How Should I Dress...?

A Helpful and Concise Answer By Dr Terry W. Preslar
Copyright (C) 2008. Terry W . Preslar All rights reserved.

“...when thou comest, bring with thee...the books, but especially the parchments. (2 Tim. 4:13) Psalms 107:2 S É S Romans 12:1-2
P.O. Box 388 Mineral Springs, N.C. 28108 1(704)843-3858

How Should I Dress...?
What Is Proper Women’s Dress? (1 Tim. 2:9) The question of proper dress for women has been of interest to many. Actually, God’s guidelines regarding clothing and dress are very general. God expects Christian women to dress in “...modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety...” (1 Tim. 2:9) – that is, in clothes that are not flamboyant and garish. A Christian woman should not be an “exhibitionist” in attracting undue attention to herself by wearing clothing that is provocative, suggestive, or outrageous. By the same token, this does not mean that Christian women should be drab, colorless, or tasteless dressers. A Christian is to be a light to the world (Matt. 5:14-16), an example of balance and good taste. We should not be so out of step with the fashions of society that we stand out like the proverbial “sore thumb.” Clothes can be fashionable without being immodest or peculiar. Apparel should be appropriate for the occasion – a simple dress or modest, loose fitting skirt or “koolots” for everyday work, sports or school and a nicer dressier outfit for special occasions. A Christian woman should especially strive to look nice for her husband and family. In the Old Testament, God gives this law: “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.” (Deut. 22:5). This refers to transvestitism or cross-dressing. The simple principle is that men should look and dress like men – masculine – and women should look and dress like women – feminine (not seductively). By doing so, we will both glorify God. The “...meek and quiet spirit...” of a truly converted Christian woman will be reflected in the kind of clothing she selects (1 Peter 3:1-4). She will wear what is appropriate and stylish for any given occasion, but with proper modesty and decorum. And God will look on the heart of such a woman with approval. In this day of immodesty, lack of inhibition and an effort to break down distinctions between the sexes; there is a burden to try to install in our Christian women and girls the desire to be modest, feminine ladies. (“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your Spirit which are God’s.” 1 Cor. 6:20). The Bible has a lot to say about the world and worldliness in the life of the Christian (“And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” 1 Cor.7:31). Here we have a basic guideline which can be applied to dress standards. Christian ladies should dress in a manner that shows the world their femininity – not their sexuality. Some have the false notion that anything pretty is wrong. But GOD didn’t make women ugly! The woman was the crowning act of creation (“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Gen. 2:23). There is no thought or purpose in this Ladies Dress Code to make ladies look dowdy or unattractive, but just the opposite. It is hoped that our Christian ladies and girls may be able to gain the respect due their gender; while testifying of CHRIST that lives in the heart of the believer. (“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.” 1 Peter 3:4). GOD has created the human family in two genders and it behooves us to reenforce this distinction as HE has set it up. (“...In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.” Gen.5:1-2). The Unisex fashion of this day is contrary to the eternal position that is given the Christian and Christians are bound to resist the world’s practice of eroding every truth that is set for our good. Satan has set his goal in Isa.14:12-14: “...I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Is it not clear that we, as believers must seek a higher ground that expresses Godly kinship – and not worldly affections? (“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Col. 3:2 with Rom. 2:2; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17). Modesty calls for ladies and girls to wear their dresses below the knee and in a style that would allow them to sit, stoop, kneel, bend, etc. without being immodest or causing embarrassment to themselves or -1-

others (“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.” 1 Tim 2:9). “Modest apparel” does not refer to the characteristic about the clothing but to a specific type of garment. The Greek word used here is “katastole” (katastolh, Strong’s #G2689). The literal meaning of the word used here is “a long flowing garment that is let down.” A good rule is that no dress should be more than 3 inches above the floor when kneeling. A rule that might seem arbitrary but some rule must set the standard in the absence of a Bible measurement for “modest.” Regarding the wearing of pants and pant suits, this has been one of the most significant instruments on the scene in the past several years to break down the modesty and femininity in our Christian ladies. Very seldom has a worldly fashion such as the pant suit gained such overwhelming acceptance in Christian circles. The cut of the lady’s pant makes them immodest because they are form fitting, outlining the anatomy of the wearer in detail. This fact far outweighs the argument that pants are more modest for some activities than are dresses. For those activities which seem inappropriate for a dress, we suggest knee length culotte skirts or very full knee length skirts which would allow for a great deal of movement. Pants are also a great detriment in instilling grace and femininity into our Christian girls. It is clear from the Bible that pants (breeches) is a masculine garment (“And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.” Ex. 28:42-43). This garment is referred to in the Bible only as male attire. Observation will reveal a girl just naturally has a tendency to behave more masculine in pants than in a dress. The Bible states a sharp injunction against the blurring of the distinctions between genders with clothing (“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.” Deut.22:5). This text calls this practice an “Abomination” – Webster’s Dictionary defines an abomination as “a disgusting, hateful, or loathsome thing.” Because of our desire to produce Godly Christian young ladies that are not worldly, we only allow one ring per hand and one earring per ear. (“...not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” 1 Tim. 2:9-10). These are convictions that have come from the study of the Bible, human nature, and much prayer. They are not meant to be critical of those who disagree. This is, however, a matter of conviction and not mere opinion. The goal of this position paper is to help produce Christian ladies and young people who are not conformers to the world but rather are above average in their testimony to the world. God’s Word teaches that their testimony is important and should be maintained. It is important that a child’s convictions be consistently taught. No Church would guarantee that its Christian convictions would be the answer for every ill of society. But, a good family (“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Eph. 6:4) and a Bible believing church (“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 19:14) coupled with a such convictions (“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” Ezek. 44:23) will give every Christian a chance to excel in truth, talent and testimony. Your adoption of an appropriate dress code will help maintain a discrete testimony. Please help others to dress in a manner that will foster a good role model too. (“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves...” 1 Peter 3:5).



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Psalms 107:2 S É S Romans 12:1-2
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