1 Corinthians 10: 31, So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? A woman should examine her motive and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshipping God? Or is it to call attention to herself and flaunt her beauty? Or worse, to attempt to lure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshipping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance. ~ John MacArthur
Tradition in the USA maintains that, on her wedding day, a woman dresses in white as a testament to her purity. The style of the dress may vary but overall, the white remains. These days, this isn’t as common as it was but it’s still fairly common. This testament to purity is frequently a false testament as many aren’t virgins on their wedding day; even among those who are virgins, many choose wedding gowns that, rather than testifying to her purity and the dignity of the solemn vows she’s undertaking before God and man, flaunts her sexuality.
A few years ago, I read an article where pastors were discussing the immodesty of the brides whose weddings they officiated. One had this to say:
In recent years, I have become increasingly grieved by the immodest dresses of both brides and bridesmaids at the weddings that I officiate. I have observed a number of young ladies in our fellowship who have dressed modestly all their lives appearing on their wedding day in extremely provocative dresses, exposing more of themselves than on any other day of their lives.
I don’t know the pastor’s name but I appreciate his heart. So often modern wedding gowns are strapless, or plunge down the front revealing cleavage, or down the back. Or is far too sheer, clingy, etc. and so on.
Does it really matter how a woman robes herself on her wedding day? It is, after all, the bride’s wedding day and she has every right to bedeck herself however she wishes…doesn’t she? To a point, yes. She should certainly like her wedding gown. She should feel beautiful, special, and fancied up for her groom. But, to a larger point, no. No Christian ever has the right to simply please herself. Not even on her wedding day.
What a Christian puts on her body–or suggests that her bridesmaid’s wear–isn’t just about what style she thinks is pretty. It’s about the glory of her Lord. If that’s not our first thought when choosing how we will dress when we walk down the aisle, it certainly ought to be. If we care more about what we want–even on our wedding day–than we do about what brings the Lord glory, we are sinning.
Marriage was designed by God. It is a picture of Jesus and the church. Jesus–the Groom, and the bride–the church. Because it is that, a wedding isn’t meant to be a time of frivolity or to focus on our own desires. It is a time of worship. A marriage is an ordained union of two people–one man, one woman, for life. It is a serious, holy ceremony, a worship service, not a show. Not a bride-centered “do.” And as a worship service, it should be focused on God–on His glory, not our own desires–in every single aspect of it.
The questions we must ask are these: What does your wedding dress say about you–your heart, your character, your obedience to God? Moreover, what does it say about your Savior? And what does the solemnity of your wedding, or lack thereof, say about your devotion to the Lord? Does it reflect that your wedding is a holy, solemn ceremony–a worship service? Should a wedding become silly, frivolous, or fun-filled rather than holy and solemn, it reflects poorly on our Savior.
The same, of course, goes for the bridesmaids dresses. They also ought to reflect purity, holiness, because–though not the bride–they are still part of the holy ceremony joining one man, one woman, before the Lord, for life.
There are many styles of wedding dresses and endless places to purchase them. My mother made mine but then, she was extraordinarily gifted with a needle. If you can sew or know someone who can, that is certainly an option and gives you many options for altering patterns to make sure your gown, and those of your bridesmaids, are modest.
Wherever or however you go about purchasing your gown, I’d suggest these guidelines for choosing a modest one:
Try your gown on and look at it from every angle. Take someone with you who will tell you the absolute truth about how it looks, someone who is concerned about your modesty and purity–and God’s glory. Bend over, twist, turn, walk and see how it clings, how it flows, where it pulls, and what it might reveal.
Can you see your bra under it?
Does it cling and reveal your figure?
Does the neckline show any cleavage? Any at all, from any angle?
Does it reveal too much of your back? Does it plunge? Is it sheer too far down in the back, revealing flesh under the fabric?
Is it strapless? Does it have spaghetti straps? Is it off-the-shoulder?
If so, please consider continuing to look for a modest and pretty gown.
If you attend a wedding where the bride or her bridesmaids aren’t modestly attired, her wedding it not the appropriate place to mention it.
In all things, the glory of the Lord is to be our primary goal, even on our wedding day. Let us strive to remember that. Always.
Soli Deo Gloria!