. Push again.
  8. Ask again, “How many felt the pressure?”
  9. Remove another and repeat. This will get the ones at the front feeling something if nothing else has.

This game illustrates an important life principle: Nobody acts in a vacuum.

In life–in the school corridors, in classrooms, at home with our families–we are all connected to each other by what we hear, see, and feel, and also by our energy. This is just a game. In real life, we don’t have to be touching people and we don’t have to be talking directly to them to cause a reaction.

Ask the following questions:

  • Did you see how your line pushed forward so that almost everyone was affected?
  • Did anyone mean to push the other person?

Often, we’re only thinking of ourselves or the friend we’re with. We don’t realize that nearly everything we do affects others. Think of a time where you’ve been teased or bullied. And somebody else was standing there, and that person laughed.

  • How did the bully make you feel?
  • How did the laugh make you feel?
  • Did the person who laughed make you feel almost as bad…or as bad…as the bully? So, did the person who laughed also create a reaction?
  • Do you think the person who laughed was aware of the reaction her laughing caused?
  • Did you ever laugh at somebody else’s heartache?
  • In light of all this, how do you think it made the victim feel?

Nobody acts in a vacuum. This is always true. Think of yourselves alone in your room. Let’s say you go there in a really foul mood. You relax, watch TV, read a book, get your mind off your stress. Even though you were all alone, how might that affect your family later?

We have a responsibility to make sure we’re not acting in ways that will “push” others to do wrong things. Even if we’re not intending it.

Continuing the Activity:

  1. Have them form the line again. Have them touch the shoulders in front of them same as before.
  2. Take a student from the middle of the line out. Tell the students behind her not to move forward. The one directly behind her should have his or her arms straight out with fingers just dangling in the air.

[Name of student you pulled out of line] has made an important decision. She is going to “step out of line” with some of the common behaviors in her school that unintentionally can cause problems. She is going to wear a t-shirt that covers her a little better or hangs a little looser. She’s going to wear shorts on the first day of school with a game in mind: “I want to count 25 people by the end of the day who are wearing shorter shorts than I am.¨ She’s going to wear makeup that won’t get the reaction: “LOOK AT ME. I’M IN DESPERATE NEED OF ATTENTION.” She’s not going to change her style entirely. She’s just going to make some adjustments.

Continuing the Activity:

  1. Go to the back of the line and push just firmly enough to make the line move up to the missing person.
  2. Note to the ones in the front how this time they weren’t affected by the shove.

You see [name of student you pulled out of line] has freed all the people in front of her from having a bad reaction to her. She’s made a decision not to conform so much and to think of the other guy. You in the front, you’re free. Get out of line.

Now, what about the rest of you? How do you get free?

They may get it…to make the choice to step out of line or to put their hands down, which is a symbol of deciding not to dress in ways that will give others a negative reaction. Help them along and praise all efforts.

Bible Lesson Conclusion

The answer was by freeing yourself. You decide you’re not going to behave in ways that affect others wrongly. Proverbs 6:27 asks, “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?”

Everything has a reaction.

Come back next time to see the continuation of this tween Bible lesson, which will kick off with a stimulating class discussion.

Like this activity so far? Pin it to share it with your friends on Pinterest!