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God's Dress Standards

Updated: May 29, 2023

Blog title card; topic is "Biblical modesty"
God's Dress Standards

The weather is getting warmer, which means it’s the time of year when people wear fewer and fewer clothes in public. This gradual undressing is a tendency for both men and women.

In 1 Timothy 2:9, the Bible instructs women to adorn themselves in “modest apparel.” The contrasting warning to this command is in Proverbs 7:10, which warns ladies against wearing the “attire of an harlot.” But what is “modest apparel”? And what is the “attire of an harlot”? One individual noted that “skin-tight clothes, low necklines, short dresses, short skirts, and short-shorts all fall short of the biblical expectation of modesty.” I suggest further that they more accurately represent the attire of a harlot.

However, we must recognize that clothing choices can be a little subjective. Antagonists say, “Well, how low is too low for the neckline, or how short is too short for the shorts and skirts?” One of the best ways to answer that question is to personally evaluate what’s going on in your heart when you’re putting on your clothes. Do you think, “What can I wear so that I get eyes on me?” If so, a better question is, “What can I wear that will best express a humble and modest heart?” Or, “What can I wear that will let others know that I am dedicated to pleasing God?”

1 Timothy 2:9 is in essence telling the readers to adorn themselves with clothes that proclaim godliness (verse 10). It’s been rightly said that Christians should not dress in a way that distracts others from God, but instead attracts attention to Him. But how do believers draw attention to God? By dressing with gender distinction.

Godly men should dress in a way that is unquestionably masculine, and godly women should adorn themselves in a way that exalts their femininity. Ladies should dress feminine but not flirty. Men should wear clothes that are masculine but not macho. Christians should wear clothes that cover and do not cling.

When men and women dress distinctly and modestly, God is honored. But, when men and women show off their bodies, the gift of masculinity and femininity is distorted so that it obscures the glory of God. This wicked world needs to see males and females who dress like they belong to God. The world needs to see Christians who have the character to not just go with the convenient flow of immodest fashion trends, but instead they let the Spirit of God flow through them.

If you’re saved, His presence exists inside you. Therefore, it should also always be evident on the outside. Making sure that others see Christ in you is your responsibility. So, as this weather gets warmer, make sure to represent our Creator well. Represent Him in ways that get Him more attention, and beware seeking that attention for yourself.


The above article was written by Pastor James C. Johnson. He is the pastor of NorthStone Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL. To offer him your feedback, comment below or email us at

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