Well, summertime is quickly approaching. People are firing up their grills, planning family vacations, and shopping for summer apparel, including bikinis. And I thought it would be fun to write about bikinis, clothes, and convictions in general.
To be honest, you probably won’t find me in a bikini this year. I’ve actually never worn one. The reason includes a combination of things:
I don’t have a super spiritual reason why I’ve never worn one. I do have some personal convictions about swimsuits. I am following my parents’ wishes. And I also have fears.
I’m afraid of feeling uncomfortable.
I’m afraid of getting attention.
I’m afraid of not getting attention.
I’m afraid of being self-conscious (because I definitely would be).
I can’t say that the reason I’ve never worn a bikini is because I’m an extremely spiritual Christian or because my convictions are better than yours. My choice to not wear a bikini mainly revolves around my parents’ desires and my comfort level.
I’ve never picked up a bikini in a department store and said, “I can’t wait to wear this to the beach!” I’ve never even tried one on. It’s just not part of the way I’ve been raised. I didn’t grow up with the strong desire to wear one.
There’s no magical or uber-spiritual reason. It just is.
My convictions, my upbringing, and my comfort all contribute to it. I don’t even have a Bible verse to give you about not wearing bikinis—or any other piece of clothing, for that matter. If I told you that the Bible condemns certain types of clothing, I would be lying and enforcing legalism. I don’t think we should create commands that aren’t in the Bible, but I do think we should live by our personal convictions and build up the body of Christ.
So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. (Romans 14:19-22 NASB)
While this passage mainly addresses the Jews’ and Gentiles’ convictions about what foods are clean and unclean, the point of the passage can apply to all areas of life. The point is not that wearing a bikini is a sin. The point is that causing our brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble is a sin.
If you feel uncomfortable in a certain outfit, try a different one. If your brother or dad says something you wear is too revealing, throw it away. If you aren’t sure how you feel about a piece of clothing, wear something you do feel sure about. If you think your clothing choices would cause guys to lust, shop for more modest clothing.
You probably won’t see me in a bikini this summer, and that’s mainly because wearing a bikini would go against my parents’ wishes (and it would be uncomfortable for me). But I might find you wearing one—and that’s okay. I personally believe it’s wrong, but I can’t direct you to a Bible verse that says it is. It’s okay to have different convictions. We just need to follow the convictions that God has placed in our hearts and remember not to judge other believers who have different convictions.
To conclude, I’d like to wish you good luck as you shop for summer clothes! I hope you enjoy your summer activities—even swimsuit shopping—and I hope you have a wonderful summer! 🙂