The world treats our bodies as sexual objects and the styles in fashion are designed to emphasis this. It is hard to go to the store to buy clothes that are meant to cover us up when the style is about wearing as little as you can. Women are being immodest for the sake of fashion.
It is a challenge that sometimes there is no difference in the way that women in the church and women in the world dress. Fellow Christian women, I want to challenge you. Are you trying to glorify Him with what you wear or are you giving in to the temptation to be in the world?
Are we as women in Christ dressing to the standard we are called to? In 1 Timothy chapter 2, verses 9 and 10, we are told “that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control… but rather by means of good works as is proper for women making a claim of godliness.”
What does respectable apparel look like?
The hard part is the Bible doesn’t clearly lay out a set of rules, such as wear a tank top but not a belly shirt or your shorts have to come down to a certain length. It sure would be easier if it did but I am grateful that it doesn’t for the very reason our culture is different. We don’t wear what the ladies wore in the 1st century AD. The Bible does give us some standards to help us.
From the heart
Modesty is first and foremost an issue of the heart. You can be clothed fully clothed yet still conduct yourself in a way that shows your heart is seductive. I witnessed this very thing on the Gold Coast a few years ago when I was witnessing to some Muslim women. They were fully clothed as their religion commands yet in their eyes and mannerism it was a seductive air. They were trying to get the attention of the men around them. Check your heart, ask yourself what are my motives for wearing this. Look inwards first. Ask God to convict you of anything that may be indecent for you to wear.
We are called to serve the King so we are to be different from the world. The bible tells us that we are aliens in this world, our citizenship is in heaven not on this earth. If this is true why do we so try to look like the world. Sometimes it is so easy for us to try and serve both masters but the Bible is clear that we can’t. Either we serve Christ and we will be different or we serve the world and fit right in.
We are called to not be self-seeking. As believers we are called to be meek and gentle. Our focus is to be putting Christ on display not ourselves. We who identify as Christians are supposed to be reflecting Him in all we do, in our apparel, in our mannerisms.
Is our outfit respectable? Are you regarding your body as a holy vessel used to worship the Lord or is it being used to worship the body itself. The best way I can help us understand this is to look at two very different modern women, Princess Catherine and any one of the Kardashian clan. These women dress very different. One is going to be a head of state and dresses that part in respectable wear yet in beauty, and the other is trying to stay relevant and current and shows off any part of her body to get noticed. Which one shows that they have more respect for the task? Well it depends, what is your task, is it to serve the king, or to be in the world?
We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. By wearing the outfit, is it going to help your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ draw closer to Christ or will it be a distraction. Are you thinking about those that may struggle with lust and are attempting to be pure when you decide that in your Christian freedom that you are going to dress how you want?
We are called to be different.
Women, I know what you wear is such a hard topic. You don’t want someone telling you what you can and can’t wear, we are in the 21st century after all. I know we have rights, but we are called to be slaves to Christ. I implore you to remember the higher calling you have as women who serve the King. We are called to a higher standard. Let us encourage each other to strive for modesty and purity for the sake of the King. Let us be accountable to each other in love.
Genevieve Wilson is a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.