Quoting Quiverfull: Dressing Up For Church Is Modest?

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

By Adam Gregorin in his defunct blog Is This Modest.com and MInTheGap.com

If you were going to have an audience with the President of the United States, how would you dress?  Would casual attire or torn blue jeans be considered appropriate, or would you at least dress in office work attire or better?

If you answered the latter, then there’s this question:  Why is it that when you go to corporately worship the King of all Kings in a place designated for worship that you would wear anything less.

I mean, a few of our former Presidents believed that they shouldn’t even be in the Oval Office without a coat and tie, how can we enter into His official presence without dressing up.


After Adam and Eve had sinned, they found that they were naked, and were ashamed.  They decided to make clothing for themselves to cover their nakedness.  When God appeared, He determined that there clothing was not good enough, and made clothing out of animal skin for them.

When God gave instructions to Moses on constructing the Temple, His instructions not only came with details about the dimensions of the building, it came with instructions on how the priest and how the high priest should dress!

Multiple times in Scripture we see God talk about clothing– that He takes care to provide clothing and clothes the fields, that renting clothing is something done to register blasphemy, that seeing someone unclothed is a sin, etc.

So God has always had a dress code.

To read in full, please go to http://isthismodest.com/2011/04/29/you-should-wear-skirts-or-dresses-to-church/

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Sarah

    The only time the bible mentions clothes worn to church it tells people to not show favoritism to those who are well-dressed. I get the point that if we really love God we will give Him our best. However, these arguments assume a certain socio-economic level above that held by most people throughout history. They are snobbery dressed up and paraded around as if it were piety.

  • suzannecalulu

    I found this interesting because if I understand what I read in the Bible about modesty it is more to do with dressing up and parading around all fancy like, filled with pride, more than being about what you wear. I wear jeans to church because I’m a part of an emergent contemporary church services and we’ve found that dressing that way actually helps the new people coming in that may not necessarily have been raised with church much more comfortable and likely to come back. We’re all about not making new members and the young folks comfortable. If you don’t feel like you are standing out, you’re not dressed in a over the top expensive stuff and no genitalia is showing would that not fit the Biblical model of modesty much better than all this silly blathering much of the fundigelical world?

  • Antigone10

    Okay, let me get this straight:

    Women should cover up and go to irritating extremes in order to not have their brothers in Christ stumble. Their actions are sinful when it causes others to sin.

    The 10th commandment is “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    But, you should wear nice attire on the Sabbath, even though that action will more than assuredly cause someone to stumble with covetousness.

    How are these reconciled?

  • Although I grew up in a family that dressed up to go to church, this was never our rationale (it was more like “let’s look nice, we’re going out in public as a family”), but I definitely heard this from church members around me. As I got older, I decided if God was everywhere, it didn’t matter that I dressed up for him in one place and not in another.

  • OregonianWinter

    Whenever I read about modesty, it almost never has to do with what needs to be covered (which is easy enough to do for the appropriate siuations) but always has to do with fashion. While fashion and modesty aren’t truly completely separable, you can talk about both and not confuse one for the other. While there are certain situations that “require” certain styles of apparel, one does not need to dress fashionable to be modest or modest to be fashionable. Or you can dress modestly but not fashionably or dress fashionably but not modestly. Mostly it comes down to common sense and practicality. Dress for the weather (it is winter here in the US) and for what you are going to be doing and make sure you’re not going to trip or fall or anything you are wearing and you’ll be fine. Just remember clean underwear is always important.

  • Persephone

    I wish we could have dressed for the weather. Snow on the ground, icicles looming on the eaves, and temperatures in the teens, but the women still have to wear skirts or dresses.
    If we’re going to go all Biblical like the fundies, we should just change over to wool or cotton full-length robes, male and female. See, e.g., the Middle East.

  • suzannecalulu

    I actually have a beautiful abaya (cotton robe) that’s embroidered, comfortable and oh so modest. I could go for that.

  • saraquill

    This man is not aware that there are clothing optional churches, is he?
    Church seems an ideal place to be naked; no need to worry about sunburn, hopefully there are less mosquitoes, and most importantly, you are emulating a more innocent time.

  • Lolly

    Apparently, God cares about fancy clothing more than grammar.

  • BB/VA

    Also getting your references right. The last I looked, God gave Moses instructions on building the Ark of the Covenant, not the Temple. The Temple was a couple of centuries later.

  • “If you were going to have an audience with the President of the United States, how would you dress? Would casual attire or torn blue jeans be considered appropriate, or would you at least dress in office work attire or better?
    Why is it that when you go to corporately worship the King of all Kings in a place designated for worship that you would wear anything less?”
    The reason that I would not dress up for talking to God is because he is actually with me everywhere, including the bedroom and bathroom. I can hardly go to bed dressed up and it is impossible to bath dressed up.
    The other reason is that I’d be doing something that really does not matter to God:

    God does not look at the same things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16:7b

    What the asker have to learn is that he, according to James 2 which Sarah already alluded to in the first comment, is doing wrong – He judges people, and where they belong in church, by their clothing.

  • Rae

    I love how they make the leap from “dressing up” to “skirts or dresses”.

    And they’re neglecting to discuss that, even with the President, it’s not just “as fancy as you can get”. Foran inaugural ball, you might want to wear a tuxedo or gown (or dress uniform if you’re in the military), but your fanciest formal getup would be inappropriate if you were meeting him for a business or politics related thing. Heck, if you’re meeting for a certain reason, wearing apparel that’s specific to that reason is also appropriate, even if it’s not even up to “business casual” standards – there’s a photo of the ’96 women’s USA gymnastics team with President Clinton, and they’re all wearing their Team USA track jackets, shorts, and sneakers, or there’s photos of Michelle Obama herself wearing jeans when she’s doing some of her health things involving the White House garden.

  • Kimberly

    I completely agree with Sarah. Oh how we deceive ourselves. I had always believed that dressing up for church showed respect to God. But my perspective changed when my aging father admitted that he had stopped going to church because his clothes were too old and shabby, and he had nothing to wear! That made me so sad, and it completely changed my perspective on “Godly” dress.

  • Tori

    I am pagan, for me, the ultimate way to worship is nude, with my skin bare to the wind and the moonlight. There is no shame in that, but I have yet to be brave enough!