Scriptural Modest Dress!



The Scriptures Decree Modesty In Dress 



In ancient times, as throughout many countries today, a persons social rank could be determined by his dress. Similarly, dress is a significant measurement of Christian conduct and practice. Christians can often be identified as such by their outward appearance. 

Our people predicate their practices and beliefs upon the Bible. In baptism, we practice immersion in the name of Jesus as the apostles did. We teach and preach the baptism of the Holy Spirit and as a definite experience by speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives us utterance. 

Since we adhere as carefully and closely to the Scriptures as possible in matters pertaining to salvation, we also measure the standards of christian practicalities, such as clothing by the same rule. 

New Testament Teaching for Women 

The New Testament makes several specific statements pertaining to women’s dress in the epistles of Paul and Peter. 

“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands , without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works” (I Timothy 2:8-10) 

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they may also without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning or of plaiting of the hair, and of wearing of gold, or putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their husbands” (I Peter 3:1-5) 

Paul admonished women to dress according to certain standards and listed them in this order: modesty, inexpensive and non ornamental attire, and clothing that becomes godliness. To be modest means to be decent and respectful. The apostolic Christian woman seeks to emulate all the fine virtues of Christian womanhood, so carefully and prayerfully selects her attire in order to not unduly expose her body to the stares of the public. She is not so old fashioned as to look like a monstrosity, but she is deliberately methodical in choosing clothing that will dignify her womanhood without provoking the stares of the opposite sex. 

She has dedicated herself to the cause of Christianity. This manner of dedication avoids expensive, extravagant clothing and superfluous, ornamental jewelry, permitting only the functional use of a wristwatch. The great needs of Christian evangelism and charitable assistance to the poor demand that she deny herself the exorbitant tastes of expensive fads so that she might practice the christian art of concern for others. In this manner , she professes a godliness that stems from a heart-felt desire for virtuous, holy living. 

Her hair style is once again predicated upon the Word of God, which teaches her to let her hair grow uncut; “Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature it self teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is glory unto her; for her hair is given her a covering” (I Corinthians 11:13-15). 

Against this picture of scriptural womanhood, we have the worldly female of today who tries by every conceivable means, it seems, to flirt with hazards of indecency. Costumes and apparel that are inclined toward nudity are sought after intensely. The results are demonstrated in a wanton display of seminude parades on our public streets. Many authorities agree that this concentration on exposure of the body has contributed greatly to the serious problems of immorality that threaten the basic foundations of our homes and families. It has also been a cause in inviting serious sexual atrocities. 

The worldly woman also makes a hobby of fashion crazes and style shows. She sets up a contest with her neighbors as to who owns the most expensive jewelry, who wears the latest clothes, and who has traveled the farthest to buy the latest creation. It makes for an interesting discussion over a cocktail, but it does not alleviate the serious problems and needs of a reeling world, which Christians are called upon to address with a Christ-like zeal to help desperate souls, both by their means and their consecration. 


Distinction Between Male and Female 

Moreover, the Scriptures teach a great difference between femininity and masculinity as to dress. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 22:5). 

The desire to emulate men in dress has seriously affected the fine and noble characteristics of womanhood. Often it takes a second glance to determine the sex of a woman today, due to the distorted and strange garb she wears and the close proximity of her attire to that of a man. The Scriptures call this practice an abomination unto God, or something God hates. 

Perhaps some will say this standard has changed due to the inception of the age of grace introduced by Jesus Christ. But this verse deals with moral law and with the nature of God, which never change, not with a ceremonial ritual fulfilled by Christ. Moreover, when the Apostle Peter wished to instruct Christian women about proper conduct, he used Sarah, the wife of Abraham, as his example (I Peter 3:5). Thus, we are not out of order in this instance to use a verse of Scripture from the law. We rightfully go back over the years and learn a spiritual lesson that sharply rebukes the customs and practices of our day. 


Scriptural Guidelines Summarized 

Holy women of old concentrated on adorning their spiritual life by developing the character of the heart. This is the major concentration and beautification of the Christian woman. Thus the Apostle Peter used the great dedication of women of another age to impress the women of the first century with the need for the ornament or adornment of a meek and quiet spirit. 

By the same token, we are within reasonable rights to insist that Christian women today heed the influential, sensible, and divinely inspired advice of the apostles. 

Here are the biblical guidelines concerning Christian example in dress for women. 

        1. Modesty.    
        2. Moderation in cost.    
        3. Inclination toward godliness (decency).    
        4. Avoidance of outward adornment.    
        5. Shamefacedness and sobriety.  
        6. Distinction between male and female.


Guidelines for Men 

The New Testament does not provide instructions expressly for men’s clothing. Apparently immodest dress was not as much a problem for men in those days, even though it often is today. However, in may instances it may well be said, “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” 

The trend to indecent exposure is even having an impression on the male sex today. Comfort seems to be the overall objective instead of a cautious, considerate thought for decorum and dignity. But comfort can be achieved without some of the ridiculous, outlandish costumes now being displayed on our busy avenues. 

We can honestly proclaim that the basic principles of godly appearance that apply to Christian women should also apply to men; namely, modesty, moderation, decency, elimination of ornamentation and costly finery, and distinction between the male and female in hair and dress. 


Tract #6104
Word Aflame Press
8855 Dunn Road
Hazelwood, MO 63042-2299 


  1. I am currently involved in a small, but loving church that I have been involved with for several years. I am a teacher in Bible Study and I also teach on some Sunday’s when the pastor is traveling. I love this church, but our Pastor does not believe in speaking in tongues, the Rapture, etc, even though he believes in being led by the Spirit. I came from a background of all the above foundational truthes but for some reason, walked away and did compromise a little (or alot), but that is behind me. I do want to fellowship with a Church that believes and teaches the things of the Whole BIBLE, not just parts that fit our doctrine. IS this the church that believes and follows after the Whole Bible?

  2. Dear heart , I think you answered your own question with your last part of your post
    Is this The church that believes and follows after the WHOLE BIBLE

  3. dear: sis roper

    my heart goes out to you because the bible warns us of a time when pastors and prophets will not teach sound doctrine. I had this same experience with a church i joined but GOD knew my heart he Knew that i desire to live for him. and he lead me away from that church. i encourage you to listen to that voice that is speaking to you telling you to move on something isn’t right. i would like you to read the book of acts ( the book of actions) it talks about the day of pentecoast once you read acts 2:1-8 theres nothing that can turn you around you will no longer be bound by a ministry that teaches half truths. pray pray pray that God leads you to a church that is true and teachs the word of God.i also encourage you to read the four love letters in the bible mathew, mark luke and john. These book teach about the love the jesus had for us and the price he paid so we would live and not die. after the love letters read the book of ACTS then JUDE pray and then read revelatiions
    I love you,Jesus loves you,and i will keep you in my prayers

    Sis Parker
    one lord one faith and one bapistim

  4. 2. Moderation in cost.


  5. yes i grew up in apostolic enviroment. There the pastor preached more about clothing, no earings, no tithing, no women preachers, etc. I had to read the bible for myself and find out what the word of God says I should do. We should be represenatives for God’s Kingdom in the earth. Yes we should dress modest but we should look nice at the same time. How are we going to minister to the millionare that needs Jesus if we cant reach them. Or the drug dealer that has nice clothing but want to get out of the lifestyle of drugs. Our focus is on the wrong things. We are majoring in minor things. Our main focus is to please God and be an effective witness to win souls.

  6. I am currently attending an apostolic church that teaches the doctrine I believe in and grew up believing- Repentance, Jesus name baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost. After attending this church for 3 years, however, I have not heard any teaching on dress, etc. It seems like no one wants to step on any of the newer converts toes. So now the church has ladies who wear pants, earrings , etc teaching Sunday School and in other leadership roles. I really need guidance in this as I love the people in the church, but I have 3 small children who are being influenced. God Bless!!

  7. When asked by a new convert about outward holiness, that would be an excellent time to witness to them about your testimony (meaning telling them what God has done for you and how you responded outwardly and inwardly) and the need for inward and outward holiness.

    Ultimately leadership is going to have to make the decision to openly have classes on inward and outward holiness. Find out from your Pastor when the next holiness series will be preached/taught. Ask him if his stances are still in line with scripture. You can also ask him at what point in time does he feel you should explain outward holiness to a new convert.

    Get a copy of the current new converts lessons and see if its even in the curriculum. If not, volunteer to add it for them if you have a clear understanding of the scriptures. If you start to get resistance, there is a possiblity your pastor and his ledership staff no longer wish to preach or teach on outward holiness. In that case, the only teacher is going to be YOU and the HOLY GHOST!

    I once was at a church that drastically started to change outwardly. Well, I saw the missionaries taking some new members asside periodically and tell them about holiness dress. You could always tell a new convert that had been talking to a missionary because they immediately made changes as deemed by the Holy Ghost. People can argue with YOU but they cant argue with scripture and the Holy Ghost convicting. Stay prayerful knowing that we are in the last days and many changes “could” come because of it. God always has a remnant of people who will follow what thus saith the Lord. You make sure YOU are one of those that are a part of God’s remnant Church.

    Holiness might not be popular, but it’s still right and I’d rather be RIGHT than to be popular. With that attitude, allow the Spirit of the Lord to lead you and guide you taken care NOT to usurp the authority of your Pastor.

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