SHOULD CHRISTIAN WOMEN DRESS IN A SEXUALLY PROVOCATIVE
A friend of mine had
a fascinating conversation with a friend from an Islamic country
who was visiting this country.
The visitor had converted to Christianity about five years
previously and this was his first ever visit to the UK.
His impressions were very interesting!
Many things shocked him: the freedom which westerners just take
for granted, the prosperity, the huge range of choices in just
about every area of life.....and much else too. But this man was
especially shocked by one particular thing. He told my
'Your western women often dress in a manner in which only
prostitutes would dare dress in my land! You have advertising
boards erected in your cities advertising things like holidays
and shampoos which - to us - would amount to what you call
'pornography' because the ladies in the pictures are almost
naked!' 'On any warm summer day, your cities have many women
wearing short skirts and low-cut tops. It is very shocking to
somebody from my part of the world.'
The man had noticed other things about modern western women
'In our land when women's eyes meet the eyes of other men ,
they usually quickly lower them as a sign of modesty and loyalty
to their own husbands, but here many women will look men
challengingly in the eyes and will even talk to other women about
quite shocking things when men are in their company! All of this
is a shock to men from my part of the world.'
But when this man was later invited to a Christian service, he
was apparently even more shocked! There he saw a few ladies
wearing skirts and dresses with long and provocative slits and
quite a few ladies wearing tight jumpers and tops fully revealing
the shape of their bosoms. He had not expected to find this in a
place of Christian worship! Now from what I was later told about
this man, he was no 'prude' nor was he extremely naive, being
happily married with four children, but he was genuinely
Now what is your reaction to this? Perhaps I should warn you
right now that your reaction will be very indicative of whether
you stand 'sure and fast' with Jesus Christ or whether
worldliness has made inroads into your spiritual
I am in sympathy with the reaction of this Asian Christian. I
don't want to offend any of you ladies but I would seriously ask
you to consider some of these things!
Is it decent and seemly and modest for a woman who has
committed her life to Jesus Christ to try to dress herself the
way that so many women do today? I speak of such things as
the current trend towards very tight blouses and tops,
skirts with very long slits, very short skirts, almost backless
dresses and other things too. Of course, our society has been
throwing off all the last vestiges of propriety, modesty,
tastefulness and decorum during the last few years; television
programmes (especially after a certain hour of the evening)
frequently contain swearing, cursing and nudity. Certain cable
television channels now openly and unashamedly specialise in
pornography and, I am told, lesbian-based pornography is
especially in vogue! All of this should genuinely horrify the
Christian and, I am sure, it mostly does, but are we tempted to
compromise our own standards? Now I would never suggest that
because a Christian woman may be occasionally a little unwise in
what she wears, that means she would ever stoop to watching
pornography, but we must realise that the liberal and permissive
forces which have so influenced our society, are continually
pushing for looser and looser standards in every area of
Now the modern reaction to the objection to women wearing
revealing attire is to say, 'They can wear whatever they like. If
you have a problem with that, the problem only exists in your own
mind!' However, I think that this is a very disingenuous and
unsatisfactory response. God made men a certain way and the way
that God made us means that we can be sexually influenced very
easily! To deny this is just to be naive, simplistic and to bury
one's head in the sand!
Now here is the truth:
You women can actually cause a normal, well-balanced man
(not some kind of pervert) to SIN
- I REPEAT 'SIN' -
if you wear provocative and
Let us never forget that sin starts in the mind!
For the Christian man, Jesus plainly shows that a man can commit
adultery with a woman in his heart and thoughts even if he never
as much as touches her hand! Matthew 5: 27-28(NIV), says
"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has
already committed adultery with her in his heart"
We must take Jesus' comments to heart! However, I would just
point out that for a man to notice that a woman is very beautiful
is not a sin, nor is it even a sin to be tempted; but this sort
of temptation certainly can very quickly become a sin for a man!
But we should certainly realise that there is a big difference
between noticing that a certain woman is beautiful and lustfully
staring and leering at her, especially when 'lustfully leering'
allows the imagination to become too involved.
Throughout the Bible, we see standards of modesty and humility
upheld for women who would serve God. 1 Peter 3 gives this advice
to Christian women:
'Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as
braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes.
Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading
beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in
God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who
put their hope in God used to make themselves
(1 Peter 3:3-5 NIV)
We must realise that for either a man or a woman to purposely
dress in order to attract undue attention to themselves is
not an indication of Christian humility! An
American friend tells me of a group of ladies in a church which
he once attended having an ongoing friendly competition as to who
could where the most eye-catching and sexy clothes in
Sunday services! After much deliberation, my friend
brought the matter to the notice of his pastor - but the pastor
was already aware of this and he told my friend that he was
enjoying the spectacle! Moreover, he said, some of the women
involved were very influential in the congregation and he backed
off from taking them to task! 'Hey, if I handled this the
wrong way, I could be out of a pastorate' he frankly told
But it should not take too much spiritual insight to see that
there was something very seriously wrong with the leadership
within that congregation and I am not surprised that my friend
decided to leave their fellowship!
What I Am NOT
I am not saying that
our modern western Christian women should dress in only dull and
drab clothes! I am saying that, as an act of worship to Christ,
they should attire themselves modestly, not drawing undue
attention to the shape of their bodies, avoiding
tight-fitting clothes, whether worn on the upper body or lower
body (I do realise that larger women have a particular problem
here and I am sympathetic towards that), being very
careful about the length of skirts and dresses, as well as
being careful about low neck tops. Moreover I would appeal to
such women to keep modesty in dress in mind as an act of
consideration and Christian love toward the men within the
At the risk of sounding very old-fashioned to a few, I would say
that for an obviously attractive woman to 'play down' her beauty
by wearing neat and discreet but pleasant clothes, being
determined not to attract undue attention to herself, is a
wonderful joy to behold! Of course, ladies should be clean and
well-groomed (as you ladies invariably are).
I sincerely hope that I am not offending anyone who is reading
this, but - if you feel a little offended - why?? I am simply
upholding the biblical standards of Christian womanhood!
Robin A. Brace