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Wearing a bikini on the beach

Hi! I was wondering if it’s wrong for a Christian to wear a bikini on the beach? I’ve always done this, and never thought about it as it’s so normal. What are the limits for what are ‘decent’ clothes and does it mostly rely on culture and the situation I’m in? How can we use the Bible in questions like this? I’m thinking of questions to do with modesty, not awakening lust, which parts of the body are private, and so on.

From a girl in her 20s.


Thanks for a very relevant question!

In terms of clothing, the advice the Bible offers is most of all that we should clothe ourselves ‘with decency’. We don’t often use this word in terms of our clothing, so here are some synonyms to help you understand it better: properly, appropriately, fittingly, modestly and respectably.

Different cultures and nations will of course have different understandings of what is seen to be decent. So we can’t define ‘decency’ and say it will always be so in every situation. However, if you check your heart’s intentions and motivations, you will find a key to understanding what is decent. If you use fashion to make guys think about sex, and to draw attention to your body, then there is a big possibility that this would be what the Bible calls indecency. Our bodies belong to God, and He wants us to use them to His glory and not for selfish reasons (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

The fact that the Bible encourages us to be clothed modestly does not mean that it encourages us to be ashamed of our bodies. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, according to Psalm 139! That’s why we should clothe ourselves with value and modesty.


Best wishes

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