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How Should Christians Dress? Can We Wear Piercings?

One thing I’ve noticed about The Rebel Christian is the flow of traffic. I try to keep an eye on my statistics just, so I know what everyone’s looking or what they’re looking for. For the last few months I’ve been getting a very unusually high amount of traffic for an article I wrote 3 years ago. It was an article about how Christians should dress; considering its Summer time, I think that may explain why so many people want to read the article. You can find that by clicking here.

When it comes to clothes, you can generally find me in an over-sized men’s sweater and a pair of black leggings. That’s my go-to for every season. I love men’s clothing, I have no idea why. Maybe because their clothing fits in a baggier style rather than the skin-tight trend that’s been dominating the US fashion industry since the 70’s. When I’m not in men’s clothing, I throw on the latest Christian t-shirt I’ve ordered, cut in half like a homemade cropped tee and paired again with black leggings or jean shorts in the summer. I’m a simple girl when it comes to clothing. But there are also times I’ll dress up in what I call ‘full gear’. I veil myself and wear head jewelry, don my latest piercing for all to see, and adorn myself in the shiniest or chunkiest rings, bracelets, and earrings I can find—and I always, always wear black nail polish.

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I have been mistaken for a goth, a Muslim, a Jew, and in my highest period of I-Don’t-Care-What-You-Think-Of-Me attire I’ve even been mistaken for a member of the Amish faith (those were my no makeup and handmade clothes days haha). The only thing my fashion has taught me in the few 25 years I’ve been on this earth is that people pay a lot of attention to what you wear. Especially Christians.

While I have definitely been mistaken for a lot of people from different cultures, I have never been mistreated or called names for the way I dress except by Christians—or people who call themselves Christians. It used to bother me a lot, thinking that I couldn’t wear nail polish because it meant I was a harlot. Or believing that dyeing my hair would make people think I was full of lust. I avoided makeup, I avoided flat-irons, and I avoided anything that made me look presentable for a very long time because I thought looking pretty was equivalent to being sinful.

A lot of Christians debate whether or not it is ok to wear tight jeans, bikinis, muscle shirts, etc, because it doesn’t look Christian. But what does it mean to look Christian? Is it a plain face in plain clothing? Is it a face with makeup and styled hair? Is it a body full of tattoos? Is it a fit body? A fat one?

The answer is all of the above, Christians come in many different shapes, colors, sizes, and appearances. You can find more information on that answer in my article The Christian Dress Code.  

Did you know, I shaved my head, dyed the rest blonde, and added almost ten piercings to my face alone?

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Am I any less Christian because I have a nose ring? Do I suddenly love Jesus so much more when I take it out? Many Believers think it is wrong to mark, pierce, or adorn the body in any way—that includes makeup, hair styling, even Chapstick in more extreme churches. I don’t necessarily disagree with them.

I Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

Keeping this scripture in mind, you should treat your body preciously and take incredible care of it. We are temples, holy before the Lord and walking as a living sacrifice. You shouldn’t tear your body apart, in the same way, who says wearing makeup or getting a piercing is tearing your body apart? Yes, there is a literal tearing of the skin when getting a piercing, however, that is something that will heal.

On one end of the spectrum, Christians believe that dressing up or getting piercings is not honoring your body as a temple but destroying it. On the other end of the spectrum, Christians believe that dressing up and having body jewelry is a way of adding beauty to their body—their temple.

What do you believe?

As children of the Most High God, I believe that adorning ourselves appropriately is a wonderful thing. When have you ever caught a member of any royal family dressed as a beggar or wearing rags? Putting on something that makes you look nice is not sinful in any way. Our Father created the heavens and the earth, why not show others what He has blessed you with? That is not being haughty or being overly concerned with your outer appearance—it is caring about the way you present yourself as a Child of God.

God looks at our hearts, just as he told Samuel in I Samuel 16:7 NIV: “… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

No matter what you wear—or don’t wear—God looks at your heart. That doesn’t mean you should go get 2 dozen piercings or walk around in booty shorts and fish-net stockings. That means its ok to adorn yourself as long as you are not putting more emphasis on your outer appearance than your relationship with God.

Think of the scripture from I Timothy 2:9 KJV “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.”

Or the verse, I Peter 3:3-4 NIV “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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.”

Both of the scriptures tell us not to put so much emphasis on the way we look or the way we dress but please do not be mistaken, these words are not a deterrent to dressing up but rather instructions on how we should worship God. If anything, these scriptures strengthen my previous statement: God looks at our hearts. It doesn’t matter what you put on your face or your body, your beauty should come from inside, from your inner self—from your heart. That means living righteously, trusting God in everything, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

As shocking as this may sound, those scriptures don’t just apply to the Christians who wear nice clothes or get piercings. Any Believer who puts greater importance on the way they look over their relationship with God has sin in their hearts. That includes Christians who don’t adorn themselves. If you have the attitude that you are closer to God just because you don’t wear makeup, then you are mistaking yourself. If you think wearing homely clothes makes you less sinful than the man in a tux then your mind is in the wrong place.

Dressing nicely is not sinful. Getting piercings is not sinful. But make sure you aren’t putting your appearance above God. Ask the Lord before making a decision about piercings and have the patience to wait on an answer. But also remember who you are and whose you are. What sort of impact will having a lip ring make on your friends and family. Do you think your church members will have anything positive or negative to say about it?

There are many Believers who do not approve of piercings but that doesn’t make them sinful. There are many Believers who don’t approve of women pastors or women wearing pants or women wearing heels to church. That doesn’t make it sinful. Keep your mind and your heart focused on Christ and He will lead you to how to dress and how to decorate your body.  

Once again, if you want to read more material on how you should dress as a Christian you can find my original article here.