Should Christians Dress Up For Church?

Mario Jump

Should Super Mario change before church?

Depending on which church you go to, you’ll find a wide variety of ‘dress-codes’. At some churches, everyone looks as if they were at a wedding. Nice suits and beautiful dresses are everywhere. At the same time, other churches have a more casual approach. You wouldn’t need to dress any nicer than if you were headed to Wal-Mart.

Does the Bible tell us what ‘dress-ware’ is appropriate? Should we wear “only the finest” for our God, or is a “come as you are” attitude more appropriate? Should Christians dress up for church? Keep reading to hear my thoughts.

Being Appropriate

Before I go any farther on this subject, I want to throw this on the table. I believe that clothing at your place of worship should always be appropriate.

That means, your low cut top and “short shorts” aren’t a good option. Neither is your signed Slip-Knot T-shirt. These aren’t good options anywhere though. If you dress inappropriately, it may be an indication of a heart issue. Show respect to God, by not opposing His ways with the way you dress. Does how you dress reflect humility?

On the flip-side, it’s important not to wrongfully judge anyone else based on their clothes.

It’s easy to make people mad. I have heard stories of people that never wanted to go back to church again, because they visited one time, and someone said something about what they (or a friend of theirs) were wearing. So next time you want to say something, hold your tongue and think about it. Is it really worth completely pushing someone away?

Sometimes something should be said in love, other times maybe we should focus on building a relationship first.

The Real Issue

Iron Man

Is Iron Man’s suit too costly for church?

I’d be willing to guess that “the way we dress” isn’t the real issue for God. The heart is the real focus here. Are we dressing up to impress others? That’s a heart issue. Our “outside” isn’t the most important, however, it may be a reflection of something “inside” our heart.

1 Timothy 2: 8-10 (ESV)

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works.

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Read all of 1 Timothy 2 Here!

1 Peter 3: 3-6 (ESV)

Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear–

but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,

as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

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Read all of 1 Peter 3 Here!

The above verses are controversial for some people. Maybe because their implications can be difficult. I believe that those verses clearly address a heart issue.

It is natural of the flesh to want to look good. We want to wear expensive clothes, and be adored. Is that what the Bible teaches though? Jesus seems to teach humility and selflessness over and over again. He even washes His disciples feet.

Going to church with beautiful clothes shouldn’t be the real focus for us. Going to church with a pure heart should be. Ironically, many times, dressing nice is a reflection of selfishness. Maybe not always, but it can be. It’s something we should all at least think about.

Should Christians Dress Up For Church?

Link blue tunic

Does this tunic make me look fat?

The real question might be, can we dress up nice for church. That may be a stretch for some people, but I really think it is worth considering.

In my opinion, “dressing your finest for God” has very little to do with the clothes we wear. It has everything to do with our hearts, and being covered by the blood of Jesus.

I’m not saying that dressing up is necessarily always a bad thing, BUT we should always consider what it means in our hearts. Are we trying to impress others? The verses below show a great example of where our hearts should be!

James 2: 1-9 (ESV)

My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,

and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”

have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?

But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?

Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

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Read all of James 2 here!

Where should our focus really be? Always focus on “dressing up your heart with purity” first. Don’t judge other people because of their exterior. Be humble. Focus inward, not outward.

Love you guys. Praying for you!

-Caleb

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Super Mario, Iron Man, Link blue tunic

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