“…that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10) When women are given the command to dress modestly it does not give exceptions. The scripture does not say, “adorn themselves in modest apparel, unless everyone else is dressing a certain way and it is accepted by others as decent.” Why are we to dress modestly? We dress modestly to not cause our brothers to stumble (Matthew 5:18) and to profess godliness (1 Timothy 2:10). With knowing why we need to dress modestly, it should be a HUGE priority in our lives to follow God’s rule. God (of course!) knows what He is doing when He gives us commands. Since we want to obey Him fully, we know we need to dress modestly and discreetly. But do we ever reason with our own conscience and give into the world’s view of modest on certain occasions?
Most every girl dreams of their wedding day! White is the chosen color for wedding dresses to symbolize purity. In Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1849, this statement was printed: “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.” The wedding day (for many) is one of the most precious days of one’s life. Lord willing, two young people, pure in heart, are uniting with their life long spouse for the rest of their life. All eyes will be on the beautiful bride in her big white gown. She will have pictures for the rest of her life that will be passed down to children and grandchildren. She will hang pictures on her home walls of this big day. Sadly, many decide that since this is their special day, they can splurge for once and not be as modest as they usually are. But of all days, this should be one where you use the most caution you can in making sure you are not revealing your body to everyone. Wearing the white dress, you are symbolizing purity. When you wear a revealing wedding gown, no one will be thinking of how pure you look. From experience, finding a modest wedding dress is nearly impossible these days! But it is possible and you must make sure you find a dress that God would approve of. You can have sleeves put on, you can have tops raised, you can wear a bolero jacket or you can even have a dress custom made. Whatever you do, just make it modest and something you will not look back on and regret.
I have not spent much time at a public beach, but what I have seen of it is just a lot of SKIN. Most Christian women would agree that bikinis are no-no’s. Honestly, if a woman were to wear anything more than a bikini at a beach she would feel that she were being pretty modest compared to the other sun-bathers. We should not be striving to meet the world’s standards of modesty, but God’s. Many moral women would never dream of wearing a mini skirt and spaghetti strap or halter top outfit to the grocery store. But then they find themselves in that exact outfit (just in swim material) at a beach because it has more coverage than the average bathing suit. Many of these women have sincere hearts and are trying to be decent but we need to step back and ask ourselves if we are being completely modest. Could we cause a brother to stumble if he saw us? Would we be embarrassed if someone from our congregation showed up? Are we professing godliness in our choice of outfit?
These are just two examples that I am pointing out. God has given us women bodies that we can use for pleasing Him, or causing others to stumble. Romans 12:1,2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Our main goal in life is not to get as close to the world’s thinking as possible, but to do everything in our power to be women who others can tell are professing godliness! We need to remember this when we get dressed, no matter what the occasion.
By Alicia Bookout
Alicia and her husband, Garrett live in Clovis, NM where Garrett is the pulpit minister for 16th and Pile church of Christ. They have one sweet two-year old daughter, Emma and a second little one due in February. Alicia is a stay-at-home wife and mother. They both graduated from the Bear Valley Institute of Denver.