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Why Do So Many Women Show off Cleavage in Church?

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My wife brought up the topic as we drove by cornfields on the way home from church. “You just can’t wear something like that on stage.”

I knew exactly what she meant. During the worship set, one of the praise leaders wore a dress that covered about as much skin as a tight-fitting, low-cut swimsuit with a short skirt. Remembering the lessons from Every Young Man’s Battle, I’d locked my eyes on the praise lyrics or simply closed them so that I couldn’t see her.

“When you dress like that,” my wife added, “you take the focus off God and put it on you. You’re undermining the whole reason we’re there.”

In a trending article from, Jennifer LeClaire suggests that this issue of revealing clothing in church is troubling:

Some women—and I am talking about so-called “mature believers,” not lost souls or baby Christians—come into God’s sanctuary on Sunday morning wearing clothes you might rather expect to see them wearing at a dance club on Saturday night. Their blouses cling to their bodies, their necklines dip so low and stretch so wide that they reveal cleavage, and the slits up the sides of their skirts offer more than an innocent glimpse of their thighs. Again, I’m not talking about sinners seeking God or new believers who plain don’t know better. I’m talking about those who claim to be “born-again, baptized, blood-bought” (even tongue-talking) members of the church!

Paul instructed Timothy that women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation” (1 Tim. 2:9), and he told the church at Corinth that “our unpresentable parts have greater modesty” (1 Cor. 12:23). Regardless of how hot it is outside or how busy we are, there’s no justification for Spirit-filled women to come to church wearing clothes that cause some men to pay more attention to the things of the flesh than the things of the Spirit.

However, other Christian women think that such a push toward modesty is rooted in shaming the female members of a congregation. Using such slogans as “modest is hottest” makes women feel as if they are the root cause of temptation, rather than teaching them how to view themselves as beautifully made in God’s image. Last year, Sharon Hodde Miller suggested three ways to tackle the problem:

How do we discuss modesty in a manner that celebrates the female body without objectifying women, and still exhorts women to purity? The first solution is to dispense with body-shaming language. Shame is great at behavior modification, even when the shaming is not overt. But shame-based language is not the rhetoric of Jesus. It is the rhetoric of his Enemy.

Second, we must affirm the value of the female body. The value or meaning of a woman’s body is not the reason for modesty. Women’s bodies are not inherently distracting or tempting. On the contrary, women’s bodies glorify God. Dare I say that a woman’s breasts, hips, bottom, and lips all proclaim the glory of the Lord! Each womanly part honors Him. He created the female body, and it is good.

Finally, language about modesty should focus not on hiding the female body but on understanding the body’s created role. Immodesty is not the improper exposure of the body per se, but the improper orientation of the body. Men and women are urged to pursue a modesty by which our glory is minimized and God’s is maximized. The body, the spirit and the mind all have a created role that is inherently God-centered. When we make ourselves central instead of God, we display the height of immodesty.

Miller makes an important point here. The church must do a better job teaching a “theology” of the body that isn’t rooted in shame. We are all designed by God and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Everything God gave women was created “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But at the same time, our fallen nature has impacted the way we (especially men) see women’s bodies. The flesh nature gets in the way of what was once a perfect posture of purity toward each other. While we’re no longer slaves to our sin nature (Romans 6:6), that doesn’t mean our minds don’t harbor impurity (Romans 13:14). Both men and women must live and dress in ways that humbly help each other in our weaknesses (Galatians 5:13).

In addition, we should also consider the motivations behind those who design such clothing. Are they making skin-baring outfits because they view women as God’s creation or are they doing so to exploit their bodies? This is something actress Jessica Rey tackles in a video on the history of the bikini:

The Godly Truth About Bikini’s – FINALLY Someone Gets It! from sharethemessage onGodTube.

So, what about you? What are your thoughts on clothing choices for church?

JEFFREY DAUGHERTY ( submits this item by John UpChurch, Senior Editor–with tongue firmly in cheek, chuckling and shaking my head.

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    Total 47 comments
    • cathartid

      No pictures?

      • Beaver Hunter

        Damn, Perhaps I need to go to church more often?

    • Amminadab

      For the same reason they wear makeup and get tattooed. They do not study the Bible.

      Proper Dress for Women
      Two passages in the New Testament concern proper dress for women:

      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. (NIV, 1 Timothy 2:9-10)

      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. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. (NIV, 1 Peter 3:2-5)

      Adorning our bodies with colorful cosmetics, glittering jewelry, and luxurious clothes reveals inner pride and vanity, which are destructive to ourselves and to others. We have found this truth brought out implicitly by several negative examples and explicitly by the apostolic admonitions of Paul and Peter. Isaiah reproves wealthy Jewish women for their pride shown by adorning their bodies from head to foot with glittering jewelry and expensive clothes. They seduced the leaders, who eventually led the whole nation into disobedience and divine punishment (Is 3:16-26).

      Jezebel stands out in the Bible for her determined effort to seduce the Israelites into idolatry. The inner corruption of her heart is revealed by the attempt she made even in her final hour to look her seductive best by painting her eyes and adorning herself for the arrival of the new king, Jehu (2 Kings 9:30). But the king was not fooled, and she died an ignominious death. Because of this her name has become a symbol of seduction in Biblical history (Rev 2:20).

      Ezekiel dramatizes the apostasy of Israel and Judah through the allegory of two women, Oholah and Oholibah, who, like Jezebel, painted their eyes and decked themselves with ornaments to entice men to commit adultery with them (Ezek 23). In this allegory again we find cosmetics and ornaments associated with seduction, adultery, apostasy, and divine punishment.

      Jeremiah also uses the allegory of a seductive woman dressed in scarlet, with painted eyes and decked with jewelry, to represent the politically abandoned Israel, who is vainly trying to attract her former idolatrous allies (Jer 4:30). Here again cosmetics and jewelry are used to seduce men into adulterous acts.

      The prophetic portrayal of apostate Israel as an adulterous woman bedecked, bejeweled, and whoring after heathen gods recurs in John the Revelator’s description of the great harlot “arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls” (Rev 17:4). This impure woman, who represents the end-time apostate religious-political power, lures the inhabitants of the earth to commit spiritual fornication with her. By contrast, the bride of Christ, who represents the church, is attired modestly in pure and fine linen without outward ornaments (Rev 19:7-8).

      In both the Old and New Testaments we have found a consistent pattern of the use of colorful cosmetics, glittering jewelry, and eye-catching clothes to accomplish seductive purposes. Such a pattern implicitly reveals God’s condemnation of their use. What is taught implicitly through negative examples is reiterated positively by the two great apostles, Paul and Peter, in their condemnation of the use of jewelry and luxurious clothes.

      We have found that both apostles contrast the appropriate adorning of Christian women with the inappropriate ornaments of worldly women. Both apostles give us essentially the same list of inappropriate ornaments for the Christian woman. They include eye-catching hair styles, glittering jewelry, and costly clothing (1 Tim 2:9-10; 1 Pet 3:3-4). Both apostles recognize that the outward ornaments of the body are inconsistent with the appropriate inward ornaments of the heart, the quiet spirit and benevolent deeds.

    • Amminadab

      Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Pet. 3:1-4.

      • HereAmI

        Grievous wolves have entered into the church, or at least, into the buildings which it uses.
        Where the Spirit of God is lacking, the spirit of man takes over.

    • CTrent33

      Because they have dead souls…

      Apocalypse 3: 1-5 “And to the angel of the church of Sardis, write: These things saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: AND THOU ART DEAD. Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God. Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee. But thou hast a few names in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments: and they shall walk with me in white, because they are worthy. He that shall overcome, shall thus be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

      • MikeSavage

        Dead soul is an oxymoron. Soul means life. It means a living breathing animal or person, it doesn’t mean some separate part of us that survives our death. The scriptures teach that we do NOT have an immortal soul.

    • Pix

      That’s because 99.9999999% of Christians are not Christians. They don’t practice a single thing that Jesus preached but follow the word an organised money making business and role play their deity so they can do the judging instead. It’s all about the grand theater performance, so plenty of melodrama, including distraction tactics where tit’s and a$$ is essential.


      • Truthseeker

        wow pix we agree on something

        I call “so called” christianity — the 4000 flavors of confusion.

        • Pix


          Ha ha ha more like 3 billion flavors of confusion, the number of people confessing a belief in the Abrahamic religions, and all of them each with their own individual cherry picked interpretations to suit their existing bigotry.


      • Jacko

        Why do you call non-christians christian? Religion has clouded your mind?

        • Pix


          It’s not me calling non-christians christians, they are claiming to be christians. There is no telling until they open their gobs or by observing what they do, don’t do. Most of them say one thing and do the complete opposite, they are role playing their deity so they can do the judging instead.

          No, religion hasn’t clouded my mind, I’m an atheist, it’s obvious that organised religion doesn’t serve it’s purpose, all it churns out are liars, hypocrites, and the psychotic.


        • Truthseeker


          if your comment was directed at me my response is they call themselves christians and I simply point out since there is no agreement between the 4000 or more different churches and all run from each others they are nothing more the personification of confusion.

          God is not confusion nor division, thus they can not be of God.

          Pix, you are simply describing the down side of carnal human nature, even if “right” was proven human nature will always chose evil.

          • Pix

            Jacko “Pix, you are simply describing the down side of carnal human nature, even if “right” was proven human nature will always chose evil.”

            Actually the opposite is true, people are good despite their religious indoctrinations to burn the witch, kill the Jew, stone the adulterer, wearer of mixed fabric, eater of shellfish and pork to death, and generally torture and murder anyone who disagrees. Or are you one those types who totally ignores your religions massive historical track record of atrocities against humanity?

            • Pix

              Sorry the above was to Truthseeker, not Jacko.

            • Truthseeker


              I am 75 and have been exposed to the very very wealthy, and the dirt poor all my life.

              all men and women are the same they seem to be a mixture of good and evil on average.

              The evil does not really come out until the times are tough. If you have not had what you believed was a very close friend or relative stab you in the back then you have that to look forward to.

              God’s Words stated none are good no not one.

            • Pix


              Everyone gets stabbed in the back from trusting people they think are friends. You just have to mark it down as an error of your own judgement. Just accept you’re fallible and move on.

              We each have the ability to be good or bad, but when it’s life and death the ability to be good becomes too expensive.

              “God’s Words stated none are good no not one.” In that case, why did it all knowing create flawed people and expect perfection?

            • Truthseeker


              In Genesis 1 God gives the reason for the creation and the existence of mankind: let us make man in our image after our likeness.

              God is reproducing His own kind,

              We are first physical and thus temporary and given bodies of flesh and blood and these bodies put all types of pulls upon us.

              We are on earth to learn the WAY that produces order, harmony, prosperity and peace. Those that refuse to learn are cast into the lake of fire and cease to exist for ever.

              There are actually no terms in the Old Testament such as the 10 Commandments, actually it is the “ten orders” that bring order and harmony.

              At the return of Jesus Christ those few that have been call are born again into immortal Spirit. The rest of the dead live again later.

            • Damien


              There are actually no terms in the Old Testament such as the 10 Commandments, actually it is the “ten orders” that bring order and harmony.

              Ah. Been watching the megazionists on the tv eh Truthseeker. :lol:

              Thanks for … sharing. :neutral:

        • Damien


          Post Jewish sinners = Christians to Pix. His pulpit exists to attack ‘sinners’. To burn them in hell (and in life until they get there) NOT to take them to God.

          • Pix


            “Meinad -Jacko “Post Jewish sinners = Christians to Pix. His pulpit exists to attack ‘sinners’. To burn them in hell (and in life until they get there) NOT to take them to God.”

            I’ve never claimed any such thing. There is no such thing as a “Post (after) Jewish sinner”. Post means ‘after’. And no I’m not the one claiming anyone is going to burn in hell either. Meidad the idiot troll is the one claiming that.


            • Damien

              Define plagiarism.

          • Pix


            “Define plagiarism.”

            OK, that’s random of you. Did someone suddenly chop your hands off, you can’t look it up for yourself?

            Who do you think I am your personal ‘get me, fetch me’ slave, you must be a terrible teenager brat, I feel sorry for your parents already.


      • Louis

        Sound advice from Pix who has a PhD in lesbianism.

    • MikeSavage

      They wear them because all such religions are false. They don’t teach or adhere to God’s standards. They don’t teach or do God’s will in it’s entirety, if they teach any of it at all.

      • Pix

        Oh come off it Mike, I’ve been to kingdom hall meetings, I’ve seen women JW’s wearing next to nothing at meetings. But that’s ok according to JW elders, because only women dress, as if men don’t. According to JW’s, women wearing next to nothing is far more decent than women wearing a pair of trousers. How dare they, the scabs, trying to impersonate a squashed penis by wearing their trousers. You’re ridiculous.

        :wink: :lol:

        • MikeSavage

          No, Pix, that’s incorrect. If anyone there was not dressed modestly, they were guests, and not ministers. No minister would dress the way you describe. All congregation members are ministers. It’s you who is rediculous, as always. Of course, it’s entirely possible that you are lying about having been to meetings at a hall. You lie, as always. So I suppose this means you are apostate if you’re telling the truth, which isn’t likely.

          • Pix

            No Mike, it’s a personal first hand observation, I was the only guest. I have no need to tell lies, I shouldn’t have a need to say anything at all… the evidence speaks for itself. Your faith is based on it’s denial, so as a lover of truth, I’m forced to point it out.

            • MikeSavage

              I don’t believe you first of all. second of all, you have NO WAY of knowing that you were the only visitor to a meeting. No possible way at all. And third, my faith is based on God’s and Jesus’ teachings, and the scriptures, and NOTHING else. Nothing else at all. You have no evidence, only your less than honest posts. You are NOT a lover of truth, unless loving avoiding the truth is what you love.

          • Pix

            “So I suppose this means you are apostate ”

            No I’m not, I was invited as part of an anthropology observation exercise instigated by the institute I work for, observing human ritual is part of my job.


            • MikeSavage

              No Pix, I am not apostate. I adhere to what Jesus taught, and what his Father teaches. That is the one true faith. Religions of man are apostate to that one true faith. You couldn’t have observed any rituals at a Kingdom hall, because none take place there.

    • Heart Of Winter

      It seems George Carlin wasn’t kidding when he referred to church as “a special building where we all gather once a week to compare clothing.” Thanks for illustrating that point Jeffery Daugherty.

    • srsly1

      How bout your stop judging others and look at yourself for once. Find your own faults and let others dress as they feel comfortable. It’s people like you why I stopped going to church, always judging me by my appearance. So what if I don’t dress up like everyone else.

      “So, what about you?” No, what about you. Very hypocritical, going to church to judge others on what they do. Pure douchebaggery with your holier than thou attitude.

    • Jacko

      The answer is very easy. Especially women like to emulate one another. If one does something else they all want it. It’s the same for men but it’s less prominent. Simply put: people are sheep.

    • CrowPie

      Just double checking… can never be too sure.

    • Eggzactly

      We now live in a narcissistic society, the ‘selfie’ culture. If that woman knew she was going to be on stage it was about all eyes on her! People actually use churches as the new dating place to meet people, Divorcees and people just out of relationships use them as a place to find the next right person. Hint~ We are all damaged people and you will do as good finding someone in church as you would finding them at the grocery store, a bar or the mall.
      The churches have been infiltrated with shills and church these days isnt about God anymore sadly. It’s about the collection plate and building a bigger church and a gym and soccer fields and a auditorium and………

    • VomitO

      Tittie Time

    • they.pierced.My.hands.and.My.feet.

      Jeffery D,
      It’s a very simple answer, and only those who are born of the Holy Spirit of Father Almighty
      understand the reality-application of it.
      Women believers either follow the Holy Spirit or they don’t. It’s a personal relationship,
      not a book relationship; although the book can be used as an outward helps if needed.

      • they.pierced.My.hands.and.My.feet.

        And another way of putting it :
        Women are as sinful as men.

        Make up on the face to obscure the glory of HaYah.
        Isn’t make up and jewelery the type and shadow of reality ?

        Dress like a slut, and what kind of man do they believe will be attracted
        to them ?

    • Truthseeker


      Are you sure that just because someone shows up at one of the churches of the 4000 flavors of confusion called christianity, are you sure they are converted and spirit filled sons of God?

      What comes to mind is the scripture “you shall know them by their fruits”

      • Chet


        Jeffery “D” handles snakes, performs exorcisms, reads tarot, is often scrying into the ether to determine the score of future sporting events and other such unclean intrusions into the realm of mystery… all for profit and fame of course. Don’t get me started on his strange choice of attire.

        Deuteronomy 22:5

        “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

        Are you sure he would know a spirit filled son of God if he saw one?
        Do you think he’s spending too much time looking for one where he’ll never find one?
        In the mirror?

        • they.pierced.My.hands.and.My.feet.

          What kind of snakes does he handle ?
          Where is your reference to these things ?
          Into the light we go……..

          • CrowPie

            Trouser snake

            • they.pierced.My.hands.and.My.feet.


          • they.pierced.My.hands.and.My.feet.

            Jeff P, do you handle venomous snakes ?

    • Amminadab

      What are some characteristics of good clothing?

      “Our clothing, while modest and simple, should be of good quality, of becoming colors, and suited for service. It should be chosen for durability rather than display. It should provide warmth and proper protection. . . .

      “It should have the grace, the beauty, the appropriateness, of natural simplicity.

      “Christ has warned us against the pride of life, but not against its grace and natural beauty.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, pp. 302, 303.

      b. What type of clothing should be avoided? 1 Timothy 2:9; Isaiah 3:16–24.

      “[1 Timothy 2:9 quoted.] This forbids display in dress, gaudy colors, profuse ornamentation. Any device designed to attract attention to the wearer or to excite admiration is excluded from the modest apparel which God’s word enjoins.”—Ibid., p. 302.

      c. What distinction must be observed between men’s and women’s clothing? Deuteronomy 22:5.

      “There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. . . .

      “God designed that there should be a plain distinction between the dress of men and women.”—Child Guidance, p. 427.

      To what is the Christian’s dress compared? Matthew 6:28, 29.

      “All heaven is marking the daily influence which the professed followers of Christ exert upon the world. . . . Your dress is telling either in favor of Christ and the sacred truth or in favor of the world. Which is it? Remember we must all answer to God for the influence we exert.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 641.

      What care should we have in choosing our clothing? Matthew 10:32, 33; Colossians 3:23–25.

      “Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ, or scattering abroad. This is no trivial matter, to be passed off with a jest. The subject of dress demands serious reflection and much prayer.”—Counsels on Health, p. 600.

      “Puritan plainness and simplicity should mark the dwellings and apparel of all who believe the solemn truths for this time.”—Messages to Young People, p. 315.

      b. What lesson can we learn from the instruction given to the people of Israel about the ribbon of blue? Numbers 15:38–41.

      “If God gave such definite directions to His ancient people in regard to their dress, will not the dress of His people in this age come under His notice? Should there not be in their dress a distinction from that of the world?”—Our High Calling, p. 271.

      c. What comforting assurance comes by replacing our taste for worldly beauty with Christ’s higher ideal of genuine beauty? 1 Peter 3:3, 4.

      “The most beautiful dress [Christ] bids us wear upon the soul. No outward adorning can compare in value or loveliness with that ‘meek and quiet spirit’ which in His sight is ‘of great price’ (1 Peter 3:4).”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 289.

    • Bill Lyle

      Last time I remembered, Church was the most boring experience of my life. They have to do something, to get some butts in the seats. Most denominations have scared their parishioners away with the Hellfire and Brimstone approach, so what’s left? It’s not as though the Jesus vs. Satan Grudge Match is happening anytime soon (I hear there’s some contractual issues, yet to be decided), so we have to face facts: Boobies draw a crowd…..

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