I write to you today, I trust to help you understand why it is important for you to be dressed properly and not be influenced by what is currently considered the norm in dress. As you share and witness God’s power in your life, may your manner of dress challenge your friends to see you as one who is free from the attractions of this world, no longer a slave to fashion. Clothing can declare one’s identity and image. Dress tells much about an individual, as it is a language that can show one’s nationality, occupation, social standing, tastes, and beliefs.
Ladies, It is important for you to remember that everything you say or do reflects on where you come from, what your ideals are in life and whom you serve. As a believer you will be recognized not only by your conduct or speech, but also your appearance; therefore the way you dress is considered part of your testimony as a Christian.
Normally as a woman you will take a real interest in clothes, for you desire to look pretty. Owing to your need for public acceptance and not wanting to appear old fashioned, you may constantly change your clothes to keep up to date or even to strive for a certain look. Slowly and unawares the world’s current trends may dictate to you as to what you should wear. You may not even realize it, but there are hidden snares in the steady display of new garments on the market, which I will discuss later.
In these days, it certainly is a challenge for the Christian woman to dress as daughter of King of Heaven, King of kings. As a princess you cannot act like the world, speak like the world, nor dress like the world.
Equally important to remember, is that your behaviour is bound to affect others. Someone copies almost anything that you do. You may think that your dress is your own business and a slight deviation from a modest look is permissible. However, just consider for a moment how your dress conduct might affect another person. You can either encourage or discourage someone. To you, it may only be a minor deviation, yet another lady maybe a young girl may interpret your action as meaning that she should not be so hard on herself and not be so careful in her choice of dress either. Since you get away with it, she may also. For example if you wear only a small split in your skirt, she may consider that wearing a dress with a larger split will not matter that much. So she begins to wonder, “Now, if they can do it and get by, well, they’re just as much thought of as I am. So why can’t I do it?”
Now you see that you cannot dismiss your appearance as unimportant and feel that it is of no consequence to anyone else.
We are living in a time of moral confusion and our generation’s immorality is reflected in many of today’s styles.
Fashion industry has little regards for modesty and its products often projects look that are inappropriate for someone who wants to mirror Christ.
The marvelous grace of God in our hearts compels us to reflect His holiness in the part of our being that other people see. When a person becomes a Christian, his experience changes every facet of his life not just the inward person but the outward person as well.
The Bible instructs us to wear modest clothing that is, clothing with godly appearance. Of course, our outward appearance cannot substitute for inward holiness. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves after they sinned, but God found their efforts inadequate. By making clothing of animals skins for them, He confirmed that they indeed needed modest clothing, but He also revealed that the holiness in appearance must be associated with God’s provision for our sins. Only by the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, do we obtain the righteousness of God that we seek to reflect outwardly.
God instructed Israel’s high priest to wear holy garments, “for he represented a holy God ” (Exodus 28:2). God also ordered the priests to wear clothing that covered their nakedness and forbad elevated altars upon which priests would walk and thereby expose their nakedness (Exodus 20:26; 28:42).
“Prov. 7:10 speaks of a woman with “ the attire of an harlot.” Clearly, certain garments are associated with sin and are not suitable for godly people to wear.
The principle that God wants His people to reflect His holiness applies to the New Testament Church (Peter 1:15-16). We are called to be living epistles read of all people , declaring to the world God’s holy nature and His abiding presence (2 Cor. 3:3).
Our outward appearance is one way in which we are unspoken witness of the transforming power of Christ.
1 Timothy 2:9 admonishes “ that women adorn themselves in respectable apparel with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.” 2 Peter 3:3 gives similar instructions. And 1 Cor. 11: 16 teaches that a person’s hair serves as an important visible symbol of his or her submission to God’s plan of authority and as a distinguishing mark between the sexes, Revelation 16:15 uses clothing as a symbol to instruct the church to stay close to God: “ Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed.”
Clearly, God puts emphasis on the outward appearance of a person. To an extent, clothing reflects the condition of the heart, and it sends a message to others about a person’s values.
My sisters, you must also remember that advocating modesty of dress and outward dedication does not mean advocation salvation by works.
Wearing godly dress is not a meritorious work to earn salvation rather it is a response to the saving grace of God. The blood of Jesus is our only righteousness. Our salvation comes from God, never from our good works. To think that we could earn His marvelous grace by adhering to dress codes would be a terrible mistake.
But to accept the grace of God and then be indifferent to Christ’s commandment for the holy living would discredit His mercy. If the church preaches Christ and His saving grace without teaching biblical guidelines to live by, it leaves people open to confusion and failure. Deliberate and continuous disobedience to God Word will lead to the loss of saving faith.
Who can view the Cross without wanting to conform to Christ? Who would want to continue his or her old sinful patterns of living when Jesus Christ died to bring deliverance from those sins? When people comprehend His holiness, they desire to become holy.
And while it is true that the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sins, it is also true that genuine love for Him restrains a person from presuming upon His marvelous grace.
In our success-oriented society no one considers it odd if a company requires its employees to conform to a dress code. Why then should a church that teaches neatness and modesty for the purpose of honoring the holiness of God be considered narrow, restrictive, or legalistic?
If we are to honor God in our hearts, it is consistent to honor Him with an outward dedication.
1 John 2:15 instructs us, “Love not the world ”: surely then, we would be foolish to mirror worldly values in our appearance.
Dressing is important to God. It is often forgotten that there are moral and spiritual reasons for wearing appropriately modest dress. What is socially acceptable today can hardly be regarded as modest or a reliable standard for the christian woman. Modest means humble, becoming, decent, moderate, proper, unpretentious, and unassuming. In other words, it is not provocative or revealing.
I also would also like to impress on you the fact that you have a “sacred trust” that you must not “defile”. Your responsibility is to maintain your chastity (virginity) just as the women or church is to be true to her husband. This quality of womanhood can be affected if you dress inadequately as it may imply a lack of innocence. By dressing properly you show good sense, correct taste and sound morals, which are there to help you protect and preserve your womanhood.
Not only should the body be modestly covered but also no form of underwear should be exposed, which will show lack of refinement and will give a wrong signal. Decent men do not respect ladies who wear revealing clothes. When they have impure thoughts about you, you will also be a partner in their sin, and not even be aware of it.
Therefore, you personally should be clear on what type of clothing reflects the definition of modesty. You love God & therefore certain attire is unacceptable for you and would not appeal to you. For example, your garments would not have the “on the skin” or “wiener” look revealing the body form, but a “loose-fitting” appearance (without your looking like an old mother). You do not want to make yourself an idol and thereby fit in with the world. How joyous it is to be different and be considered set apart from the world, a daughter of God, clearly recognizable by simply modest dress.
My dear, your appearance will reflect your obedience and appreciation to Him. It will reflect your chaste behaviour and you would at all times aim to harmonize your dressing with your conduct. Your identification is with Him and you would not want to be mistaken for a woman of loose morals.
The worldly styles are not beautiful in God’s eyes. You do not want to cover yourself with just any type of clothing. Let us consider for a moment the different spirits behind the types of clothing in fashion.
The unrighteous minds that design certain clothes are inspired by those whose leadership is accepted – idols’ show, politicians and musicians – with total disregard for decency.
As many women experiment with tight-fitting clothes, fashionable shoes and hairstyles, subtly Satan is also undressing them by presenting them with a “bold look” and a “bare look” and diverse forms of “skin shows”.
There are plenty of designs that concentrate on certain body parts with define sex appeal and show the “non-blushing” condition of this age.
Here modest dressing includes being sensible and bashful. There are some casual clothes for you that may seem unassuming, yet a nonchalant spirit is expressed, which can speak of the relaxed morals of this age. Many T-Shirts and tops have logos on them, having a double meaning, which preferably you would not desire to include in your wardrobe.
Now you do not intentionally go out to purchase wrong things. You certainly do not want to be associated with any of the trends, which convey these spirits. Yet these hidden traps, which are not apparent, are there to catch you, the true believer.
While still maintaining your own taste and individual style, take a careful check to determine whether your clothing is modest for all your varying activities. The change you may need to make is to adapt to proper footwear and garments that will reflect modesty and a more Conservative mode.
Certainly there are items you may have to discard in order to get victory from imitating the world. Remember, you want your clothes to be neat and tidy, suitable for the occasion yet beautiful in simplicity.
When coming to the house of the Lord, it is needful to respect the order by being presentable and reserved at all times. Certainly you would make a special effort in your manner of dress to show your reverence. Take care! Also not to touch your hair or rearrange your dress in church, as this will also be a distraction.
Finally ladies, I have mentioned these things as simple guidelines to help you in your choices. They are not meant to be a burdensome set of laws. When it comes to dressing, I trust that the Inside Teacher, the Holy Spirit will make you more aware of the misleading intent in fashions.
God has created in you a spirit of royalty and Godly character is your most prized possession. Worthy character includes dressing appropriately and it is part of the “A, B, C’s” (the basic teachings) to the message of the age. When you are in the company of men and even amongst those that your life could influence, allow your dress to characterize His presence in your life.
To achieve a godly appearance the important thing to remember is the over-all impression you make. Do work for a striking contrast to the worldly-wise woman’s dress. Let your feminine dress and manner radiate your devotion and love for Almighty God.
You do not want to copy the arrogant model’s walk. As others observe you, may you unquestionably be identified as a daughter of the True and Living King of Heaven.