likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10
- While the Bible only specifically addresses the need for women to dress modestly, the same teaching would apply to men in principle. Both men and women should bring glory to God in their manner of dress. Modesty in the way we dress is not just for the church; it is to be the standard for all Christians at all times.
- The key to understanding what constitutes modesty in dress is to examine the attitudes and intents of the heart. Those whose hearts are inclined toward God will make every effort to dress modestly, decently, and appropriately. Those whose hearts are inclined toward self will dress in a manner designed to draw attention to themselves with little or no regard for the consequences to themselves or others.
For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16
A godly woman endeavors to do everything with a God-ward perspective. She knows that God wants His people to be concerned for His glory and the spiritual state of their brothers and sisters in Christ. If a woman professes to be a Christian yet she dresses in a way that will unduly draw attention to her body, she is a poor witness of the One who bought her soul by dying for her on the cross.
- She is forgetting that her body has been redeemed by Christ and is now the “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). She is telling the world that she determines her own worth on a purely physical basis and that her attractiveness depends on how much of her body she reveals to them. Further, by intentionally dressing in an immodest fashion
- displaying her body for men to lust after, she encourages her brothers in Christ to sin, something condemned by God (Matthew 5:27-29) mentions a woman dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent here, the woman’s heart condition is displayed by her manner of dress.
Definition of Lust:
The dictionary definition of lust is “1) intense or unrestrained sexual craving or 2) an overwhelming desire or craving.”
- The Bible speaks of lust in several ways. Exodus 20:14, 17, “Do not commit adultery. . . Do not covet your neighbors house. Do not covet your neighbors wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns,” or Matthew 5:28, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.“Job 31:11-12 sums up lust quite nicely:
Job 31:11-12 For that would be a heinous crime; that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges; for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon, and it would burn to the root all my increase. Lust puts the body like an object to self-gratify. It makes a person not human, we were created by God in God’s image, but for your carnal pleasure.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:14-15
Definition of Modest:
The Greek word translated modest is kosmios, which occurs twice in the New Testament, once as “modest” in this passage (1 Timothy 2:9-10) and once as “of good behavior” in 1 Timothy 3:2. It came to mean “well-arranged, seemly, and modest.”
King David walked upon the roof:
would she have had the same effect on David? The answer is easy. It is a fact our dress can tempt individuals in ways they would not otherwise be tempted another thing some might say is, It’s the person lusting who is sinning, not me or, Evil is in the eye of the beholder. That is not true, and it shows a low regard for the souls of others.
And it came to pass in an evening-tide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 2 Samuel 11:2
What does the Bible say about Clothing?
How Fashion Should be seen by Christians:
The fashion industry does not set the standard for beauty. That standard is set by God alone and is unchanging. In fact, beauty has nothing really to do with clothing or a fashion or purse. First Peter 3:3-4 says, Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold, jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Fashion should never become an idol in our lives. The fashion industry and its products should not be something we worship. The vicissitudes of the fashion world reflect the fleeting nature of the world in general: The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:17).
It isn’t wrong to wear nice things or be fashionable or operate in the world of fashion as long as it can be done modestly it shouldn’t be flashy fashion. Jesus said, Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes (Luke 12:22-23). It isn’t wrong to be fashionable as long as we keep things in perspective and the fashions we choose do not contradict biblical standards. Fashions that are immodest, selfishly draw attention to oneself or blur the lines of gender are off-limits. Like leggings they create fashion, so no need for skirts or you make them shorter, the leggings make there own modesty, have to think these things.
Fashion Tells Us – Love Your Curves
High Heel’s are immodest because:
They point the calf muscle for a “seductive” look and heels symbolize “seductive” in our culture. Heels have your legs for the rear to stick out more and magazines show women with revealing pants, skirts designed to accompany women’s shoes, to give that height and angled legs. It’s hard to wear plain modest clothing with a pair of high heel stilettos and feel to be dressing pleasing the Lord. Heel’s angle the leg and bring attention to oneself, which is considered immodest you are dressed to please God and not people.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age (Titus 2:11-12).
Should a Christian woman wear a bikini?
Whether or not to wear a bikini is a question many women struggle with, but for a Christian woman, the issue is clear. The Bible tells us that God calls women to modesty, which means to not draw attention to themselves: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,
but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (1 Timothy 2:9-10). God also calls us to purity: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). The question is whether or not wearing a bikini is consistent with modesty and purity the answer is no, also going to the beach where you will see others needs to be thought about.
Example: While wearing yoga pants I stopped at the store, coming home from training would be a problem. In the store, there was a man looking at a butt-ox of a near women shopping. He was very fixed in what he was looking at I have since stopped wearing yoga pants in public.
Another issue to consider is that God calls all people to control their thought lives, so as women, help our brothers by dressing modestly: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-29). When we dress immodestly, it can lead them to commit the sin of lust and displeases God.
A lot of women think/say freedom through Christ means we can wear what is comfortable, or attractive or practical. Men will battle in their minds sometimes when they see a contour of a women’s body through clothing. Please understand that men are visual which is different from women and each person is responsible for their own actions. In this instance, women are responsible for dressing modestly men are responsible for their eyes and thoughts.
A further consideration is that our bodies, like our minds and hearts, belong to God and are to be used for His glory, not our own. Romans 12:1 tells us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship.” When we offer our bodies to God living sacrifices, we are saying, in effect, My body is yours, Lord. Use it for your glory. It’s hard to imagine a bikini-clad body being used for God’s glory.
Of course, wearing a bikini in a private location, like a fenced-in back yard, is probably acceptable, providing there is no visual access to the yard by the neighbors but even then there could be a risk, men will find a way. According to the verses above, we have the responsibility not to put the males around us in a position that they might lust or have impure thoughts. Matthew 18:7).
How we should dress:
- The “coat” (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was worn by both sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in use and form our shirt ( John 19:23 ). It was kept close to the body by a girdle ( John 21:7 ). A person wearing this “coat” alone was described as naked ( 1 Samuel 19:24; Isaiah 20:2; 2 Kings 6:30; John 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely naked.
- Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. John 21:7
- We see in Isaiah 47:2-3 the leg showing is called nakedness justifying the need for long pants and dresses to the feet.
Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. Isaiah 47:2-3
And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. Jeremiah 13:22
- Which seems to say closed neckline or collar most clothing has collars.
Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Isaiah 3:16
by the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. Job 30:18
and not cross-dressing:
Deuteronomy 22:5 deals with the issue of cross-dressing/transvestism (men/women dressing clothing and vice versa). The Hebrew word translated abomination means “a disgusting thing, abominable, in the ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages), in the ethical sense of wickedness.” Also, this is not a command that a woman should not wear pants/slacks as some use this passage to teach. The meaning here is that this cross-dressing and transvestism is done in order to deceive or to present oneself as something that he/she is not. This speaks to a woman changing her dress and appearance so as to appear to be a man and a man changing his dress and appearance so as to appear to be a woman.
Our dynamic behind this is the leaving of what is natural and taking on that which is in God’s Word called unnatural (Romans 1:24-27). Paul tells the Corinthian church that the way a woman/man wears there hair is a reflection of God’s order, and therefore a woman who cuts her hair to appear as a man or a man who wears his hair long to appear as a woman brings shame to them (1 Corinthians 11:3-15). Dress in a way that people can tell who you are there should be no confusion or ambiguity as to what your gender. The issue here is the motive and attitude of the heart that is evidenced in the choice to rebel against God’s standard for obedience.
- and this can sometimes be seen in the worship ministry performer’s lack of modest dress, many services are disrupted during worship. Because their fashions have caused distractions, moving the attention far from praising God.
Should Christian women wear makeup or Jewelry?
In examining the propriety of wearing makeup or jewelry, we start with 1 Samuel 16:7b: The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. This does not mean that the externals are unimportant, visual signals and the appearance we choose for ourselves can express rebellion, piety, carelessness, meticulousness, etc.
But appearances can be deceiving, deeper issues of the heart. Outward appearance is done for man to see, and we should be careful about that, and be for God but, God is more concerned with what is happening in the heart. In the context of rules for public worship, Paul says, I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God 1 Timothy 2:9-10,
There is a standard of dress that is right for a woman in a worship service. Paul gives no specifics, but a woman’s clothing is to be modest and decent and respectable. Wearing anything that is immodest, indecent, or disreputable is wrong. Drawing the line between modest and immodest can be subjective but each believer should be discerning enough to avoid giving offense.
also, there is a proper adornment for women who worship God and an improper adornment. The proper adornment for a godly woman is simply good deeds. Tabitha adorned herself beautifully by always doing good and helping the poor (Acts 9:36). The improper adornment for a godly woman is that which puffs her up with pride or draws attention to her outward appearance: the examples are elaborate hairstyles, gold and pearls, and expensive clothing.
The focus of a worship service is to be the Lord, not the latest fashion, the biggest diamond, or the chicest hairdo. Wearing a $3,000 dress or carrying a Gucci handbag to church or flashing gaudy jewelry does nothing to truly adorn the woman of God, simplicity is better. She would be much better off and the poor much better served if she sold the dress and gave the money to a Christian charity or gave it to someone sharing the gospel better time spent serving someone in need.
A public worship service should not be a fashion show. It’s that overindulgence and excess are improper in church guard against pride and be careful not to distract others (or ourselves) from what is truly important: the worship and glory of God and the service of others. Again in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, we have a contrast, this time between flashy externals and less-noticeable deeds.
EXAMPLE: In first-century Roman culture, women would customarily braid or twist their hair high onto their heads, often decorating their locks with jewels, gold adornments, and more to garner attention. The ornate displays indeed drew a public response, but the apostles point is that to flaunt one’s beauty for selfish adoration is not in line with the humility of Christ.
Jesus says in Matthew 23:12, Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. and Peter emphasizes the contrast between humility and modesty the outward, fleeting beauty and the inward, lasting beauty of a woman. A truly beautiful woman has a gentle and quiet spirit. She may not be noticed much in this world, but God sees the heart. To flaunt one’s beauty for selfish adoration is not in line with the humility of Christ, service should extend in your daily life. Christians should not be motivated by vanity in the use of perfume or cologne as well, scripture has good and bad examples of cologne use and we should be sensitive to people with allergies.
God’s judgment upon the women of Jerusalem:
Here is an example for a church bulletin:
On behalf of and for the benefit of men who are seeking to live in accordance with thewill of God and to keep themselves pure and holy, to the end that you do not encourage them to lust, and for your own eternal welfare, please do not call undue attention to yourself or expose yourself by wearing immodest apparel. Godly men do not want to see your thighs (or more) in clothing that is too short, your cleavage in tops that are too low, your navels in tops that are too short, your undergarments in clothing that is too thin, nor the curves and characteristics of your bodies in clothing that is too tight. Please look in the mirror at yourself (front and back) and bend over and see if your cleavage will show exposing yourself to others and ask yourself if your attire is becoming one professing godliness. You may need to make some changes.
How Does Modesty Apply To Children?
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
This is when Dad needs to step up to the spiritual headship that God gave him it’s up to the parent to teach their children at a young age and teenage. Some people have the idea that when a girl dresses immodestly, she is intentionally dressing to entice men. While that may be true of some women, it is not true for all of them. God has made us different.
Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8
Definitions of Dress:
Dress Materials Used: The earliest and simplest an apron of fig-leaves sewed together ( Genesis 3:7 ); then skins of animals ( 3:21 ). The Hebrews were early acquainted with the art of weaving hair into cloth ( Exodus 26:7; 35:6 ), which formed the sackcloth of mourners. This was the material of John the Baptist’s robe ( Matthew 3:4 ).
Wool was also woven into garments ( Leviticus; Deuteronomy 22:11; Ezekiel 34:3; Job 31:20; Proverbs 27:26 ). The Israelite’s probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were in Egypt ( 1 Chronicles 4:21 ). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the high priest ( Exodus 28:5 ), as well as by the rich ( Genesis 41:42; Proverbs 31;22; Luke 16:19 ). The use of mixed material, as wool and flax, was forbidden ( Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 22:11 ).
Form. The robes of men and women were not very much different in form from each other.