If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Even so, when we dress like the world, we are desirous to gain the fruits of the world. Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits, you will know them” (Matt 7:16-20). The words of Proverbs 7:6-27, is a passage worth reading because it warns against the wiles of the harlot who seeks to seduce another into the destruction of his soul.
Here we find a foolish young man seeking sexual experimentation goes to a “worldly-wise woman whose character is known by the manner in which she dresses. This is a boisterous woman who despises to be in subjection to her husband. She is too active to give adequate care to her home and children because she is occupied trying to appear seductive. She has a face hardened by sin, and can no longer blush (Ezra 9:6 f; Jer. 6:15 cf; 8:12). She persuades her victim using flattery to inebriate him.
This young man is described by the writer of Proverbs as a fool who goes blindly and willingly to his own destruction, not knowing just how great a price he must pay for his indiscretions!
The description of this woman makes it clear that she was a harlot. What is a harlot? The word “harlot” here describes a person who is willing to engage in sexual behavior with someone to whom she is not legally married. The more modern day word for a “harlot” is a “whore”.
If one is available for purposes of sexual immorality, how does one advertise this fact? One way, clearly, is to dress in “the attire or dress of a harlot.” What is the attire of a harlot? Proverbs 7 does not give a description of the “attire of a harlot” or of anyone else’s attire, for that matter. So then, what is the attire of a harlot? The attire of a harlot is any manner of dressing which communicates the message of sexual interest so that there is the underlying implication of sexual availability, the freedom from shame and moral or spiritual restraints.
On the other hand, one who wishes to communicate the message of chastity and moral restraint will studiously avoid dressing in a manner which raises doubt about moral character!
There are many modem ways to wear the “attire of a harlot.” Women may wear the attire of a harlot by either overdressing or underdressing. Dressing in a garish manner, wearing too much makeup, wearing slinky gowns, etc., may be as much the attire of an harlot as underdressing in the skimpy shorts, halter tops, modern swimwear, miniskirts, any attire revealing private parts, etc., all characteristic of those who wish to send the signal – “I am available.” Every such woman is either telling the truth or lying by her manner of dress. If she is telling the truth, she is guilty of the sins of lasciviousness and fornication. If she is lying by her manner of dress she is guilty of the sins of lasciviousness and lying. There is just no “Christian” way to wear “the attire of a harlot.”
And what about the men? Can they, and do they, not also wear the “attire of a harlot”? It is becoming more characteristic for men to communicate their lack of morals through various stages of undress and various manners of dress. The more abbreviated male swimwear is coming into vogue which is designed to emphasize the male genitals; shirts are worn unbuttoned to reveal the chest hair; shirts and trousers are worn too tightly, or wearing no shirt at all in order to communicate availability. Male homosexuals sometimes wear a ring in one ear or both to advertise themselves.
All of these things shout one message loud and clear; they are the signals of the decay of the morals of a nation. We are becoming a nation of fornicators – and we advertise it. Celebrities seek a public forum to boast of it. And slowly citizens seek opportunities to imitate the lifestyles of the rich and famous!
No thoughtful Christian who wants to do right will be guilty of wearing the “attire of a harlot” because to do so is to be guilty of lasciviousness, which is a work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). The penalty for lasciviousness is that those guilty cannot “inherit the kingdom of God.” In other words, those guilty of dressing like a harlot will spend an eternity in Hell.