An Overview of Biblical Modesty

“…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.”  1Timothy 2:9-10 

As believers in Jesus Christ, our primary goal is to glorify Him in all that we do.  Although the Bible does not give us an exact list as to what we can and cannot wear, the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy provides an excellent standard, particularly for women, as to how we can glorify God with our attire.  When we enter our local place of worship, women should be dressed in “respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.”  There will always be endless discussion as to what this means for “today’s” church, but simply put, your body needs to be covered.  To enter church with intimate areas of your body showing for example: cleavage, thighs, stomach, etc., is not respectable.  Clothing that leaves these areas of your body exposed serve as a distraction and show a general lack of reverence for our Lord.

Many may ask, “well isn’t this rather legalistic and over the top to suggest that a woman dress a certain way?”  The answer to this is, no.  The modern American church has been fed a very unhealthy dose of “come as you are.  (We’ve all heard it.)  The result of the “come as you are” message has been exactly what it implies.  Come dressed, half-dressed, sensually dressed, provocatively dressed, just come.  This mentality is not in line with scripture as seen in 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Sunday morning worship services are a time for the Body of Christ (born again Christians), to gather together to worship our risen Savior.  When we come to worship Him, we should do so “in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)  To honor our Lord and to show respect for our brothers and sisters in Christ, let’s make every effort on Sunday mornings to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)  Dressing modestly is one of the ways we can do this.