Everybody seems to have different ideas about how we should and should not dress. What does the Bible really teach about this?
Suggested Daily Reading: 1 Peter 3: 1-9
The Bible does not state specific rules regarding what is allowed or not allowed regarding minimum length of skirt, top price to spend on a new coat, maximum size of earrings, etc. God does, however, provide guiding principles in His Word, which we need to use and apply when making our decisions regarding dress and appearance today in our culture. Fashions may change and cultures are different, but the same biblical overarching principles apply to everyone at all times, in all places.
The following are six guiding biblical principles regarding our dress and appearance:
- Maintain a proper perspective – Inward beauty is more important than outward
(1 Pet. 3:3-4)
- Avoid Anxiety – Do not worry and become anxious about physical dress and
appearance (Mt. 6:28-30)
- Show due care for cleanliness and neatness – Avoid sloppiness, dirtiness and other
evidences of not valuing and caring (Eccl. 9:8 and Prov. 31:21-22)
- Demonstrate modesty – Avoid dressing provocatively, spending large amounts of
money, or wearing clothes that purposefully draw attention to yourself (1 Tim. 2:9)
- Dress fitting for the occasion – Appropriate dress differs with the activity planned and
occasion to be attended (Ex. 3:22 and 33:4)
- Reflect distinctiveness between male and female – Girls should not dress to look masculine
and guys should not dress to appear feminine (Deut. 22:5)
We know from the business world that one advertises according to the type of customers that one wishes to attract. The ads to sell Mercedes-Benz cars are designed differently from those to sell Jeeps. Why? Because each wants to attract a certain type of buyer. Someone interested in a Jeep is different from a person looking for a Mercedes-type car. A girl who chooses to dress immodestly will attract attention from guys, but not the type of guy who is genuinely interested in, or cares about her as a person. Why not? She advertised herself differently and attracted guys who were interested in what she was advertising.
While our inward motives, desires, feelings and thoughts are most important, they are not all that counts. Our dress and appearance is also important, as they reflect our inner being, our values and who we are as persons.
When you shop for new clothes, do you shop with a Christian mindset? Or in a worldly way? Do you consciously and purposefully shop using the six biblical principles? Or do you only use the world’s standards?