1 Timothy 2:8
[Women] should wear decent and appropriate clothing (v.9).
The southern Italian town of Castellammare has
created its own version of the “fashion police.” The
police force there is authorized to fine women who
wear risqué clothing such as micro skirts, skimpy jeans,
and low-cut shirts. One town official claimed that the
ban made Castellammare a “civilized city.”
While I’m not sure these laws elevate the city to higher
moral ground, I do like the goal of the standards, which
was to improve public order. Paul had a similar aim
in mind when he penned some guidelines on modesty
within the church walls.
In every place of worship, Paul called women to
be modest in their appearance. Specifically, he said,
“[Women] should wear decent and appropriate
clothing” (1 Timothy 2:9). Ladies, I don’t believe this
means we should limit our wardrobes to the fashion
equivalent of garbage bags. However, we also can’t rely
on worldly standards to determine what’s decent and
appropriate. Thumb through a current fashion magazine,
and you’ll see what I mean!
As Christians, we’re to “carefully protect those parts [of
the body] that should not be seen” (1 Corinthians 12:23).
We can’t afford to believe the lie that being attractive
means attracting attention to our bodies. Rather, “Women
who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves
attractive by the good deeds they do” (1 Timothy 2:10).
Spiritually speaking, the issue of modesty calls us to answer this question: Are
we more concerned with drawing attention to ourselves or to God? The answer
seems like a no-brainer, especially if we’re talking about a church setting.
Bringing glory to God should always be a priority in the life of a believer. It’s
possible to honor Him even with the clothes we wear, as well as by leaving
some outfits hanging on the store rack.
—Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Read Proverbs 31:25 to see how being clothed with “strength and
dignity” fits with the character of a noble woman.
Why is it so important for both men and women to dress modestly? How
might you promote modesty within your sphere of influence?