Why Our Clothing and Appearance Matter
We all have preferences about how we want to dress and groom ourselves. If we follow a few simple Bible principles, we can not only express our personal taste but also please Jehovah. Let us consider some of those principles.
1. What principles should guide our choices in dress and grooming?
We should choose “appropriate dress, with modesty and soundness of mind,” and maintain a clean appearance that reflects our “devotion to God.” (1 Timothy 2:9, 10) Consider these four principles: (1) Our dress should be “appropriate.” As you have observed at congregation meetings, Jehovah’s people have different tastes, but our dress and hairstyles show respect for the God we worship. (2) Dressing “with modesty” means our appearance would not be sexually provocative, nor should it draw too much attention to ourselves. (3) We show “soundness of mind” when we do not adopt every fad of dress and grooming that comes along. (4) Our appearance should always reflect our “devotion to God,” indicating to others that we worship the true God.—1 Corinthians 10:31.
2. How can our appearance affect our fellow believers?
While we have the freedom to choose what we wear, we should think of the effect our appearance might have on others. We try our best not to offend anyone but, rather, to “please [our] neighbor for his good, to build him up.”—Read Romans 15:1, 2.
3. How can our appearance attract others to true worship?
While we try to dress appropriately on every occasion, we pay particular attention to our dress when we attend congregation meetings and share in the ministry. We do not want to detract from the important message we are taking to people. Instead, our appearance can make the truth attractive to others and “adorn the teaching of our Savior.”—Titus 2:10.
Consider how we can make sure that our clothing and appearance are appropriate for us as Christians.
4. A good appearance shows respect for Jehovah
What is the most important reason for us to care about our appearance? Read Psalm 47:2, and then discuss these questions:
How should the fact that we represent Jehovah affect the way we dress?
Do you think it is reasonable to be concerned about our appearance when we attend meetings and share in the ministry? Why, or why not?
5. How to make good choices about dress and grooming
Whether our clothes are expensive or cost little, they should be clean and appropriate for the specific situations we find ourselves in. Read 1 Corinthians 10:24 and 1 Timothy 2:9, 10. Then, discuss why we would want to avoid wearing clothing that is . . .
sloppy or overly casual.
tight-fitting, revealing, or otherwise sexually provocative.
Although Christians are not under the Mosaic Law, it reveals Jehovah’s thinking. Read Deuteronomy 22:5, and then discuss this question:
Why should we avoid dress and grooming that makes men look like women or women look like men?
Read 1 Corinthians 10:32, 33 and 1 John 2:15, 16, and then discuss these questions:
Why should we care whether our appearance offends some in the community or in the congregation?
What styles of dress and grooming are common where you live?
Do you think some of those styles might be inappropriate for a Christian? Why, or why not?
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “I have the right to wear anything I want.”
Do you agree? Why, or why not?
When we make good choices about our appearance, we show our respect for Jehovah and for others.
Why is our dress and grooming important to Jehovah?
What are some principles that should guide our decisions about our appearance?
How can our appearance affect the way others view true worship?
See what message your clothes might be sending.
Learn why it is wise to think before you ink.
Consider additional principles that can guide our decisions.
“Does Your Style of Dress Glorify God?” (The Watchtower, September 2016)
How did one sincere woman develop a balanced view of others’ choices about personal appearance?
“Dress and Grooming Was My Stumbling Block” (Awake!, December 22, 2003)