Discover the most popular scriptures explaining modesty in the Bible, and how it translates to our dressing as Christians in today’s world.
Should I wear tight shorts? Does my dress reflect my values as a Christian? Showing a little cleavage isn’t so bad now, is it? Is this dress too short?
You can ask yourself all these questions while standing in front of the mirror, usually in the morning.
And all of them are common questions that can arise in relation to the world we live in today and its daily dressing.
Modesty is a very controversial topic in today’s world, especially when God and His Word are mixed up. It gets pretty complicated when the lines between what the world accepts as modesty and what God says are blurred.
In this article you will learn the true origins of biblical modesty and learn what the Bible does and does not say about it. You’ll also discover some Bible verses about dressing modestly and how to put this wisdom into practice in your wardrobe.
What Does The Bible Say About Modesty?
When the word ‘Modesty’ is said, a lot of people are quick to think about the appearance of a person. This is mostly centered around their choice of clothes, hairstyle, jewelry or shoes.
However, the dictionary meaning of modesty refers to the quality of it; freedom from vanity, pride, etc. It also means respecting propriety in behavior, speech or dress. It speaks of simplicity; in moderation.
Modesty, according to the Bible, is the intentional art of reflecting more of God and less of self in every aspect of your life.
It is freedom from the world’s ideologies and definitions. In order to live a life of humility and self control, it is a kind of decision that can only be ordered by God.
It reflects itself in the way you treat people at school or your workplace. It shows in your thoughts and even the manner in which you speak.
Being loud or rude, using cuss words, speaking inappropriately or being found in the company of pervasive people, these are all minute things that can make up an immodest life that doesn’t please God.
Related Content: 9 Benefits of Dressing Modestly
What Does It Mean For A Woman To Be Modest?
According to the scriptures, the Bible explains that this is an honest and peaceful attitude of humility.
It is this attitude that is later effortlessly expressed as decency in dressing, handling, how you speak and how you act.
Christian modesty has a lot to do with your motives, intentions, thoughts, and what you have decided in your heart to do. The Holy Scripture says: as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
If a woman chooses to wear tight shorts to the mall in order to draw attention to the back of her head and encourage men to lust after her, that is inherently displeasing to God.
The believer is the expressed image of Christ and how He would appear if He were physically on earth. It gives the believer a set standard for how she should dress.
Christian modesty does not seek attention. It’s not arrogant or hypersexual. Her motives are pure and he only seeks to glorify God.
Your body is the house of the Holy Spirit, and it should be beautifully, gloriously, and decently clothed.
5 Things The Bible Does (And Doesn’t Say) About Modesty
1. The Bible doesn’t teach that our bodies are shameful
Our bodies aren’t shameful and they weren’t made with such intent. God defines our bodies to be holy and sacred because it is a temple.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, people are reminded that God lives inside of us and so, our bodies should be treated with honor and respect. This is quite the opposite of shame or disgrace.
2. The Bible does not teach that the victim is guilty
When you hear a rape case or an issue of a man looking lustfully upon a woman, it’s common for the blame to be put on what the woman was wearing. And that is not biblical.
Even with women who dressed decently, they are still cases of rape and sexual harassment reported by them.
While God expects you to dress with Him in mind and do your part, you are not responsible for the sin of another.
3. The Bible doesn’t teach to blame others for our own sin
You are responsible for your own conduct (Gal 6:5) and if you sin, own up and confess to your wrongdoing.
4. The Bible doesn’t teach a dress code
Instead, scripture gives us guidelines on how women should appear in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 below:
“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.”
5. The Bible does teach mutual and self respect
Always do well to respect those around you and also respect your body.
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5 through MSG translation:
“Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.”
The common tagline that urges you to do what you want when you want it is mostly indulging selfish concerns and isn’t of God.
Do the things that please God. Use that as your standard. Also be considerate of the people around you. This is where culture can be relative with modesty.
How Does God Want Us To Dress?
God tells us to not draw unnecessary attention to our bodies, especially our innermost, most sacred body parts that aren’t meant for just any eye to see.
Instead, women are to focus on making themselves attractive by the good things they do to the glory of God.
The Bible urges us to focus on beauty from within, and not the kind the world is fixated on. Christian women are called to be the opposite of vain, boastful and obsessed with their outward appearance.
The Holy Spirit is the first guide in supporting modesty verses you see in His word. He’s always speaking and He will tell you what doesn’t please Him.
There may be certain clothes in your wardrobe that don’t glorify Him. Whenever you put them on, God calls you out and gently tells you about them. His word will always support what He says to you on your inside.
Even while shopping for Christmas or first communion gifts, be sensitive to God. Pay attention to the true definition of dressing modestly in the Bible.
Why Does Modesty Matter?
Modesty is important to God and should be so to those who love Him and want to please Him. Humility and decency are a way of life born of a true and consistent relationship with a loving and holy God.
In today’s world of declining moral values, it is the believer’s responsibility to model, promote, and internalize God’s original plan of behavior.
Be brave and bold. A Christian woman is not of this world. Her way of life and every outward expression of her should reflect the very essence of God.
Scriptures on Modesty
“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
“And on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty.”
Christian modesty is completely different from what the world says. The believer is called to a higher standard of beauty and lifestyle based on God’s word.
Today you can take an honest look at your life. Do your clothes and accessories look like the clothes and accessories of the women of the world, or are you truly expressing God in what you wear?
Even on social media, can people tell you’re a child of God just by looking at your feed, or are you the other way around?
Modesty is not just what you wear to church or church meetings on Sundays. It’s also all you are from Monday to Saturday. What you post on social media and your personal entertainment that no one sees.
To help prepare your mind for biblical modesty, turn your eyes and heart to verses about modesty. Let your life conform to God’s word and let it flow naturally into your actions.