by Jeri Johnson
A Contributor to The Kids & Me
Hana Yasmeen Ali was the daughter of Muhammad Ali. She published a
book entitled "More Than a Hero: Muhammad Ali's Life Lessons Presented
Through His Daughter's Eyes."
In this excerpt, Hana Ali recalls a time when she and her younger sister
Laila were still living at home and preparing to go out for the evening:
When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister Laila
and I up to my father’s suite. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me
down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me
straight in the eyes and said, "Hana, everything that God made valuable in the
world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep
down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls?
Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a
beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine covered
over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to
them. Your body is sacred. You're far more precious than diamonds and
pearls, and you should be covered too."
Ali's words are beneficial not only to his daughters, but also to us as
Christians. The Apostle Paul tells us that we should dress in modest
apparel (1 Timothy 2:9). Moreover, our emphasis should not be on our
outward appearance, but rather a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very
precious in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:3-4). In addition, our body is the
temple of the Holy Spirit, and we are not our own. Therefore, we should
glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20).
We all have dress codes at work and our children have dress codes at
school. We readily adhere to these regulations. Does not the sovereign
God of the universe deserve any less?
Finally, Paul tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that
good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). This should
apply not only to our dress, but to every aspect of our lives.