What are God’s instructions to women concerning modesty? They are clear in 1 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.”
What does modest apparel mean? Some have told me that it simply means not wearing “costly array” as the verse clearly states. Is this all it means? No. Right after women are told to adorn themselves with modest apparel, they are told to do this with shamefacedness. What does this mean? It means to dress in a way that doesn’t draw attention to oneself. Showing too much skin draws attention to oneself. Wearing tops that are low, skirts and shorts that are high, and clothing that is too tight are all ways to draw attention to oneself. We are to dress in a way that brings glory to our Savior, not to ourselves nor in a way to entice men.
Does this verse mean that we are not to braid our hair nor wear jewelry? I believe all this means is that we should not wear our hair nor wear jewelry in a way that draws attention to ourselves. Girls are taught these days all about fashion and how to be in style. Teenage girls and young women WANT attention from the guys. It may even simply be to dress in a way that causes other girls to envy. God doesn’t want any of this from His children. We are to do everything for His glory, not ours.
In 1 Peter 3:3-6, we are given more instructions on how we are to adorn ourselves. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on 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 own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
What does God want godly women to adorn themselves with? He wants us to adorn ourselves with shamefacedness (not drawing attention to ourselves), good works, meek and quiet spirits, and being in subjection to our own husbands. This is what makes us beautiful, women. It’s not the current fashion, fake nails, Botox, expensive clothing, and jewelry. All of these will fade away. It’s our obedience to Him that makes us beautiful.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6
What Does Dressing Modestly Mean?