Recently an article has circulated around Facebook (well my Facebook at least) all about bikinis and modesty. I really enjoyed the article and it resonated with me. However, people, even Christians, have come out against it with the argument of confidence vs. self-consciousness.
I am ALL about confidence in who you are and what you look like. God does NOT make mistakes, and He made each and every one of us…so you have no reason to be ashamed or self-conscious about your appearance or who you are because you are a child of God. You are the child of the King of all Kings. You were worth dying for in His eyes so you have every right to walk around with your head high.
Now that being said, I think when it comes to modesty (I am referring only to external modesty, not internal modesty), it is important to think about who you are dressing for. Are you wearing that bikini or that low top for others? For yourself? Or are you wearing it to glorify God? As weird as it sounds, we are called to honor Him in ALL things, including our clothes. In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are specifically called to honor God with our bodies. Now taking that into consideration, I think modesty is simply a form of obedience. Meaning that maybe we really want to wear all those things because WE like them…not because God does or because they glorify Him. And obeying God is hard, but it is necessary and ultimately worth every single thing we gave up to do it. Showing more skin is definitely not a commandment in the Bible, but He does tell us to treat our bodies with respect.
Just like the woman in the article, I was raised wearing one piece swimsuits and tankinis, but bikinis were forbidden. Now as the rebellious teen I was, I bought a couple and wore them when I went someone with just my friends to the shore, a pool party, etc. There were many reasons that I bought the bikinis: rebellion, to fit in, they are cute, to attract attention, I didn’t see the harm. However, I never felt comfortable in them. I would be nervous about sitting and my fat rolls piling up on my stomach, whether or not I actually looked good in it, and constantly trying to cover my ‘personal areas’ as much as possible so as to not reveal anything unintentionally. I found I spent more time worrying about the suit falling off or looking bad than I spent actually enjoying the event. Religious and modesty reasons aside, swimsuit season has become a lot less complicated now that I am back to one piece suits and tankinis.
Not everyone’s experience matches mine. I know plenty of people, good friends who are GREAT people, who wear bikinis and like them because they feel more confident in them.
Wearing a bikini is not a sin. I am not judging you for wearing one. If you feel more confident in one than in a one piece, I am glad that you love yourself as much as God does. BE CONFIDENT IN WHO YOU ARE. However, I caution you to think about if you are glorifying God in all that you do, including how you dress.
And remember that covering something up doesn’t always mean that you are ashamed of what’s being covered, it can mean that you simply want to treasure and respect it because it is precious.
Other verses about honoring God with your body:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17