It is not uncommon for a Christian to believe that one has to dress conservatively when going to church. It is what we were taught to do since we were young. Any piece of clothing that showed too much skin was deemed improper; even wearing a skirt that hits an inch above the knee would be frowned upon. However, does this dress code still apply today? How must a woman dress when going to church? Let's talk about the things you need to consider.
Nice clothes don't make you a better Christian
In society today, people are judged by what they wear. If a man often wears a fancy suit, then he's most likely successful. If a woman dresses comfortably (T-shirt and sweatpants), then she doesn't care about her appearance. Well, this doesn't apply to church and it shouldn't.
Wearing a pretty Sunday dress to service doesn't make you a better Christian. The other lady who wore a shirt and jeans doesn't make her less of a Christan either. When looking at how a person dress in church, one must always think about different circumstances.
What if the lady who wore a shirt and jeans was recently divorced? What if a teenager who recently decided to attend service wears a slightly revealing dress? The truth behind it is that she just recently decided to go to church, but she was a party girl before, so she didn't have any appropriate church clothes to wear. Will these people not be allowed to go to church anymore? Of course, not! We are in no position to judge how a woman should dress in church.
Going the extra mile
You can't let other Christians judge you because of how you dress. However, you must be your own critic. Now we ask, should you really dress up for church? Yes, you should in terms of exerting effort to look presentable in front of God, not for others. Don't you take the time to think of what to wear when going out on a date with someone or having a night out with friends? Don't you plan your outfits ahead of time before going to work? If you do, why can't you do the same for God, right?
This preparation shows that you care about something, which we can only equate to how you prepare your heart before church too. Are you excited to attend Sunday service? Or is it just something you want to get over with. If you're excited and looking forward to church, then you'll most likely make the effort to dress presentably. On the other hand, if you just want to get it over with, you'll probably just put on the first thing you see in your closet.
God looks at the heart
What does dressing presentably mean? And if you don't dress presentably, does it offend the Lord? Timothy 2:8-10 says, "Women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works." This verse says that women must dress modestly and decently. However, what's modest for you may not be modest for another woman.
Modesty can be a never-ending debate because it is a matter of personal preference. But for today, we will define modesty as dressing up comfortably for the Lord. If you are comfortable with what you are wearing and believe that you've put the effort to look presentable in front of Father God, then you don't have anything to worry about. After all, God looks at the heart and not what you wear.
Colossians 3:12 says, "Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." God doesn't want to see fancy Sunday dresses, He wants you to clothe yourself with these qualities because that's what truly matters.
Must a woman dress modestly in church? Of course. The church is not a place to show off the designer brands you have nor is it a place to impress some. If you dress modestly, do it for the Lord. Make the effort to plan what you are going to wear ahead, just like how you would prepare your heart and mind for the Sunday sermon.