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A Christian Perspective on the Woman's Dress

Updated on April 28, 2023
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MsDora, Certified Christian Counselor, has spent four decades empowering young and adult women to pursue positive, productive womanhood.

Picture by Karen Arnold.
Picture by Karen Arnold. | Source

We can compare a woman's dress to a candy wrapper. Of course, she is much more valuable than a candy. The comparison begins and ends with the fact that both she and the candy are more presentable when covered rather than exposed.

We would never buy a candy bar that is unwrapped. Neither do we want the wrapper to be loose. We reject it if the slightest tear in the wrapper exposes the candy. It could mean that:

  • dirty hands have touched it;
  • curious customers have pinched it;
  • children may have licked it;
  • people who could not afford to buy it may have smelled it and put it down again.

The candy wrapper gives information about the manufacturer, the brand and the ingredients. And it protects the candy. How can we be sure of what we are getting when pieces of the wrapper seem to be lacking, suggesting that the candy has been or can be tampered with?

What does it mean when a woman comes out in public with her wrapper open, exposing parts of her body that should be private?

The Dress Is The Wrapper

The woman’s dress is her wrapper. It gives information about her value system and her character.

Occasionally, there are misjudgments; but for the most part, admirers get some indication of the woman’s self-worth and self-respect from the way she dresses. So, what does the dress say about the woman when she wears one that leaves her overexposed?

  • Is her choice of the dress based on her self-worth?
  • Is she comfortable with exposing her body parts to every passerby?
  • How does she plan to handle sightseers who want to touch?

When a woman dresses to expose her breasts, her belly button, or the size and shape of her thighs, she downplays her value. Decent people do not want to see body parts that should be covered.

A woman who is scantily clad gives the impression of wanting to attract shoppers who are looking for bargains, not the kind who wants to pay the full price of commitment for intimacy with a woman.

"Respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control" (1 Timothy 2: 9 ESV)
"Respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control" (1 Timothy 2: 9 ESV) | Source

The Shopper

A man who is shopping for a good women focuses on her character, not on her clothes. He looks for beauty put forth, not for styles put on. He becomes wary of a woman who wears the kind of dress that makes her character seem questionable.

He looks for beauty displayed in her caring smile, her confident posture, her empowering words and her gracious voice. He admires her talents and her display of common sense. A good man wants to develop a spiritual, emotional connection before he shows interest in her physical form.

So, what type of person does the woman expect to admire her in the clothes she wears? If she values association with respectable people, it is wise for her to wear clothes which make her look respectable. If she looks trashy or cheap, she attracts shoppers who want to touch everything in sight and move on.

The Occasion

Some manufacturers change the wrapper according to the season. Appropriate is the key word.

There is a place for shoulder straps, bikinis and bathing suits. Exercise and dance classes dictate a certain kind of costume. Comfort is essential when weeding the garden on a warm summer day. Even, when wearing these kinds of garments, the woman's sense of decency dictates that the woman consider the people in her company.

Some sportswear and beachwear come in layers to accommodate cover up when not actually engaged in the activity. Let wholesome thoughts and good moral judgement guide the choice of what to wear. If uncertain, ask a reliable friend to help you decide what is and is not appropriate.

Correct dress equal good manners
Correct dress equal good manners | Source

How Men are Affected

Most kids reach for candy wherever they see it; it would be foolish to think they would stare at it and not want to try it. That has to do with habit as much as with age.

Some women defend their immodest dress habits by arguing that males should focus on good thoughts and not be affected by what they wear. However, thoughts feed on what the eyes see. It is already a habit for men to look at women who walk by. If the men are surprised by the sight of breasts popping up above low necklines; the shapes and colors of underwear revealed through see-through skirts; the outline of very private parts framed by short tights, they will look again.

Then their brains signal the testosterone to respond in the way that healthy males should. They may become sexually aroused and forced to deal with situations which could have been avoided if only their female friends were more sensitive, respectful and morally minded.

Many young women have never been told about the embarrassment that their male friends experience when they look at women who are dressed inappropriately. They need to find out, probably by asking an older woman. It helps to respect the men, who usually will return the respect by wanting to protect instead of explore their female friends.

Bible Guide on Acceptable Dress

Christian women live by Christian guidelines, every day of the week, every time they dress. For them, it is more than looking fashionable. It is also modeling Christian attitudes in their appearance. Here are some other aspects which deserve some attention from the woman who wants to present a Christian influence by her manner of dress and her attitude toward her physical display.

(1) Purity (1 Timothy 2: 9, 10)
(2) Inner Beauty (1 Peter 3: 3, 4)
(3) Her Body, God's Temple (1 Corinthians 6: 19)

(4) Responsibility (Romans 14:12)

(5) Honor and Dignity (Proverbs 31:25)

(6) God's Approval (Romans 12:1)

What Should The Dress Say About The Woman?

It should say:

She is modest in her appearance. She wears decent and appropriate clothing and not does not draw attention to herself by the way she fixes her hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For she claims to be devoted to God and she makes herself attractive by the good things she does. (Adapted from 1 Timothy 2: 9, 10)

© 2011 Dora Weithers


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