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The Biblical principles of dress:


1 Tim. 2:8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.


This passage mentions some of the principles of appearance that the elders at Living Word Church want to teach. The principles are Biblical and should apply all the time. You should use good judgment when you apply the Biblical standards to a variety of situations, like church, work, and play.

1. Holiness- It should be outwardly apparent that we are not dominated by worldly trends.

2. Gender celebration- In a culture that is often trying to rebel against and confuse gender differences, we should celebrate them – men looking masculine and women looking feminine.

3. Modesty- We should not dress to say, “Look at me. I’m hot! (or flirty, sexy, powerful, rich, etc.)”

4. Decency- Show respect to the people we are with and activities we partake in. The level of formality should be appropriate for the people and event.

5. Propriety- Propriety means good sense. The activity we are participating can impact our appearance choices.


For example, how would these principles apply for a church service? You decide, however the elders have some recommendations.


For men:

  • Remove caps, hats, and hoods unless you need one for a health reason.

  • T-shirts, jeans, shorts, dirty sneakers, and flipflops are too informal.

  • Clothing styles that emphasize physique like muscle shirts, sheer clothing, or shirts unbuttoned too low are not modest.

  • Hairstyles should be masculine.

  • We promise not to discriminate against people with tattoos, but Christians should not get them.

  • Piercings are not recommended for men.


For women:

  • In the name of femininity, choose dresses and skirts for church services.

  • In the names of modesty and respect, please keep hemlines at the knee or below. Avoid revealing cuts like high slits.

  • Also in the names of modesty and respect, please avoid sheer fabrics, skintight styles, bra-less fashions, low necklines, bare backs, bare midriffs, or halter tops. Avoid spaghetti strapped or off- the-shoulder tops unless you add layers to ensure they are modest and respectful.

  • Hairstyles should be feminine.

  • We promise not to discriminate against people with tattoos, but Christians should not get them.

  • Piercings should be limited to traditional earrings.


Once again, these specifics are recommended for church services. Obviously, the principles of Christian appearance – holiness, gender celebration, modesty, decency, and propriety – will produce different specifics depending on the activity. However, we should never throw away the principles. In other words, always maintain the Biblical principles; adjust the specifics.

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