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Plain, Modest Dress

Many try to claim that what one wears doesn’t matter, it’s what is in the heart. The fact of the matter is that the issues of life flow out from the heart. If one is proud, worldly and immodest in their spirit, be sure it will be expressed in their manner of dress. One’s clothing always speaks before their words ever do. Conversely, wearing modest clothing will not make you holy in your heart, but it will be a fruit evidenced when a heart is holy.

There was a time, not so many years ago, when even secular society believed in fully covering their bodies. Now we are living in a decadent society and with their plunging morality, they have become grossly immodest in their dress. The religious sector has gone hand in hand along with this trend, despite the apostle Paul’s warning: “Be not conformed to this world…” Romans 12:2. In all areas of our lives, including our attire, there are some things that are “are not of the Father, but are of the world..”

The Bible says to “…glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:20). “…I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thessalonians 5:23.

The Bible also gives some specific instructions concerning dress–

Our dress is to be unadorned, plain and modest:

I Timothy 2:9-10

“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.”

F.G. Smith said, “Women must be arrayed in ‘modest apparel…not with gold, or pearls, or costly array.’ These articles of adornment, then, are not modest apparel. The wearing of them is prompted, not by feelings of humility and modesty, but by pride in the heart. It is plain from this scripture that such things do not ‘become women professing godliness.’ Reader, are you a woman ‘professing godliness?’ Are you adorned with these things? If so, then they do not become your profession, and you are not arrayed in modest apparel.

“These principles apply with equal force to the male sex. Do not deceive yourself, reader, in the belief that you can continue to wear things which the Word of God forbids, and still be a spiritual person, filled with the grace of God. It is impossible. God’s children are to be ‘obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation’ (I Peter 1:14-15).”

I Peter 3:3-4

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of 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.”

(In ancient times, women would “plait” or elaborately weave things into their hair producing complex hairstyles. The apostle warns against this fad and instructs the saints to wear their hair plain and simply without unnecessary items in it. No doubt Peter would have much to say to professing women today if he saw their immodesty and worldliness!)

I Corinthians 11:14-15

“Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

God designed that men and women should dress and look differently:

Deuteronomy 22:5

“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.”

Apparently Moses and Peter and Paul felt it was their ministerial duty to address outward things! I would like to know how professing people today think they have the liberty to disregard these scriptures which were given by the inspiration of God, and continue in the prideful and immodest fashions of this world. Jesus says, “If a man love me, he will keep my words” (John 14:23). “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

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