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Modest or Immodest Dress?

by Paul Smithson


As Summer temperatures rise standards of modesty seem to fall. Very few people, including many who claim to be Christians, are concerned about modesty.

We live in an age that glorifies immodesty and immorality. On almost every commercial advertisement, whether it be on a billboard, television, or in a magazine, and regardless if the advertised product is food, clothing, perfume, or automobiles, the allurement is not the product itself, but men and women who are dressed immodestly.

Thus, immodesty has become so commonly excepted that it doesn't bother most people. Most people feel no shame if they see someone on television. or in public who is dressed immodestly, and wouldn't have any problem dressing the same way.

The Israelites were condemned by God through the prophet Jeremiah because they no longer had any shame. "Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? There were not ashamed, and they did not know how to blush; therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time of their punishment they shall be brought down, declares the Lord" (Jer 8:12). Are you able to blush at that which is sinful? Do you blush at the shame of immodest dress?

Immodest dress is the type of dress that brings attention to ones body, to expose one's nakedness either by thin, tight, or revealing clothing. Immodest dress has always been sinful in the sight of God. When Adam and Eve's eyes were opened to sin and shame they realised their nakedness and made for themselves aprons of fig leaves and covered their loins and hid from God. But those little aprons they made for themselves, which probably covered up more than many popular swimsuits of today, were not enough to satisfy God; for we are told, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them (Gen 3:7-21). With what they had on, God did not consider them to be clothed. What they were wearing was shameful and they had reason to hide. Many today could learn a lesson from Adam and Eve and clothe themselves, covering their nakedness and shame.

Styles of clothes are not specified in God's Word. We don't have to wear tunics and turbans today-- styles change and they are different from nation to nation, age to age, and even person to person. Each person can enjoy different styles of dress as long as they do not violate the principle of God's word.

However, just because something is "in style" doesn't mean that it is modest. Just because it is hot outside, or because one may be involved in a certain activity doesn't change God's principles and standards. The standards of God never goes out of style-- "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away" (Mat 24:35). And the Scriptures declare in 1Ti 2:9, "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly..."(These principles also apply to men as well).

If you ever have any trouble choosing proper clothing to wear in public just ask yourself, "Would I want to be wearing this if the Lord returned? Would I want to be wearing this as I stood before God in judgement?" Knowing that nakedness is shameful and immodesty is sinful, you should be able to dress in a manner pleasing to God regardless of the activity in which you will be involved, or what the temperature is.