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Christian Modesty

It is that time of year again.  The time of year when people begin to put away the winter clothes and begin to introduce the new summer wardrobe.  (Well for some people, for me my attire doesn’t change much, I wear a shirt and tie while working, and shorts and a t-shirt when I’m not, no matter the time of year).  The airwaves are filled with advertisements for the perfect body and preparing for summer time.

As the temperatures heat up more skin is shown.  To the Christian we look at every issue through the lens of Scripture.  Even what we wear is under the Lordship of Jesus.  Therefore, Christian men and women need to think seriously about the issue of modesty.

The purpose of this article is not to provide a dress code, but rather to lay out specific principles that can aid thoughtful Christians to examine themselves and determine what those who love and fear the Lord should wear.

1. Don’t let the world set your standards.  If your definition of thinking through modesty issues is to go to the store and buy whatever they sell, then you have a problem.  A lot of stuff that are sold in stores should not be in the closet of the Christian.  Stores are trying to make money. They are not attempting to honor God with their purchases.  Christians, though, should be.

2. This is for the parents:  You have the right to say NO!  This right is God given.  The book of Proverbs clearly shows the importance of parents aiding children through wise decisions.   Children and teens have the tendency to make foolish decisions.  Parents you are there to limit them.  When it come to dress and modesty, feel free to be a parent.

3.  Ask: what does how I dress say about me? 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Peter 3 both show that Christians (specifically Christian women in the context), need to make sure that they dress modestly. They should want to be known by their godly character and their quiet spirits.  Immodest dress that unduly draws attention to a woman hinders this. Whether this dress is to show off wealth, or sexuality, women need to consider what they are saying with their dress.

4. Consider others.  The verses in Scripture that speak of offending others have often times been misused.  However, in this case it is appropriate to take them into consideration.  Offended, or being a stumbling block, in these sections, means doing something that causes your brother to sin.   Clothing has the ability to do this.  Seductive clothing can cause people to stumble.  So if you are wearing clothing to draw attention to your sexuality, then you need to consider what that will do to others.

5. Can we please have some Titus 2 Older Women and Men step up in our churches?!  In God’s plan older men and women teach the younger men and women.  We need some of the wiser men and women in our churches to develop relationships with the younger men and women, and then use those relationships as a way to teach them godly principles.

Would you add any other advice?

You can follow me on twitter @walkerwesley



  1. Great article, Wesley. I would add that modesty is a lifestyle, a character trait, not just how we dress. If we are truly exemplifying modesty in our lives, not only will our clothing reflect that, but our language, our attitudes, our entertainment choices, etc. will also. It is all encompassing in the life of a Christian. Also, there are great articles and websites out there that do define modesty in reference to clothing, and I think in our culture today and in the Church, modesty DOES need to be defined with specific guidelines. I can say this with no reservations because we visit many churches all across the U.S. and it’s a problem across the board. Christians need to think outside the box and think with scripture, holiness, and Godliness in mind, not with trends and fashions in mind. We are blending in with the world rather than standing out as different. Here is one of the links to the websites mentioned above:; Just some thoughts! Thanks for addressing this topic!

  2. Great job, Wesley. It is shocking to me to see what people wear. Actually, I guess it is more appropriate to say what they don’t wear. If we wouldn’t wear it to church then we shouldn’t be wearing it to the store, work or to school.

    I couldn’t tell you the number of times I hear “pick your battles” or “stores don’t sell anything else.” As a parent, this is definately a battle I pick and if the store doesn’t sell something more appropriate I do believe that is the wrong store for us to shop.

  3. As the father of 6 and the grandfather of 11, I appreciate your article. Modest clothing with teens is a challenge. I would like to ask that you take a couple of minutes to “proof read” your articles. Especially for spelling. And example is in your paragraph 1; “sale” should be “sell”. As a former English teacher, I see the decline in our langauge skills and believe that as Christains we need to be professional in our writings.

  4. Eric Reynolds

    May 11, 2011 at 11:50 am

    The challenge with this subject, as with so many others, is that we are dealing with principles. Melinda is not alone in asking for specific guidelines. I have searched the scriptures looking for guidelines, and basically found three (assuming that standards of nakedness in the OT are still true). I would love to know if there are others.
    1.) Fig leaves aren’t enough (Gen. 3:7). Literally, many bathing suits do not cover what a fig leaf would.
    2.) Exposing the thighs is associated with nakedness (Ex. 28:42-43)
    3.) A woman’s breasts are for her husband (Prov. 5:18-19)

    With that in mind, we have to further govern our choice of clothing with the principles such as having a sense of shame or bashfulness (1 Tim. 2:9). But it is hard to force my view of what that means on someone else. It seems to me we need to be overly cautious in our dress, to avoid sinning and/or being a stumbling block, and at the same time slow to judge others in matters of judgment.

  5. Wesley

    May 11, 2011 at 11:57 am


    I do “proof read” the articles, but at times I miss things, thanks for pointing that out. I will correct it.

  6. Wesley

    May 11, 2011 at 11:58 am


    Thanks. I agree with the pick your battles principle, but Christian parents should also “pick” to battle if their children are doing something sinful.

  7. Wesley

    May 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm


    I think you are correct. We have to provide the principles in Scripture and hope that our brothers and sisters are thinking through them in their decisions.

    I do think we can overstep our rights as Christians when we bind upon others our personal views of modesty.

  8. Jay –

    It’s great that you want Christians to do all unto God, including their writing & blogging, and to use proof reading as a means of giving God our best. I wish so many more people had that same heart.

    Might I request you also proof read your posts? When a Christian directs someone to proof read and cites specific errors, he must ensure his own posts are throughly proof read. I will refrain from citing your two errors since I trust you can find them given my brotherly nudge 🙂

  9. Wesley –

    Thank you for your post. To Christians who have lived through many summer seasons and think we have this issue under control, it is vital admonition for us to ensure our actions & thoughts align with God’s. We also must understand younger Christians & younger people in general struggle with these issues as we likely did when we were younger. We must purpose to lovingly build relationships with younger Christians to convey God’s truth & love to them.

    Modesty is a key subject as summer approaches, even early in the year as Easter approached. My solid Bible teaching church on Easter & spring Sundays sometimes looks like people are dressed for the beach. This can detract from a full focus on God for both women & men, even for older Christian men who have purposed to honor God with their eyes as did David in the OT.

    Paul instructed Timothy to guard against youthful lusts when Timothy was about 40 years of age. This shows men must guard their eyes & hearts at all ages to avoid sin. Women of all ages must do their part as well to avoid sin & tempting others to sin. Loss of rewards in Heaven could be the result of this area of life not being surrendered unto God.

  10. Wesley

    May 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Thanks Zeke. Our clothing should never distract others from seeing the glory of God in worship.

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