Warmer weather is in the air in the panhandle of Florida. Down here that means- among other things- the beach! God has blessed this region with some of the most scenic beaches anywhere in the world (I do not exaggerate in saying this- believe me).
It also means for the next six months or so that shorts, tank tops, strapless wear, swimsuits, etc. will be worn everywhere- not just on the beach. Occasionally some of these styles even show up down at the church house (no swimsuits yet though lol!).
And this always sparks a debate- about what is appropriate and modest- to wear at church and elsewhere.
Below is a bulletin article I wrote a couple of years ago addressing this. Rereading it- it sounds sort of quaint in current culture. What is your take on all of this?
We are called by God to be different to make a difference. In every aspect of our life we are a people who uniquely belong to him. In baptism we “put on Christ” and in life we are to “wear” him. This explains the Apostle Paul’s statement in Titus 2:10 for Christ’s followers to “adorn the doctrine of God”. Putting on Christ, wearing him and adorning his word in modesty demonstrate that we belong to him. It is a positive faith statement to our culture which can be nullified by immodesty which is not reflective of Christ’s values. It is clear that God calls us to be a people of modesty. Here are some thoughts along this line for you to consider:
Don’t dress in such a way as to call undue attention to yourself. Folks in some New Testament churches were struggling with this. Some had a tendency to dress in outrageous ways with extravagant hairstyles and far too much jewelry- just for attention. This diverted attention away from the adornment of Christ. Paul addressed this problem. “I want the women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.” (1st Timothy 2:9-10 The Message)
- Don’t dress in such a way as to expose yourself. Contrary to growing cultural trends God has called us to cover up. Ever since the episode in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:7) public nakedness has not been in style with God. To dress modestly means to adequately cover ourselves. No one has to barely dress to be attractive.
- Don’t dress in such a way as to harm your Christian influence and reputation. Really this is what it is all about in so many ways. We are the “light on the hill” and should want to demonstrate the positive and healthy values of Christ to all around us. Modesty does that and presents us as a people wearing Christ- beautiful- like a bride adorned for her husband. (See Revelation 21:2)
Also consider these other ideas about modesty.
You can dress attractively and stylish and still be modest.
- Always try to dress appropriately for the occasion or circumstance. But do not allow any occasion or circumstance to tempt you to dress immodestly.
- Regardless of what everyone else does, God’s standard is the right one.
God has not given us any specific dress code, but he has left us enough teaching to guide our decisions on dress and modesty to reflect his will. Our challenge is to apply these teachings in our life so as to always demonstrate we belong to him- by the way we interact, by the way we conduct our life and by the way we dress.
“Adorn the doctrine of Christ” and dazzle the world with the heavenly style and beauty of grace, mercy, peace and love. It is always in fashion with God.