rebelling against low expectations

Why do we dress up to go to church?


Being raised in the buckle of the Bible belt, this question has been weighing on me for a while.

It sometimes frustrates me that we insist on putting on our best clothes to go to Sunday morning service, but then on Wednesday nights we wear our jeans with holes and our racerback tank tops, and it’s somehow different.

I want to know what the Bible has to say on this, and I want to know what you all think. Do any of you know of verses that apply to this?

Outside of “tradition,” why should we as the body of Christ want to look nice on Sunday morning?

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently 7 Comment(s)

Have something else you’d like to discuss? Just submit your question or topic (and any elaboration you’d like to provide) using our Submit Content Page. We look forward to hearing from you.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Discussion Questions

are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected].


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Well in my church it won’t matter what you wear as long as it is appropriate. But people in my church dress nice anyways. I did wonder about the same question and I haven’t found the answer yet. I will ask one of my church group.

  • I’ve grown up in church’s that you could wear your work clothes to and no one would care. I for one, really hate getting up early and having to look nice, it would be so much easier to just throw on some sweats and go.

    But my family has always had a rule that you need to look respectful. After all, you are going to God’s house. Would it be respectful to show up at an important person’s house looking like you just came in from whatever messy job you were doing? We need to show respect to Jesus Christ, and part of that is maybe looking a little nicer when you go to HIs House. We are allowed to wear jeans to church, just as long as they don’t have rips or stains. And like Aaronpaul Torres said, as long as it’s appropriate. Hope this helps!

    • Yes, this is pretty much what I would say as well. God accepts us just as we are and in whatever clothes we are wearing, but it shows him honor and respect to dress nice on Sundays for church. I used to be much better at doing that when I was younger, mostly because my parents wanted me to dress nice (skirts and dresses for my sisters and I). But now that I am no longer living at home, I don’t take as much thought or time into what I wear for church. But I am glad for this reminder because I think it is actually more important than I have been treating it.

    • I think, modest choice of clothing must be a lifestyle as sons/ daughters of God, not just a Sunday thing.

      Modesty doesn’t mean you’d have to wear neck tie+ long sleeves or dress.

      • absolutely modesty should be incorporated into everyday!

        Modesty is pretty much wearing something that brings glory to God, rather than to yourself. I could really go on about this because I’m a fashion lover and dressing cute and modest is actually a hobby of mine! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the thoughts, HeartSeed.

  • Outside of tradition, I think it’s mainly a reflection on what we’re doing – who we’re meeting with. After all, we are meeting with the King and Creator of the universe.
    Pretty much what @lianaseager:disqus said.

  • Well, other than tradition… I think it’s just a respect thing. And people can tell we’re going to church? And I had another brilliant thought, but I forgot it.
    Who asked this question, anyway?

    • That’s a good point – if people see you driving out on a Sunday
      morning dressed up, people will probably assume you are going
      to church and may ask you about your faith.

  • Well, for tradition and when we go to the meeting place for God’s people to learn about God Shouldn’t we dress our best? It’s not required but it’s out of respect.

  • I’ve attended two churches in my life. The first was a church where, like you described, EVERYONE dressed up. All the time. The second (where I happily attend now) is a place where sometimes I wear a dress to Sunday service and other times I wear jeans. I think it depends on your heart. If you feel the need to dress up out of respect for God, go for it. But there are also the arguments that dressing normally makes visitors more comfortable and that God accepts us as we are, which both are true. I think it all really depends on your heart.

  • Most people will tell you that it is simply to show respect for God in His house. I think some people do it for that reason, but the majority, knowingly or unknowingly, do it because 1.) tradition, 2.) blend in with the rest of the church if it happens to be a dressy church, or 3.) you are looked at as a more “spiritual” or godly person if you dress nicer. Sad, but true in some churches.

    That’s the reason we do. Little fuzzier on the reason why we should… I’m no closer to God’s presence in church then I am out jogging, and my accessibility with God does not depend on my clothes, otherwise I’d be in bad shape most days!

  • Ok I have heard both arguments. The “If you were going to someone important house would you dress up? Yes? Then why is God different? And the “God accepts everyone as they are.” I have been to both types of churches. I personally really do like just showing up as I am. And really I believe if new people come to church and see everyone dressed up, they might think that everyone has everything “all together” with perfect lives, which may make them feel as though they can’t be accepted and won’t come back. And if people are busy worrying about the clothes they are wearing or whatever then their thoughts aren’t really focused on God, which ultimately is the reason we are at church! When my parents were checking out churches, one church they went to all the girls wore skirts or dresses and my mom wore black dress pants and a nice shirt and she personally felt awkward (and I might be adding this but I believe she felt judged for not wearing one.)

    So I don’t really know the “right” answer, but those are my thoughts!

    • I don’t think how a church dresses turns off new people. I think it’s the demeanor of the people there. I don’t think it was because all the girls wore skirts and dresses that your mom felt awkward. I think it was because they didn’t make her feel very welcome. You can go to a really conservative church, and if the people are friendly, and aren’t looking down on you for what you wear, it can be a nice experience!

      • Yeah what you are saying is true! I guess what I am trying to say is she felt looked down upon because she wasn’t wearing what everyone else was. And she was a bad person or whatever. And I just have heard a lot of bad stories about people being rejected from the church because of how they dress. Or when people were accepted as was, then there life was changed. So that is part of my feeling on it. Again like you said it’s peoples attitudes really, that make people feel uncomfortable/unwanted/like they don’t fit in. Sorry this took so long for me to respond to by the way!

  • I think we should dress up nice for church because we should look be at our best for worshipping Him. I also think it’s respectful to Him and it helps to show others that we enjoy worshipping Jesus and it is a good thing. I’m not sure why folk don’t dress up as much on Wednesday nights – you guys wear tank tops?!!

  • There are some clothes that are downright wrong to wear to church (or anywhere for that matter); but if the clothes aren’t immodest and worn to “wow” other people, I really don’t think it matters what you wear to church. Why should it? We’re here to worship God. Not to judge each other’s clothing. With that said, if you go to a church that you know is dressy, I think it’s simply respectful to dress according to that church’s standards. Your clothes can and do make a statement about you. Personally, I like to dress up more to go to church, simply because I’m worshiping my Creator! He deserves my Sunday best! πŸ™‚ Next time you see someone in your church whose a little more liberal then you, you probably should go tell them how wrong they are to wear that revealing, ungodly outfit. Then, you can go sit on the front row and show them how true, godly worship is supposed to be done. HA! take that, liberal person!

    • Lol… sort of… but you’re totally right about being respectful to the church’s standards! What do you guys do after church? At our church we usually go outside and have fun in the church garden, after biscuits (sorry, ‘cookies’!), and play games and stuff.

      • Our youth group usually stands around and talks. πŸ™‚ Sounds boring, I know. Lol Sometimes we might play softball in the afternoon or something.

  • I believe it doesn’t matter what we wear to church, as long as it’s modest. “Because the Lord doesn’t look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord look at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

  • No matter where you live, it’s very hard to claim to be living in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I went to a conference with a ton of Southerners, and there was a very *ahem* serious debate regarding who actually lived in the buckle. XD

    Anyway, I digress.

    I got to a church that is quite casual. My thoughts are that you can still dress respectfully and respectably, even if you’re wearing jeans. As long as you’re honoring God with your clothing (i.e. Dressing modestly, not trying to draw attention to yourself), it’s ok.
    On top of that, I feel that whatever motives we as a church may have had to dress up for church has simply ended up being tradition. We just do it. So of course, we need to respect the customs of the church we attend, but beyond that…am I less of a Christian because I wear jeans to church sometimes? I don’t believe so.

  • It’s the concept of giving God your best. You’re coming together in corporate worship and you wear the best you have. This may not mean a suit and tie or a skirt; I have read about churches in rural, poor areas where all the men would show up in their best overalls and suspenders because it was the best outfit they had. That’s the idea behind it. However, doing it without that mindset–legalism instead of worship–is not OK. It’s your heart that matters. If it’s modest and isn’t to draw attention, I don’t see a problem with it.

    A lot of it also has to do with tradition and how the people at the church dress for church. Respect how they dress. My church is kind of a mixture–some people show up in dresses and suits, some show up in jeans and a fitted T-shirt or polo. So it doesn’t really matter here. I was raised to wear skirts to church. So I do. It’s not out of place here. However, on occasion I have had a friend visiting from out of town who dressed in jeans and an everyday T-shirt with a message across the front. She was my guest and to make her feel more comfortable, I pulled out a very non-dressy jean skirt (I wouldn’t feel comfortable without the skirt) and a fitted T and wore that that week.

    (When my church still had a Wednesday night service, we still dressed up somewhat, though not as much as on Sunday. I don’t know the reason why people don’t dress up for Wednesday, if they attend a church that dresses up on Sunday.)


    • The Sabbath is different from other days, it was blessed and made holy. It’s the Lords day. You don’t have the wear the fanciest clothes money can buy (extravagance isn’t really Godly), but certainly the best clothes you do have and making yourself extra presentable, I think it shows respect and humility to God, how highly we regard Him, and know He values us etc.
      But we should never disregard others on their dress etc. And it’s certainly not trying to pretend that pretty clothes cover a hard heart etc.

  • Hey Y’all!

    May I ask a question? (I’m assuming I can. XD)
    My question is this: Why is it really bad to wear hats in Church?

    I never wear a hat to church. I never have considered wearing one either. But my relative got so angry that someone was wearing their hat in church that they wanted to go over and smack it right off of their head and give ’em a what-for and a how-to. So any info into why my relative blew a gasket?

    Thank you and have an Amazing Day!


    • I think it’s because it used to be a sign of respect to take off your hat, so people would tip their hats off their head as a greeting or remove them entirely when meeting a lady. I guess this morphed into wearing a hat in church being disrespectful. (I’m not 100% sure about that, someone correct me if I’m wrong!) Nowadays, though, since nobody really does that anymore and hats are just hats, I don’t think it would be a real taboo unless a church had a dress code or something.

      • I believe you are right with your statement, Mary Cole. I believe in the 18th or 17th century men would tip their hats to a lady no matter what rank in society they were. Plus a slight bow would be included.

        Thank you so much for replying and God Bless you!

    • There’s nothing wrong with wearing hats to church! I love hats. But especially for guys (not so important for us girls) its important to show respect by taking your hat off during prayer and possibly during the sermon too. Hope this helps!!

    • I think it comes from this verse
      “Any man who prays or prophesies with something on his head disgraces his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head–it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil. For a man ought not to have his head veiled, since he is the image and reflection of God; but woman is the reflection of man. (1 Corinthians 11:4-7)

      In first century culture, it was considered a mark of respect for a man to remove his turban in the presence of a superior. Similarly, a man should remove his head covering when he came into God’s presence in prayer. Additionally, it was the custom of pagan men to cover themselves while praying, so as to avoid distractions. So, men were to remove their head coverings to avoid any association with paganism. & yes it flowed on from what @disqus_w9sbELBoVw:disqus wrote about tipping of the hat in more recent culture

      • Thank you for replying, Al lve! Thank you for providing the history with this. Very interesting.

        God Bless!

    • It’s really dishonoring to God for a man to have his head covered while praying. As a rule the guys in my family/Church just don’t wear hats to Church period. (See 1 Cor. 11:4-7) For a woman it’s not at all wrong, although it definitely could attract unwanted attention.

      • Thank you so much Laura for replying! I will definitely look that Bible passage up. Have an amazing day!!!

  • Really in the end it is all about respect; giving God your best. I would say that God deserves our respect and that we either will give it to him or we won’t. But that we should show respect to him. Nowhere in the Bible (correct me if I’m wrong) does God explicitly command us to wear nice clothes, so I would say that we do it so we can honor God with our appearance.

  • My church doesn’t really “enforce” a dress code. We have some families that come dressed in nice slacks, while others come with muddy jeans. Personally, I like to dress in nicer clothing for church, but that usually means a nice shirt and nice jeans.
    Some people want to dress up for church because they feel like they should look their best for walking into God’s home. But the church building is just a building. WE are the church. God resides in us.
    Christ says “come as you are”. He doesn’t say “come in the best suit you’ve got”, or “come looking your absolute best. I expect nothing less.”
    I think it’s fine to dress well on Sundays. But a lot of people in a lot of churches use it as a show. So many churchians come dressed to impress. A lot of churches suggest that they should. This is why a lot of people wear nice clothes to church. Others, like me, dress nice in order to look presentable, but not out of necessity.

    • I agree. Sometimes it becomes a fashion show πŸ˜› Like one church i went to recently, it was all about below the knee skirts. There was just this culture there that made it very uncomfortable for me (who loves jeans and has like, twenty). I was feeling the pressure to dress like them. Or other situations where you feel like you’re the only person wearing something nice. It’s hard to find a balance and I like your thoughts on this! πŸ™‚

  • In my church, it encourages me to see how accepting people are. We really don’t care if you show up in your “Sunday best” or in sweats and a t-shirt. What you wear on Sunday is between you and God. And personally, i enjoy getting dressed up to go to Church. It doesn’t make me ‘holy’, or make me feel closer to God. I just think it’s respectful. Besides, why wouldn’t we want to show God we put value on going to church by putting some effort into how we look?

    So there’s my take on it πŸ™‚ God bless!

        • awww, i love meeting people like me!! πŸ™‚ There are very few. What do you enjoy doing? And if you like music, do you play any instruments or something?

          • MUSIC!!! My passion <3 I play piano, violin, and like two chords on a guitar πŸ˜› How 'bout yourself?

          • Then you are just like me!! lol. I play violin and piano and nothing on the guitar! I want a banjo tho…
            I really like your profile pic too!

          • That’s awesome! I like writing off and on, but i’m no good at it πŸ™‚ I also am a Lord of The Rings nut πŸ™‚

          • I love writing too. And I love the LOTR too. I actually have the violin solo book. It’s awesome. Here’s the test: (to see how similar we are) I would take winter over summer any day! I would choose to go to Ireland or Alaska over the summer than some tropical island πŸ™‚ You?

          • I’m actually more of a spring person, but i would take Ireland over something tropical any day πŸ˜‰ It was fun chatting with you! I have to go work on school now, though πŸ™‚

          • quick question, what have you used for a math course? the algebra course I’ve been using is killing me. trying to figure out what to do for geometry. Any thoughts? thanks!

          • I used Abeka videos for geometry, and it was very hard for me to track with, but a good curriculum none-the-less. πŸ™‚ What did you use for Algebra? I’ll be taking that next year πŸ™‚

    • I think your church has the right attitude. It doesn’t matter too much what we look like because God is with us all the time, even when we’re wearing pajamas! And I think it’s especially important to accept people no matter what they’re wearing, otherwise some might be a bit put off.

  • This has already been pointed out. But, we dress up to show God respect. If we were to go to the White House to visit we wouldn’t show up in jeans, a old t-shirt, and muddy shoes. We would dress up and look our best. God is so much more than just a simple president, and we’re going into his home. It’s just showing Him that His pleaser and showing Him respect means more to you than your comfort.
    But you don’t have to be uncomfortable to dress up. πŸ™‚

  • Well, now that you ask, “Do any of you know of verses that apply to this?” I know there must be many, but I did happen to read these verses this morning:

    “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” -1 Timothy 2:9-10 NIV

    Someone may no doubt say, “If the part about braided hair no longer applies, then the part about gold, pearls, expensive clothes, good deeds and modesty no longer applies either.” =vD

    • Personally, I don’t think the description is to be taken that literally. It was meant to illustrate the guidelines to the people of the time, and in that time braided hair, pearls, etc., were often signs of pride and vanity. There are a different set of guidelines that apply today. But, I totally agree with you! That’s a great scripture for this question.

    • I think what @disqus_6IB7imdm0u:disqus said and also I don’t think these verses are just for Sunday, but for every day. I am not sure if that is what you thought or not, but just thought I would clarify that. πŸ˜‰

  • I think dressing up for church is showing Christ our respect and attention to him. Yes, He doesn’t EXPECT us to dress up, but guys, if we were going to meet Christ, wouldn’t you want to look your best? πŸ˜€ I would because I want to show my God that we know how holy He is!!!

  • I believe that how we dress is a true indicator of what we think of ourselves, and we are judged by it regardless if it is right or not. High priests were called to dress a certain way, which set them apart. There have been for centuries distinctives that have set Christians apart and until the last 20 years, people felt it was a sign of respect to dress nice for church. Is it sinful not to dress up for church? Not at all as long as it stays within the bounds of modesty. But clothes speak loudly. With certain clothes, certain behavior is suspected by the secular world. If you are Christian and dress like a young punk rocker, you will be suspected of being a punk rocker. If you have nose rings, grunge clothes, torn and tattered jeans, people are not going to guess you as a Christian. We should not in any way be associated with the subculture of America. We are called to be peculiar not like the lost. We are to in no way to identify with the world-whether in clothing, deed, attitude or character. I believe it leaves the lost being unable to determine what is the church and what is the world. We need to avoid any sort of anythng that may lead people to think less of Christ.

    1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.

    • I agree with what you’ve written we do need to be set apart. yes it is true “…With certain clothes, certain behavior is suspected by the secular world…”
      I know where you are heading with the “.. We are to in no way to identify with the world-whether in clothing, deed, attitude or character…”
      But I wonder if you mean it as “Be in the World but not of it” as in We can identify with people to be able to get along side them in their hurts to demonstrate Christ etc but not to partake in the worldly things (I’m not disagreeing with your thoughts just wondered if that’s what you ment?)

      • I am an extreme practitioner of “being in the world, but not of it.” But what I see in these recent generations is to try and appeal to the flesh by dressing like the world and being like the world. That doesn’t mean being not stylish. I wasn’t saved until I was in my 20’s. It wasn’t the clothes or words or that impressed me. It was “real” Christians showing Christ to me. We forget that we shouldn’t be ministering to the flesh, but to the Spirit. The person that impressed me the most was a straight-laced nerdy looking guy that I worked with but hardly spoke to. He wore short sleeve white shirts with a narrow black tie that was totally out of style. I was so worldly that his behavior stood in direct opposition to the way I was living and it brought deep conviction. What he was really portraying Christ by his attitude and joy. He never told me once I needed to be saved, but I know he prayed for me. He gave me a real example of the difference that we should be exhibiting to the lost. It is Christ who saves, not us. Repentance, prayer, humility and total submission to being Christ’s brings about a transformation that any lost person cannot deny. It has nothing to do with clothes. Our responsibility is to study His Word, obey it, and live it. It will change not only yours, but other peoples lives.

        I so appreciate your love and interest in the things of God. I pray the best in Christ for you.

        Jean Selden

        • That’s beautiful hearing how God spoke to you, thank you for sharing your story πŸ™‚
          Yes the reason I asked about”… being in the world but not of it…”, is some have confused being apart from the world to mean non association with the worldly, to the point of exclusiveness (which I was sure you weren’t meaning πŸ™‚ so thank you for clarifying that πŸ™‚

          • Thanks Al.

            There are denominations out there that believe that they are to be so separated that they keep people away rather than drawing them to them. I believe that that is based on fear rather than the knowledge that God has overcome the world and if we live as He taught, we are able to witness and live among the lost without fear of being overcome because of the grace of our Lord.

            Have a great day.


  • The Truth of the matter is…

    Back in the day… everyone “dressed up” to go everywhere. With society changing and “casual” becoming more and more trendy, it is now more of a big deal to “dress up” than it ever was before.

    Look at all the old movies and TV shows. Women dressed (wearing dresses, heels, hats, clutches) just to go to the store. Men and women wore suits as a staple. Go back even further and read some old books… all those layers of clothing, male and female, every day… rain or shine! Changing outfits for different times of the day or for certain activities and outings. Unless you lived in the slums, you had to keep up appearances. Why do you think they had servants to help them dress? It wasn’t just because they were well-off. Even the not-so-well-off had servants… and you wonder why… lol Talk about dressing up! Good gracious!

    Back to yer question… NO… there are no Bible verses to back up dressing up for church. Dress with CHRIST in mind!

    • “NO… there are no Bible verses to back up dressing up for church.”

      There may not be Bible verses directly stating rules for church clothing attire – but if we required direct rules for every part of our lives we would be constantly depending on our own faulted judgement. In situations like this it may be more prudent to search for related principles and not necessarily word match verses.

  • As has also been pointed out, the way we dress communicates tons. To treat the prepared services on the Lord’s day no differently than a BBQ in a park is distasteful to say the least.

  • 2 verses that have been used a bit for dress code are

    (1 Corinthians 11:4-7) “…woman …her head uncovered dishonours her head: …. a man …ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.”
    (1 Timothy 2:9) “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with decency and propriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;”

    In first century culture, there were some pagan rituals that used “dresscode” to signify their pagan worship. These verses, for us, don’t tell us what we should or shouldn’t wear, but what kind of ATTITUDE TO WORSHIP we should have

    That is: to not do as the pagans or today’s culturally equivalent but to HONOUR GOD WITH OUR BEST

    (BTW “Modest apparel” did not refer to neck to ankle cover up, but in a manner unsuitable to their Rank or station in life, in other words not appearing richer or more important than their husbands job/station etc)
    Reasonable modesty (appropriate cover up?) is respectful, but not what’s talked about here


    • No offense, but I don’t completely agree with what you are saying.
      First, I think you are taking 1 Corinthians 11:4-7 out of context. According to what I have read in a study Bible, what it means by “her head uncovered” is being bald (I don’t know how else to put that). Also, even if it meant a veil or whatever, saying they had to wear one, it says that because that was the common apparel in that period of time. We as Christians should stick out but not over something as stupid as clothes.
      I also think that 1 Timothy 2:9 is basically saying that Christianity isn’t about what we wear. It is about how we connect with God and what we do with our lives.
      Overall point: my pastor preaches in jeans and a t-shirt on a dusty old theater stage that might as well have a dirt floor. The poor who need God the most can’t afford the nice clothes. Life is about God, not about what we wear.

      • I’m not sure which bit you are disagreeing with?
        If it is that 1st century women should cover their head; that was the culture & practice of the time.
        If you are saying we should cover/uncover today; I don’t agree.
        I still believe what these verses are speaking of, is not what we wear but our ATTITUDE TO WORSHIP
        And your pastor preaching in jeans & t-shirt, to me, is not an issue, unless they were particularly low riding or offensively sloganed.
        To HONOUR GOD WITH OUR BEST is again our attitude
        &… HOWEVER THAT MAY BE is like when the perfume was poured on Jesus’ feet, it was the best of her hearts attitude not the actual perfume that Jesus referred to

        • ok…….. I think I just understood your first comment wrong. Tell me if this makes any sense:
          1)Our attitude must be more important than our clothes
          2)As long as you are not disrespecting God and those around you, God said “Come as you are”.

          • That’s ok πŸ™‚
            It’s good to discuss these things & compare it to what God says
            – in context with His whole Word –
            (cause it’s easy to get hung up on a theme & forget how it’s to fit with the rest of Scripture.
            I think what you’ve summed up is pretty good πŸ™‚

  • Many of the comments below got me thinking…

    What would JESUS wear to church? Or what did JESUS wear to the synagogue? I know times have changed, but did He wear something special or just His everyday clothes?

    Also… in the beginning… when GOD made Adam and Eve their first clothes, what was the purpose? Should wearing clothes just be a constant reminder. Secular influences have turned clothes into a money-making industry. And we’ve bought into it! Christians and non-Christians alike love the world of fashion! Were clothes ment to please us and those around us? Or were they ment to cover our shame? After all, in order to get those first clothes, there had to be a sacrifice… the first blood sacrifice.

    Just something I’m currently chewing on… I’d love to hear yer thoughts! Did John the Baptist have the wrong idea? Why didn’t he dress up? After all, he was preparing the way for the Messiah!

    • While I’m sure you already believe this, I thought I’d just put this out there. As a recipient of the grace and righteousness of Jesus Christ, my shame is gone. I have been made alive unto God. So, I’m not sure a constant reminder of my sin is a good description.

      Personally (and feel free to tell me if you disagree, I think the clothing covering Adam and Eve was a symbol of the covering that Jesus Christ would provide over our sin in His death (Is. 61:10). So, rather than being a reflection of our sin, rather it is the reflection of God’s grace.

      However, I don’t think clothes are intended to be symbolic, necessarily. I think God chose at that time in history to use them that way, but I really have no reason to assume that still applies for today, since it is never commanded.

      Does that make sense? Good thoughts though!

      • I too believe that clothing is symbolic… the shame I mentioned above is part of it though.

        Jesus did take away our shame! I was simple saying that the need to cover our shame is a consequence of sin. This, of coarse, does not mean we should go around wearing sackcloth and ashes… moaning about how wretched we are. We are a redeemed people because of His mercy and grace!

        JESUS did redeem us and set us free, but we still have to deal with the consequences of our actions. And many times dealing with those consequences reminds us of our shame.

        But as Believers, when we remember our shame, we should also remember our Redeemer and Deliverer! And even though we must live with consequences, we live with a renewed hope and peace!

        This is why I posed the question: “should clothes then be a reminder of our shame?” When we (Christians) remember our shame, we also remember our Savior… Who saw our shame and provided a covering and remembers our sin no more!

      • I thought what you said was great: “it is the reflection of God’s grace”
        A friend asked me the other day how he should dress as a Christian. I didn’t have a verse to show him how he should dress, but I did tell him that how he dresses every day must be a reflection of Christ.
        God used it then, but I think that He still uses it nowadays. Most of my nonbeliever friends know I’m a Christian because of how I dress and that’s the only message I want to send through my clothing: I’m a daughter of the One True King.

    • I definitely agree with all you said! Jesus doesn’t expect us to come in our best outfits. But I think that in the end, we should ask ourselves if the way we are dressed is giving glory to God. John the Baptist (my thoughts anyway!) went preaching and making way for Christ. He was glorifying God! If John the Baptist “had it wrong” then why did Jesus tell John to baptize him? πŸ˜€ these are my thoughts.

  • “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry 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.” -1 Peter 3:3-4.
    In this verse, Peter is talking to the women about how they should treat their unbelieving husbands, but it can be applied to all of us. Clothes are a personal reference. No one tells us what to wear. For example, I wear modest clothes because t-shirts and jeans are really comfortable and I’m too shy to even consider wearing a tank top in public! Culture will tell us what’s the best thing to wear for every occasion, and sometimes that’s fine. Instead of getting into a debate on what to wear, we should be asking ourselves why we wear what we wear. Peter wasn’t saying that it’s bad to dress up. He was just saying that our inner selves (our character, souls, hearts, spirits, personality, whatever you want to call your inner self)are more important than that. This is just my thoughts on this issue, and I’m sure I’m scratching the surface of a much deeper discussion.

  • We should worship God everyday. Church is a gathering of fellow believers that help each other grow. How we are, how we act at church should be the same during the rest of the week. We aren’t called to be Christians and honor God only on Sundays but everyday. I believe how we dress applies to that to. Someone mentioned wanting to look their best when Jesus comes back but remember He could come back any time not just on Sunday. If we are to honor God in the way we dress, let’s honor Him everyday. I’m not saying that we should dresses and suits everyday. If you want to honor our Lord by dressing up, that’s fine. But remember God cares more about the conditions of our hearts than the conditions of our clothes.

  • A few weeks ago I came across this passage in my devotions and thought it fit with this question quite well.

    Malachi 1:6-8:

    β€œA son honors his father,
    And a servant his master.
    If then I am the Father,
    Where is My honor?
    And if I am a Master,
    Where is My reverence?
    Says the LORD of hosts
    To you priests who despise My name.
    Yet you say, β€˜In what way have we despised Your name?’
    β€œYou offer defiled food on My altar,
    But say,
    β€˜In what way have we defiled You?’
    By saying,
    β€˜The table of the LORD is contemptible.’
    And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,
    Is it not evil?
    And when you offer the lame and sick,
    Is it not evil?
    Offer it then to your governor!
    Would he be pleased with you?
    Would he accept you favorably?”
    Says the LORD of hosts.

    Now I know it’s not exactly the same situation, but reading this text brought to mind how my parents always said we dress up on when we worship in honor to God, as we might do for a government leader.

    God loves us and created a day of rest for our benefit (Mark 2:27), and we are called to rejoice and praise Him joyfully, but we’re also called to honor Him and show reverence. It’s a special day for both rejoicing in and honoring our Creator.

  • Most people in my church wear everyday clothes but I always dress up to go to church on sunday to show God i respect him. But when it comes to midweek meetings i usually don’t dress up i just wear what i would wear to go out shopping.

  • Wearing formal clothes to church isn’t a must, and even though there may be things in the Old Testament about wearing certain things to go to the temple, we are freed from that in Christ.
    The reason why we wear formal clothes on Sunday is to honor God, and to bring our best to him.
    The reason why we only wear special clothes on Sunday, rather than on weekday church events is because we come on those days for choir or youth group, rather than the gathering as believers we are commanded to do. At my old church, we didn’t really worship on Wednesdays, we had fellowship, so it isn’t a must to honor our fellow believers when we have fellowship with them, but at the Sunday service, we fellowship with God himself.
    All of this having been said, it does come down to tradition, the church you go to, and your personal belief. The Bible doesn’t say anything about wearing certain clothes, so you can wear anything (modest) you want since God looks at the heart rather than the outward appearance. (unless your parents tell you otherwise then… commandment 5)

    P.S. I didn’t come up with most of this, I had these questions a couple of years ago when we were going to a more formal church and switched to my current church, where we wear less formal clothes, but just about everyone wears jeans. My pastor dad answered them.

  • Respect has been covered pretty thoroughly, but I think in my life I’m a lot more prone to be prideful here. For example, the other day I wore this one skirt just so people would notice how cute it was. For me it’s a serious danger. Does anybody else have this problem?

    • I have a similar thing. It’s not so much that other people will notice me, but it is my own distraction. If I wear a bracelet, I will fidget with it A LOT and it will distract me. Now I consciously try not to wear bracelets or rings to church…

    • i know how that is. It’s important that you don’t focus on you but on God and others. This should be put into practice everyday of the week. Also, sometimes its a given that you’ll be complimented on how you look. (like when I change my hair people demand a selfie) but you need to make sure that you don’t let this go to your head.

      Its hard, as a pk i get a lot of compliments (just because of who my dad is) and I seriously went through a time where I thought i was better than everyone else (including God) I really got to taste humble pie that time πŸ™‚ My advice would be to spend time in prayer before you go to church (or wherever) and really pray for others and how you can bless THEM. Every time i do this, I’m amazed at how God takes me beyond myself to bless others. Hope this answers ur question πŸ˜€

  • Here’s the best metaphor that I can think of…
    If you were going to the house of the political leader/ruler of your country, you would dress up, right? You would wear your best to respect them and to show that you actually care. Even though you don’t dress that way every day, you still follow the guidelines and laws that they set out, and honor them by doing so.
    In a similar way, we dress up when we go to the house of the greatest power in the universe (God!!!) to honor him and show that we actually care about being in church. [in the churches that I have been at…] We don’t wear nice clothes every day, but we still strive to honor and obey God every day. However, when we go to his house, we dress up to show respect and a-caring-attitude. (I know there’s a better word…)

    • I totally agree.. every time I stop and think why it is that I’m dressing up for church I think about that: If I were going to see visit the king.. how would I dress? Obviously, with my very best! And of course.. God IS our King! so I dress up to honor and respect my Lord.
      I don’t really know but I guess that on weekdays we dress a bit more informal because everyone comes from work and school but still, our clothes should always be honorable. Not just for church, but in our daily life too.
      I agree with Abby below on the Sunday and Wednesday note, but the Bible does talk about how a woman should dress and all of us ladies understand and know what modesty is whether we like it or not.. and we also know how it affects men so we must always have in mind that what we do and wear must never make a fellow believer stumble.
      It’s up to us I guess, but we’ll still have to answer for that in front of our Lord someday πŸ™‚

  • For me I go to a church that is laid back about that kind of stuff but I feel a lady should wear more modest outfits for me this translates to skirts and dresses but to each his own thing god did tell us not to judge others

  • Recently my Dad was unemployed from his job at a maya church. This church has 2 different services. One service they sing only hyms and if you do not wear a suit you are really going to stand out. The other service is completely come as you are and some times that means you see people show up in some super short and tight clothing. I think that you should be able to choose what you wear to church as long as it is not sending any inappropriate messages. I’m not saying that girls need to wear dresses that touch the ground and a turtle necks but a least something that reaches an inch above your knees. Church should be a safe environment for both Guys & Girls!

    • Hey Caleb I agree “…. I think that you should be able to choose what you wear to church as long as it is not sending any inappropriate messages…”
      But I want to ask :
      What do you wear to a church in somewhere like Kenya or some other areas where their dress code is “a little less covering”?
      What is appropriate dress, what is offensive to them, that is “modest” for us?
      How do we share the Gospel without imposing our Cultural expectations on them but still be “modest” or sending any inappropriate messages to our back home culture?
      I’m just curious to how we can ad-dress these cultural standards of “modesty”
      (I probably should have made this a new post…)

      • That’s kind of tough @al_ive:disqus … Modesty can also be a regional subject. Out in Africa dressing standards are definitely lower, and sometimes they don’t even wear clothes, but that is what is normal there. People are not going to wear turtle necks to church there because it is obviously way hotter there than any where else. If we were living in Africa and didn’t have a lot of money our clothes would probably be a bit dinky.

      • so I wanna know why Sunday should be there only day you go in front of God how about all week when your praying even at home Sunday is to be the holy day but that doesn’t mean money thru sat doesn’t count either dress like your going to meet god any second or don’t dress up just on Sundays Im pretty sure the two men hanging beside Jesus wasn’t in his Sunday best nor looked nice and I’m pretty sure not everyone gets saved inside a church I got saved at home right before I went to sleep god made u he knows what’s beneath your clothes anyway so I’m pretty sure once we all leave this world god is not going to ask Jimmy why he wore jeans that Sunday or Amy why she didn’t match grow up church is not for you you are a sinner not worthy of anything church is for Jesus and god so next time u are acting ungodly or dressed like a you know what remember god can see you always whatever you do in the dark will come to the light and if dressing up just to motivate your self to worship God then my friend you need god more than you know

  • I just did the Lymes disease challenge. I used a Lemon. The Lemon was hard to peel, and afterward my teeth felt weird and I thought I might barf. But felt good afterward:-} I posted my video on my Google+ page if your interested in seeing it.

  • i personally dress nice for church on Sunday for a few reason 1. my parents raised me that way 2. its one of the ways i show respect for God and my pastors 3. because i enjoy get dressed up and doing my hair. on other nights that we go to church i wear clothes that meet my modesty standers as well as my parents and youth group’s. i personally don’t think it maters what we wear (as long as its modest)

  • I’ve noticed the whole what to wear midweek thing come up. Just to add my two cents, Wednesday or Sunday night is not Sunday morning. It’s not church per-se it’s church activities. Who really feels like dressing up to go to youth group (i don’t) and even though it’s in the same church building, it doesn’t require as much respect. πŸ™‚

      • That’s true, church is where we worship God. But Sunday is the day set aside for the sabbath. Wednesday nights are just for extra activities. Unless you have church sunday nights, we don’t. Then you want to look nicer. But just for activities it unnecessary and impractical to dress up.

          • Also (if I might add :D) my youth group often gets a lot more active on Wednesdays. Wednesday nights are spent bringing meals to people in need at our church instead of having a service. We don’t even have class, we just prepare meals and take them to families or couples in need of food and a couple smiling faces to visit and brighten their day :). It’s more comfortable for them if we don’t show up in dresses and make them look sloppy by comparison, so that’s one reason I don’t dress up Wednesdays.

  • I think God does not care what you look like, he cares about your heart and your attitude. Your clothes reflect your personality and your current mood. πŸ™‚ So if you enjoy dressing up and use it as a tool to honor God, then do it! If you can honor God by wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt, do it! Just make sure you are honoring God with what you wear and ask yourself why you are wearing it. Are you just trying to impress people? Do you simply enjoy wearing this outfit and it makes you feel good about yourself? I ask myself these questions alot and they can help. Bottom line: relax! Don’t let anyone bother you and be who you were made to be!

  • I believe a lot of the ‘dressing up’ comes from wanting to give God our first fruits (proverbs 3:9) and that it all began in the old testament with the command to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (exodus 20:8)
    So I think dressing nicely was born out of a desire to keep that day special to God and that’s why Wednesday isn’t as big of a deal to people.
    I do think that God cares more about our hearts than what we wear but that sometimes what we wear effects how our hear is before the Lord.
    Again, I think the most important thing is to surrender your heart fully to God.
    Hope this helped, if not… oh, well.

    • “So I think dressing nicely was born out of a desire to keep that day
      special to God and that’s why Wednesday isn’t as big of a deal to
      Kind of made me think about how we dress up for a wedding (even if it’s not ours or we aren’t particularly close to the bride and groom) – Sunday morning is a celebration of Christ and His bride, the church (us!). I like to think of it that way. And as with just about every other imaginable topic, the heart matter is what is the most important.

  • I was always taugh we should want to give our best to God. If you were to go to England to be presented to the Queen, you wouldn’t wear holey jeans and a t-shirt, right? You’d wear your best. Just as you would want to look nice to be in the presence of a monarch or dignitary, how much more should you want to present your best to God? The King and Creator of the universe? I’ve never appreciated the fact that people show up on Wednesday nights dressed in street clothes. If you can’t afford nice clothes, then that’s fine. The church shouldn’t go around judging people. But I believe if you have nice clothes to wear, when you come before the presence of an Almighty, Holy God, you should want to give Him the best you have. So dressing nicely in church should not extend only to Sunday mornings, but for every time you enter the house of God prepared to worship. Looking your best for God is a sign of respect. It’s a declaration that although we have little to offer beyond our feeble praise and hearts of worship, we are willing to give what we have to honor and glorify God.

  • My church is pretty casual about dress, being as it’s a country church, the clothing “niceness” level is at about Little House On the Prairie church service (minus the bonnets :P). Most of the girls wear dresses, but you’re allowed to wear pants or even nice jeans if you want, and guys usually wear nice jeans and a nice shirt–I don’t think anybody there wears a suit besides our pastor. I think that looking nice in church is meant to give you a mentality of respect for God, but I think when it comes right down to it, it would be better to be in jeans and a t-shirt and have your heart fully committed to God on Sunday morning than to be in a pressed suit and tie and not have your thoughts on Him.

    When it comes to youth group, I think it’s the same thing, but plus this: at youth group, you’re doing more than just sitting there listening to a sermon. You’re also fellowshipping with friends and playing games. After hearing your mother all your life telling you not to get your nice clothes dirty, it’s just illogical to wear them somewhere where you’re going to be running around and having fun. Youth group also doesn’t seem to have as solemn an air as church does (I don’t like to call it solemn because it’s not supposed to be, but it’s not as thrilling as it could be), and since it’s focused on teenagers, it has a higher energy level in general, and it’s more like a mutual casual worship of God than the strict, polite worship of church (maybe other churches don’t feel like that, but mine does), and wearing fancy clothing to a casual, fun Jesus discussion just doesn’t feel right.

  • i for one dress decent for chapel on Sunday for a couple reason 1. my guardians raised me that way 2. its one of the ways i show regard for God and my ministers 3. since i appreciate get spruced up and doing my hair. on different evenings that we go to chapel i wear women church suits and hats that meet my unobtrusiveness standers and additionally my guardians and youth group’s.

  • Because it is respectful for us to dress modest even if we are in a church. I always dress up for church because I like the feeling of just being able to wear the the things I get to wear

    • Yeah, but modest means covering your chest and butt. I’m sure that modest doesn’t mean spending half an hour on the Sabbath trying to pair the right skirt with the right heels to make you look fabulous.

      Also, I understand showing respect for God, but church isn’t a fashion show.

      Not to mention God judges us for our hearts not the clothes we wear; our respect for God should be the same way.
      I hope this doesn’t sound too judgey. I certainly have plenty of my own flaws.

      • Modest doesn’t merely mean covering the private parts of your body. The definition of modest is: Not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities; Not showing or feeling great or excessive pride
        of clothing; Not showing too much of a person’s body.

        Modesty goes to the very core of our hearts as well as our bodies. So I agree with Isaac that it is respectful to dress modestly. I also agree with you, Emmy, that God does not judge our clothing, but our hearts, and by cleansing our hearts of all ungodliness, our outside demeanor should also be cleansed and changed.

        Obviously our main goal for looking nice at church is not to “feel good” or look amazing, but it’s a plus and it sure as heck isn’t always sin to want to look good.

        I get you though: It is modesty and glorification to our God, not looking good, that is the goal here.

  • I use to dress up for Church when I was younger. I thought it was respectful to God and what he wanted… Then I experienced something in high school that made me stop. I lived in an abusive home but hid it well. One day, my mother took my siblings and I to stay somewhere else. We were so rushed and scared that I couldn’t think about what I was going to wear to Church in the morning. I went the next day in the clothes I wore the day before which were still clean and odor free. I was stared and and gossiped about and even confronted because I was wearing jeans. I sobbed until my youth minister quoted scriptures. He told me that God doesn’t care about what I wear but who I am. The church goers didn’t know my circumstance but that shouldn’t matter. Why should it matter to the person next to me what I am wearing? I know that in my heart that I am a child of God. I treat others with respect and kindness.

    I haven’t worn “dress clothes” to Church since. If anyone says anything, I pray for them. I pray that they will someday realize that Worship is not about the outward appearance. It is about God. I wear a modest pair of jeans with no holes and a nice modest top. What I wear does not affect my worship nor does it distract from others worship. God accepts me just as I am. Why can’t the traditionalists?

  • As I read the thoughts of so many here on this forum, I can see that there is much underlying the issue discussed. What I mean is, that each individual has his or her reasons for what they think about dressing for church. Furthermore, It is evident that there is a lack of knowledge regarding how people see God.
    Have we forgotten who we serve? Have we forgotten the holiness of God?
    It is true that God looks upon the heart. It is true that the clothes do not make or break our relationship with God. It is also said that God looks upon the heart, but man looks on the outward appearance. These things are true, but have we forgotten whom we serve? God’s holiness?
    Example: If we were summoned before the president of the United States, (pick your favorite president) would you show up in kakis and a tank top? No, you would show up in your very best. We dress our best for weddings. We dress our best for funerals. Yet when it comes to our worship of a holy God, our creator and redeemer, we feel so-so is god enough!
    The fact is, we have been more concerned with what man thinks than we have with what God thinks. God looks upon the heart and when he sees one of His striving to do and look their best for Him, it brings glory to God. When we are more concerned with what man thinks then we rob god of what is due Him.
    A Christian, as he or she grows after they have received Christ, grows in many things. We grow in knowledge as we read our Bible. We grow in giving as God lays on our hearts to give. We grow in grace, prayer, kindness, love and so many more things. We aught to grow also in our desire to please the God we serve.
    Dressing as though we are going to see the {King} should feel like a special occasion every time. When we put effort in the way we present ourselves, it glorifies God. Not because of what we wear or how we look to others, but because we did it for God. Someone living in poverty might not have the nice things that someone who is wealthy, but if they give their best, it is just as important and impressive to God because they gave their best!
    God sees the heart! Give your best for God every time and that brings glory to the one you serve.
    Last note: God has called us out of this sinful world to be and to look different then the world. (Titus 2:4)
    Therefore, dress up. Look your best, but don’t do it to be seen of men – do it to be seen of God. Glorify him because you found it important to put your best foot forward on his behalf. Doesn’t matter if you have fancy clothes, it matters that you love him enough to do your best.
    Remember who we serve. Remember the holiness of God. Show your love for Him, to Him, by what you do for Him. God Bless you all…..

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectationsβ€”a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More β†’