To Bikini or not Bikini?

Jun 29, 2015 | On Motherhood | 20 comments

To Bikini or not Bikini? Should Christians Wear Bikinis?

For many Christian women that is the question of the summer. Should Christians wear bikinis?

Notice this can of worms.

Notice how I will now attempt to explode it.


Oh boy.


This could really go in so many different directions so I am going to do my best and formulate my thoughts.

The bikini. 

As if swimsuit season doesn’t cause enough hang-ups.

Please try to hear me out and know this is not an exhaustive conversation on the topic… just some thoughts I’ve got. And I’m sure someone in the past has said it all much better before my lame attempt.

I must confess I find it amusing how caught up women… Believing, Christian women get in whether or not their Sisters should wear a bikini or not. Ok – here we go…

I’m never going to be able to come back from this, am I?

Let’s shoot straight here. We are obsessing over… the stomach. And, typically, a mon avis the stomach is a rather lovely part of the female form. I mean come on. It is.

Even if you don’t sport a figure that has the approval of this ridiculous, modern culture, chances are… you’re pretty darn sexy. I mean – have you been to the Louvre? Have you seen those Rubens paintings?

Women are hot.

Yes, girlfriend… you’ve got hips, boobs… a fanny. That’s the way God made you and I’ll bet your hubby loves it.

Enter: The skin-tight bathing suit. The closest thing to naked that you’ll ever (most likely) be in public.

So why do we obsess on NOT showing one’s STOMACH as the ultimate form of beachfront modesty?

Really, I am curious. And I mean NO, NO, NO, NO disrespect to my very, very modest sisters in Christ. But I really don’t understand. Because last time I checked no matter if you are wearing a one piece or a two piece you are still wearing a garment that clearly shapes and clings to your breasts, your… ahem… front… and your bootie. Like clings…like attached to your butt-cheeks for all the world to see. And it gets wet. Hello?

So WHY do we feel self-righteous when someone we know exposes their mid-drift on a hot summer day? I really don’t get it.

Now don’t get me wrong – I know there are some SKANKY bikinis out there. Nasty business. Stuff I would not be caught dead in. (But that is my personal conviction.) But where is the line? What about the one piece that is cut very high in the front but opens over the obliques… belly button covered? Is that un-modest? Or what about the gal who wears a very modest one piece but has been blessed (or cursed, if she views it that way) with a well-endowed bosom? What’s a girl to do? Should she be judged for even wanting to swim?

Or, what about our fellow sisters who have been blessed with or work extremely hard for an adorable derriere? Should they wear a skirted one piece as to distract from their cute tush?

It’s all just silly.

When you start judging your Sisters poolside I think it’s a slippery slope.

No pun intended.

Where’s the line on the beach front and pool side modesty for us Christian gals?

I’ll tell you where I think the line is.

I think it’s in your heart.

God talks all the time about motive, about what is going on in our heart. And I think we could consider that when donning our bathing suits too. What’s your motive?

Why do you choose a one piece?

Are you covering up because you hate the body God has given you (or the body you’ve let happen)? Because you think your curves are gross? Because you covet other people’s figures? Maybe you’re mad cause you don’t like yourself in a bikini and therefore, no one should wear one.

Or maybe you are choosing a one piece out of personal style or conviction. Because between you, God and your husband, if you have one, it’s the right thing to do. Maybe as a mother of teen girls, it feels like the right example to set.

Then by all means – rock that one piece.


Why do you choose a bikini?

Are you flaunting what you’ve got, judgmental of others who don’t look as good as you? Are you wondering how many people are looking at you.. admiring you…coveting what you’ve got? Trying to attract inappropriate attention?

Or, are you just simply putting on a bathing suit, that between you, God and your husband, if you have one, you are comfortable with cause you want a tan and you just want to go have some fun with your kids?

Maybe you simply hate the feeling of that wet fabric on your stomach.

If your motives are nil – then just rock that bikini. Who cares.

It’s something to think about.

Ladies – let’s go easy on each other.

It’s not a matter of salvation. It’s a matter of personal conviction. That’s the freedom we have in Christ.

There are some areas of our Christian walk where personal conviction is allowed. So, next time you’re at the church pool party or swimming with your fellow sisters why not examine your own heart as you scan the sand and decide what is appropriate and what is not. Maybe the gal in the bikini doesn’t think she’s “all that”. Maybe she just likes the sun on her tummy. And maybe the girl in the one piece isn’t a prude. Maybe she is setting the right example for the little eyes in her family.

I’m pretty confident Jesus is concerned about our (caddy, judgmental, coveting, insecure, female) hearts. Not if our bathing suit is cut in half or not.

Now if it would just get hot enough here for me to even get my bathing suit out of the drawer.

Angela Parisienne Farmgirl




  1. Bobbi

    I know that it has nothing to do with Christianity, but when I first saw the post, I remembered that Annette Funicello (of original Mouseketeer fame) always wore a modest 1 piece suit in the Beach Blanket movies. Why? She said that Walt Disney told her he hoped that she wouldn’t wear one of “those bikinis” so out of respect for Mr Disney, she never did. Little bit of trivia. …..

  2. melyssa

    I love this! I love you!

  3. Sarah N

    Well said, my friend. Well said.

  4. Joannah

    Even when I was 124 (I’m 5’8″) pounds, I never wanted to wear a bikini. However, being long-torsoed, one-piece suits aren’t always a good fit. I was thrilled when tankinis came on the market. Perfect for me!

    When I choose suits for M, I put her in tankinis, too. I like the extra coverage they give her from exposure to the sun.

    It’s a personal choice, and I think it is appropriate to consider one’s motivation. I want to be comfortable and not self-conscious. I was a little more “liberal” when I was married, because I wanted to please my husband. 🙂

    I almost made a terrible mistake a couple of years ago when I was engaged to a man who was hyper-vigilant about modesty. His late wife only wore rash guards and shorts, and so did their kids. It just didn’t feel right to me (on many levels). They were very legalistic about attire, and other things. The thing is, they were also very prideful about their modesty and other “superior” morals, and I think that is a trap one can fall into in this regard.

  5. Lisa

    Yay!! Love reading this post! I no longer sport my bikini…but I do wear a black&white polka dot one piece!

  6. mandy

    I disagree with you one this one, but let me tell you why.

    I sat listening to a group of men talking one time. Strong, normal, amazing Christian men. They were speaking of being younger and being so ashamed that they couldn’t help but notice girls in bikinis. Most of them even struggled with their moms and sisters and aunts {we’re talking about when they were young teens}. I decided right then and there that I would never be a stumbling block if I knew it could be helped. I realize I will still draw attention even without a bikini, but if it is within my power -reasonably- to help just a little I will. Some were near crying in shame. It made my heart hurt. Especially having a teen son and watching the battle play out while he tries to guard his eyes in public. I would never judge another woman’s walk with Christ based on her swimsuit choice, but I do think that if we really considered the struggle it is for men and boys, we would be much more careful.

    • mandy

      I shouldn’t have said I disagree with you…most of what you said I 100% agree with! It comes down to personal conviction between the woman and the Lord. I was just trying to throw out a reason some might not think of for being modest. and this is coming from your online friend who falls into that well endowed category 😉 I am careful to cover up, cause these girls look like they’ll burst out at any given point 😀

      • Parisienne Farmgirl

        Love your comment.
        I didn’t come out and say it cause I didn’t want the post to be about me per se but I do wear a bikini, in the pool and if I am laying in the sun. However, I have this weird conviction myself where I don’t walk around in it. I always put on my cover up, even here at home. There is just something about walking around in it that is not for me.
        I love every point you made. Thank you for commenting.

        The teen son is something to reckon with. This year (he just turned 10) but this year I felt like it was time to wear more than a sports bra when working out in my living room. Sometimes he walks by and I thought well – guess it’s time to get the girls under control now.
        All the things we must consider.

        • mandy

          exactly. I never thought about it much til my son got older too. He turns 14 TODAY! holy crap, where does the time go? I HATE wearing a bra. but when you’re a size ZZZ {okay, well, it feels like it}, you gotta start keeping the girls in their cage. ugh. love ya, & thanks for taking my comment for how I meant it! I always worry how stuff comes across in this land 😉

  7. Teresa

    I was wearing one pieces with rather revealing cut outs when I was your age and my children small. Recently I came across the testimony of Dr. Gloria Polo, a dentist from Columbia, who was hit by lightning several years ago. Her cousin was right next to her and died. She admits being very vain, proud of her legs and breasts while flaunting them, and all over the place with her belief in God. Well ALL that changed when her body died and she was before the Lord. One of the things she was shown was how her immodest dress did indeed catch the attention of the men around her, as Many mentions in her comment. Dr. Polo miraculously lived and doesn’t dress that way anymore

    Just an FYI…you can google Dr. Polo and hear her testimony. It is pretty amazing!

  8. Angela Muller

    Well, Angela, my nieces and their children live in Brazil…and just about everyone wears a bikini in the summer. Age and body type are never an issue. Now, I know that is a healthy mindset, however, I haven’t worn a bathing suit (never mind a bikini) in twenty plus years.

    • Parisienne Farmgirl

      Excellent. Thank you!!!! I haven’t been to her blog in YEARS – had totally forgotten about it!

  9. Janet

    Personal decision, and I know that I’m going to see a little of everything if I go to the beach. My family has always had a pool, but do not invite others to share in our fun. We love to go to the beach, but the others there are not personal friends, that we normally see fully clothed. For me, it’s not an issue with strangers, but I do not want to see body parts of people I know and respect. I do not believe that churches or Sunday school classes ought to be having pool parties. I do not want my husband seeing the song leader in a bikini, and I certainly do not want to see the Sunday school teacher’s chest. If those we know personally are less covered than we think they ought to be, we lose a bit of respect for them. Also, I think of young men who see a teacher from church, and then every time they encounter that person, the think of the bikini she was wearing, instead of the Bible lesson she is discussing. I think it best to wear our swimsuit of choice only around strangers and for fun with immediate family..
    That may sound crazy, but that’s how I feel.

  10. Ally | A Home Called Shalom

    I wore a bikini a lot in high school, and always felt uncomfortable. Like I had to readjust everything all the time. It was distracting for me- I couldn’t have fun because I was worried about showing things I didn’t want to show!

    We work at a Bible Camp now, which was a perfect excuse for me to get (what my husband aptly calls) my “appropriate suit.” I’m so much more comfortable, and can move around and actually enjoy beach time.

  11. Kat

    Growing up in California, swimming is just what people do. I was raised to be modest, so I always wore a one-piece swimsuit with a neckline that covered my cleavage. I used to think that Christians who got all caught up about it and only swam if not in mixed company were legalistic and silly. Then I read about a survey done with guys from 12-72, I think. These guys were anonymous and very honest, and what I read rocked my ideas about clothing deeply. I haven’t worn a swimsuit since. Yes, I miss swimming, but I don’t have something more modest, and it doesn’t make sense to go to a public place to cause my guys to stumble over the women there. What I read was that tight clothing (swimsuits are the most obvious, but it included pants and tops) cause guys to stumble pretty easily … it’s just different colored skin. Their arousal is an automatic response – something that they can’t stop from happening – then they have to struggle to not linger in that. After that, their photogenic brains will throw that up in their mental faces at random times. I don’t want to be that person. Sometimes it still happens when I gain weight/pants shrink, but I try to be very cautious about my clothing.

  12. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

    Interesting post and a good take. Dave, my deceased husband, would say, “Where you stand depends upon where you sit.” Meaning, in Hawaii it’s not a big deal; in Boston it’s a huge sin. I just can’t see myself in a bikini sitting beside Jesus at the pool or beach but, fortunately, we each “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling”.


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