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