Biblical Inspiration: 1 Corinthians 3 v 16-17

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

If you look back through my July archives, you will find a post on 1 Corinthians 6 v19-20, which may sound slightly similar to this post. The reason for this is I wanted to further explore the idea of God’s temple and how we treat it. I also wanted to explore the idea that this temple is both the individual (i.e. me, you, etc.) and the wider Church. For chapter 3 of 1 Corinthians talks about the Church being the joint work of all those who are part of it, as ‘God’s fellow workers… [and] God’s building’. We are all part of the Church and therefore are all part of the same temple building.
So what on earth does this have to do with modesty and fashion? When talking about the individual, i.e. 1 Corinthians 6 v19-20, it is much easier to link modesty with a way of honouring God. How do we take this concept and apply it to the wider community of the Church.
Cheesy but true.
I would like to suggest a revolutionary concept. By dressing modestly as a community, we set ourselves apart from the world amongst us. Effectively, we identify ourselves us God’s children in a way that does not require us to abandon being in the world. And isn’t that the whole point of being a Christian; that we are in the world not of the world? Wearing a vest underneath a deep v-neck top may not seem a big statement but living for Christ is about the little things more than the big ‘soapbox’ moments. Making a few changes to an outfit can allow the individual to honour God that little bit more. If a whole church were to make these choices, setting themselves apart as genuine Christians, think about the impact that might have on the surrounding community.
So we’ve examined how clothes can demonstrate a set-apartedness from society; a choice to be holy before God. How about destroying the temple? Can the way we dress really do that? I would to say that yes it can. Imagine a church 20s-30s or youth group. Into this group of male and female friends, add a girl who wears tiny shorts with crop tops, v-necks that show off her neon bra and skinnies so ridiculously tight that… I hate to say it but how quickly would this effect the group due to distractions of lust and/or jealously? And it would be just the same if it was a boy in tight, tight tops and boxers on show. A group can be weakened just due to the distraction when doing a Bible study, worshipping during the service or simply hanging out at a film night? When put this way, modest dressing does suddenly become more honouring of God. 
But, at the end of the day, the choice of how to dress is yours. For those looking to dress more modestly I can give a few places to start with.
  • Fresh Modesty is one of my favourite blogs. Run by Olivia, it is dedicated to “thinking outside the box but inside His book” which I love. It’s also the blog responsible for making me reassess my wardrobe in regards to its modesty. (So you can blame her for this post).
  • HalfTee is a company from the States that specialises in crop tops for layering. I discovered the website via Fresh Modesty, where they are one of Olivia’s sponsors. Currently trying to discover if they deliver to the UK. (You can see my Twitter plea here)
  • STC blog on Polyvore is a collection of outfits made up by the girls behind Satisfaction Through Christ. I discovered them on Pinterest while looking for modesty inspiration and love their outfit choices. 
So that is my take on modesty and 1 Corinthians 3 v16-17. What do you think? Is modesty overrated? Let me know.

0 Responses to Biblical Inspiration: 1 Corinthians 3 v 16-17

  1. Really interesting post. This is a subject I've been thinking about for years, and I'm still a bit conflicted about my thoughts. Surely, just as important as modesty is teaching our young men not to think about women in that way? As I read somewhere, "heaven forbid that instead of teaching our young women how to avoid being raped, we teach our young men not to rape!"

  2. Hi Rachel

    I completely agree with you. While modesty is important for BOTH genders to understand and make their own opinions about (for example what I consider modest is very different to other bloggers I read), teaching young people that rape is not acceptable and NEVER okay is the only way to stop it. Equally, I think that both men and women should be taught NOT to rape as well as being given the opportunity to think about issues such as modesty. I hope that makes sense.

Leave a reply