With springtime upon us, it is a good time to review what the Bible says about pleasing God with our dress. Public immodesty is accelerating the breakdown of morality in our society and is also desensitizing the minds of Christians to accept and behave in a fashion which God has declared to be sinful. The Bible is clear about clothing and how Christians are to be adorned. It is extremely sad that a trip to the local mall allows our young boys (and fathers) to see 20 foot posters in the store windows displaying what they should not see except during marriage. Unfortunately, a heavy emphasis of “sensuality” and “sexuality” has been forced upon as a normal behavior. Let’s look at a few verses that help us to understand modesty, without getting hung up on specific types of clothing.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 (KJV) 9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Sinful women are pictured in the Bible wearing extravagant clothing which drew attention to their bodies and revealed their sinful motives. Godly men are warned to avoid such women (Proverbs 5; Revelation 18). Many men and women today go out of their way to dress without any regard to the standard of Biblical modesty. Some, even Christians, ensure that their clothing is extremely form-fitting in order to reveal just enough to draw attention while still giving the appearance that they are “attempting” to remain modest.
Christians (both men and women) are commanded to avoid arousing the desires of the flesh (Colossians 3:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:13-15; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 4:1-5; Titus 2:11-14; Romans 13:14). Men and women who dress in such a way as to purposefully draw attention to their bodies and arouse illicit sexual desire in others are sinning. We cannot control what others will wear, and therefore the Christian will often need to guard their eyes (especially men). However, we can control the clothing we choose and our intentions for how we dress. Dressing attractively (which most want to do) does not mean dressing immodestly or seductively. As one person has wisely stated, "If we want men and women to see the image of God in our faces, we will need to keep our bodies clothed in an appropriate manner."