Clothing Q & A


Paula Hendricks answers some questions you might have concerning clothing and modesty.

1. According to the Bible, the primary purpose of clothing is to cover the body.

True. God designed clothing to cover Adam and Eve's nakedness, which became shameful after they sinned.

2. There's nothing right or wrong about particular clothing styles. It's all just a matter of taste and personal opinion. 

False. Choosing clothing styles is not just a matter of personal taste and opinion. Clothing choices should be based on biblical principles (e.g., modesty, moderation, and gender distinctiveness).

3. The Bible tells us what styles of clothing Christians should wear.

False. The Bible doesn't spell out specifics of "right" and "wrong" clothing choices.

4. Since the Bible says God looks on the heart, what we wear and how we appear aren't that important; it's what's on the inside that counts.

False. You can't separate what's on the inside from what's on the outside. The external is a reflection of the heart.

5. Our clothes and appearance reveal a lot about our values, our character, and beliefs.

True. A woman's clothing and appearance are powerful nonverbal communicators of what she believes.

6. What I wear is not really anyone's concern. I should be free to wear the kind of clothes that I like and that I feel comfortable wearing.

False. Everything we do—including the way we dress—affects others. As believers, we have an obligation to be sensitive to others and to avoid anything that could put temptation in the path of another.

7. Modesty means dressing in a way that is outdated, dumpy, and unattractive.

False. We may not be able to wear all the most popular trends, but it is possible to be fashionable and modest.

8. If a girl doesn't wear trendy clothes that are at least a little revealing, guys won't notice her.

False. It's a matter of what kind of attention you want and from whom. The right kind of guys will be drawn to women who are modest—inside and out!

9. Except for guys who are "over-sexed," most men are not really affected by the way women dress. Most guys don't even notice how women dress.

False. Even godly men can be easily enticed to lust by the sight of an immodest woman.

10. I can't help it if guys struggle morally because of what I wear. It's up to the guys to control their minds. I shouldn't have to change the way I dress just because they can't control themselves.

False. We may not be completely responsible for how guys think, but we are responsible for modest appearance so we do not tempt them to sin.

11. Parents shouldn't impose their standards or beliefs about clothing on their kids. They should let them make their own decisions, even if they don't approve of what their kids are wearing.

False. Parents are responsible to provide guidelines, instruction, and, where necessary, restraint for children who are still in their home. (This does not mean that parents should not give their children freedom to express their own tastes when those preferences do not violate biblical principles.)

12. Christians are free to dress as they wish, because we're not under the law but under grace. It's legalistic for parents or youth leaders to establish guidelines or standards for the way young people dress.

False. Every area of a believer's life is to be lived under the authority and lordship of Jesus Christ. Grace gives us the desire and ability to please God. Parents and spiritual leaders are responsible to provide wise, biblical leadership for those under their authority.

13. Christian women should never wear clothes that are revealing or that look sexy (i.e., clothes designed to arouse sexual desire or interest).

False. It is absolutely appropriate for a woman to be sexy (in private settings) with her husband!

14. There are some public settings where it is okay for Christian women to wear clothing that exposes their private parts (i.e., thighs, breasts).

False. "Place" does not determine modesty. Unfortunately, when it comes to swimwear and formal wear, many Christian women do not even consider the issue of modesty, or they are content to settle for a standard that is "relatively" modesti.e., modest compared to what "most people wear"rather than asking, "Is this truly modest?"

15. A woman can be covered from head to toe and still be dressed immodestly.

True. A woman can be dressed from head to toe and still be immodest if her attire is revealing, clingy, or too tight.

16. A woman can wear modest clothing and still be an immodest woman.

True. Modesty involves more than just our clothing. It includes our attitudes, the way we talk, and our behavior—how we walk, use our eyes, engage with others, etc.

17. Most girls and women do not understand the meaning, the power, or the benefits of true modesty.

True. Unfortunately, many Christian girls and women have never taken the time to discover God's will concerning biblical modesty. They do not realize the great rewards and blessings modesty will bring to them and to others.

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