Immodest Apparel In the Church

Fashions often include dresses that are too short, blouses cut too low, skirts that are strategically split too high, bare midriffs or backs, etc. Furthermore, this time of year, the warm weather and sports events encourage people to adorn swim suits, shorts that are too tight and too short, halter tops, etc. This manner of dress is immodest when worn in public. It is shameful that people in the world dress this way; it is inexcusable that Christians do it! Yet, it happens. Some members of the church are even careless in their dress when they attend worship services and Bible study.

Many times these fashions are designed to be provocative and are worn either for that purpose or with the knowledge of their effect. The wearers often intend to or know they will attract the sensuous glances and stares of the opposite sex. This attire will either expose enough to satisfy eyes full of adultery, furnish a view that incites lustful imaginations and unwholesome thoughts, or cause the godly to struggle to keep their minds pure. Those who deny the motives, consciousness, or effects of those who wear immodest apparel are either dangerously na ve or shamefully dishonest.

Paul instructed Christian women to dress modestly (kosmios), with shamefastness (aidos), and with sobriety (sophrosune) (1Timothy 2:9). These instructions demand that Christians, especially Christian women, dress decently; they must dress in a way not to bring shame but honor to themselves and with good judgment and a constant rein on all passions and desires. Decent dress is demanded by a good heart and good character. Christians should desire to please God more than they desire to be fashionable or popular or to attract the attention of those of the opposite sex.

The problem of immodesty in the church suggests that some Christians are still worldly in heart. Get the heart right, and the dress will be right.

(reprinted from Good News, May 26, 2002) (Still greatly needed!! H.H.)