"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth." I Timothy 3:15
From the Pastor’s Wife:
She Maketh Herself Coverings
wife of John Graf, Pastor of the The First Baptist Church, Sayville, New York.
They are the parents of Jennifer, John, Timothy, and Ashley.
TRACT # B-344 ORDER FROM: Tabernacle Baptist Church 1911 34th St., P.O. Box 3100,
Lubbock, Texas 79452
Women who are in sound, independent fundamental Baptist churches ought to know how
to dress according to Bible standards. No doubt your pastor has preached about the
biblical principles for proper, modest dressing and if you are saved, you quite naturally
agree with him. I John 5:3 "For this is the love of God, that we keep His cornmandments:
and his commandments are not grievous." Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which
love thy law and nothing shall offend them."
We understand that, while we do live in this world, God wants His people to stand
out and be different and not to use our own standard to determine our dress, but
to use God's standard. For example, once we are saved, it doesn't take us long to
understand that God considers it an abomination for a woman to dress like a man.
Early in our Christian lives then, we put away our pants and all of our excuses for
wearing them (i.e. it's cold, I'm going horseback riding, I just wear them around
the house, etc.) After all, who wants to dress like an abomination in God's sight?
So, we replaced our Levi's with dresses, skirts, and culottes.
We also understand that in order to be modest in God's eyes, our dresses, skirts,
and culottes need to fall below our knees--for any part exposed above the knee is
considered nakedness in the eyes of God. (Isaiah 47:2,3 "...make bare the leg, uncover
the thigh, ...Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen:" Webster's
dictionary defines the thigh as being the portion of the leg between the hip and
the knee. Another verse that defines nakedness as an exposed thigh is Exodus 28:42.)
I'm sure it is of utmost importance to those of you who are reading this article
to know that your dress is well-pleasing to the Lord. So just to be absolutely sure
we are obedient in all areas of dress, let us review and examine our philosophy of
dress to make sure we can align ourselves with the Word of God.
I have observed among independent Baptist women a certain naivete of sorts when it
comes to wearing dresses-- An unspoken philosophy which seems to say, "As long as
I'm wearing a dress, I must be scriptural." Yet, there are many types and styles
of dresses that are every bit as immodest and revealing as a pair of tight Levi's
I purposely chose the title of this article from Proverbs 31 because of the word
covering. A covering means to clothe or enwrap. The virtuous woman covered herself.
(And from the text we see that she covered herself beautifully: tapestry, silk, and
purple!) We see how in the Bible God designed clothes three times and all three times
He designed coverings.
In the Garden of Eden God made coats for Adam and Eve to wear. A coat is not a sleek,
tight, body-revealing sort of apparel, is it? It does not accentuate any part of
the body nor draw attention to any one place. When you wear a coat, you are simply
covered. The next time the Lord designed clothes was for the high priest's attire.
They wore long robes with linen britches underneath the robe. A robe is not an "attention
grabbing" article of clothing, is it?
I mean, if you and your husband were going out of town on a romantic little getaway,
what would his response be if you cuddled up next to him and whispered, "Honey, I
want you to know that I'll be bringing my floor-length, long-sleeved, fuzzy, pink
robe on this trip!" (Well, in the first place, he may have already fainted because
you actually cuddled up to him... but that's another article!)
If you were really trying to get his attention, I think you could leave the robe
home. A robe, like a coat, was not designed to bring attention to anything on the
body, but rather it is used for a covering. Also in the book of Revelation, we read
of God's design for our heavenly attire: white robes. Every time the Lord God designed
clothes, it was for the purpose of clothing the body in a decent and modest way.
Here I have composed several questions for you to ask yourself concerning the way
1. Are you attracted to the world's latest styles and do you try to dress accordingly?
2. Do you dress to show off, or draw attention to, certain part of your figure? (i.e..
small waist, long legs, etc.)
3. Do you usually wear form-fitting clothes?
4. Are your culottes nothing more than "long shorts" or "short pants"?
5. Do your skirts come exactly to your knee and do those skirts have slits in them?
6. Do you get as close to the world's way of dressing as you can possibly get away
7. On the other hand, do you purposely dress dowdy and frumpy to appear more "holy"
than those around you? (i.e.. Amish style - plain, head coverings like you just popped
out of a thrift shop window.)
8. Do you wear things that may be "see through" and excuse it with the fact that
you're wearing a slip (so if anyone sees anything, they'll "just see my slip.")
** A note to mothers of daughters **
1. Do you allow your daughter to wear form-fitting, figure-flattering clothes just
because she may look "cute" or have a "good figure"?
2. Are you mindful to teach your daughter how to dress modestly, and do you check
her wardrobe regularly to be sure she is doing so? (This is your responsibility,
3. Do you allow your daughter to indulge in worldly attire simply because she is
young and it is "in style"?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you have set up your own dress
standards and you need to question your own motives for doing so.
Now I want to mention a word that is not often used in discussing our wardrobes,
and that is the word balance. I personally believe that we as modern day Christian
women must have Holy Spirit leadership in our lives, and must exercise good discretion
and balance in choosing what we will wear. This is not to say that we need to find
a happy medium between the world's standards and God's standards. Nothing could be
farther from the truth. However, we are three years away from the 21st century.
We do not use horse and buggies to come to church, nor do I do my laundry down at
the Sayville beach. My girls and I do not wear bonnets and prairie dresses like "Ma"
on "Little House" and my husband does not dress like Moses or Joshua did. Why? Because
those things no longer pertain to our culture.
So where does balance apply? God never says that it is a sin for the leg below the
knee to show. So I can wear skirts and dresses below my knees and yet they do not
have to be to the ground. I do not want to be poured into them in such a way that
I can no longer breathe once the skirt is on, and I would still like to be able to
move and sit down in what I wear! So I will avoid tight, form-fitting, worldly clothes,
but I will choose clothes that look sharp, fit well, and cover me. There's nothing
wrong with looking clean and pretty and sharp! We should stand out as pleasingly
different, not ostentatious or weird.
Here are some basic rules that we need to measure our dress standards by:
1. Never try to "Christianize" the world's dress and make it your own. (Some ladies
who live in jean skirts, for example, wear them every bit as tight as they used to
wear their jeans! The idea behind wearing dresses and skirts was to make certain
parts of your body literally INVISIBLE!)
2. Open, low necklines, sleeveless tops and dresses, short and slit skirts and dresses,
tight, slinky, form-fitting attire and pants or shorts, have no place in a Christian
woman's wardrobe. (You might say, "Sleeveless?! Oh, come on!" Ever notice what advertisers
say about "bare" shoulders? Words like sexy, soft, and alluring are always right
3. Culottes were invented in order to give a lady the freedom to move around-- i.e..
gardening, cleaning, bike riding, etc.-- and yet still look like she has a skirt
on. If you want to wear culottes, make sure they look like a skirt-front and back.
** A Word to Brides-to-be **
I am utterly amazed and shocked when I attend Christian weddings because of some
of the bride's gowns I have seen. Here we have this wonderful, sweet, little Christian
girl, who has dressed modestly and properly as long as she's been in the church.
What happens on her wedding day? To quote a familiar passage- "June is bustin' put
all over!" Please keep your standards as high as ever on this wonderful day! There
have been brides I've been embarrassed to look in the eye because of her immodest
In all areas of our lives, we should try to live godly. Let us especially be circumspect
in our attire. The virtuous woman has the utmost respect for God and His Word. So
the virtuous woman covers herself. And her husband praises her.