Does what I wear matter to God?
How does what I wear reflect my walk?
What does the bible say about how we dress?
1 Timothy 2:9- 10 – in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
The exhortation to wear “modest” apparel, though directed to women, would apply to men also; not to wear anything that would be overly revealing or distracting to others. (Paul’s statement about braided hair, gold, pearls and costly clothing needs to be understood in the context of his times; those were typical trappings of the prostitutes of the day. In essence, Paul was saying, “Don’t dress like a whore.” We need to apply the modern equivalents.)
The passage quoted above from 1 Timothy does say women should dress in “modest” apparel. A more accurate translation might be “in orderly apparel, with modesty and sobriety.” What is modest apparel? Generally it is that which does not call undue attention to oneself or one’s body. In Arab countries a woman dressed in a maxi-skirt, a long-sleeved blouse, wearing no makeup, and having hair shoulder length or longer might still be considered immodest if she doesn’t have her face covered. In many places the “plain” clothes of the Amish might be considered immodest because they draw the stares of people because of their strangeness. Again, what Paul was emphasizing was that a woman should be noted for her good life rather than her good clothes. The Bible says nothing about women wearing pants because at the time it was written pants were a new item for men or women. Historically, even men were condemned for wearing pants until recent centuries
Both of these verses of scripture makes the point that true beauty comes from within and is properly expressed by good deeds rather than showy clothing and/or jewelery.
Why is it that women are the only ones that these scriptures seem to be addressing?
Women are not attracted to the visual appearance like men are. Men are drawn by appearance and physical touch and women are drawn by emotional connection.
Most of the reasons that are discovered for why women have to stay on top of their apparel is because of the paganism that was taking place in the times that these commands were written.
How should one dress for church?
The bible’s rules about dress cannot be applied directly to today’s situation. Attending church in a cloak, tunic, sandals and a turban or veil would cause quite a disruption in most churches! But the general principles of modesty and propriety can be applied. We should dress for public worship in a way that is generally considered appropriate. Standards of dress change over time and are different from church to church, but we should avoid any style of dress that is offensive or sends a message opposing the church community’s values.
The idea of “Sundays best” isn’t to impress others with your style, taste, or the amount of money you put into your wardrobe; the idea is that out of respect for God, we present ourselves before Him the best we reasonable can.
Common sense tells us that if we have nice clothing to wear to church, we should wear it. If you got an invitation to meet a human dignitary for whom you have great respect, wouldn’t you wear your best outfit for the occasion? When you attend church, you’re answering the statement that was made by the writer of the book of Hebrews to not withhold from assembling together and we meet to invite the Lord to be here among us while other learn about who He is and we take the opportunity to worship Him.