Monday, July 31, 2017

God's View of Public Bathing

Dear God-seekers,

At this time of year, as millions flock to the beaches, pools, and water theme parks, Christians are among those throngs, and I suppose that most probably don't give a second thought to what the Lord thinks about it. They certainly won't hear it from their pastors in most cases, so I think it's appropriate to address this here. I am specifically addressing Christians only.

A few years ago, my family and I were among those throngs, but since then the Lord has spoken to us about His holy standards for His people. He requires holiness from us at all times, and without holiness, no man will see the Lord (Heb 12:14). When the Lord speaks about holiness in His Word, it applies not only to our inward lives, but to the whole person, including our bodies. He requires that even our attire and adornment be godly. All our apparel must be modest, as I have written extensively about in my articles, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Garments of Godliness, and Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy.

It has been a few years since we have been to the beach, and the last time we were there, we went in the evenings with our children, after the crowds were gone. While we remained fully dressed, we walked the beach together barefoot along the water's edge, as the waves lapped over our feet. It was a very beautiful time together beholding the majesty of God's creation, the powerful ocean with its surf and salty smell, as we walked with our feet in the water, collecting shells that we found along the way. Of course, there were still other people around, but not the usual crowds that are there during the daytime. I have included a photo above of one of those occasions, which was at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire in July 2013.

Hampton Beach, NH, USA in May 2011
The main issue with these places is that the clothing that people usually wear for swimming and sunbathing essentially provides the same amount of coverage of their bodies as their underwear does. Take for example the bikini bathing suit that women commonly wear. When a woman dresses like that in public, it is no different in God's sight than if she were walking around in public wearing a bra and panties. The only difference is the kind of fabric and the colors, but the body coverage is about the same. In fact, her bathing suit may even expose more of her body than her bra and panties would! Even other styles of bathing suits for women, such as one-piece suits, are not modest, because they expose most of a woman's body. The same is true of men's bathing suits, which cover about as much of their bodies as a pair of underpants would. Men's bathing trunks provide coverage similar to either boxer briefs or tight, stretch underwear. There are even bikinis and thongs for men, which are obscene!

This is not the way God's holy people are supposed to be dressed. It is worldly, immodest, and indecent, which is sinful. We are supposed to be separate from the world, peculiar, and pure. How can we do so when we are dressed like that in public?

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness." (1Ti 2:9-10). The same rule of modesty applies to men in Christ also.

Shells collected at the seashore
You won't find any Scriptural basis for mixed, public bathing. None of the prophets or saints practiced this in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus didn't practice it, and neither did His Twelve disciples. In fact, going into an environment like the beach or the poolside is just asking for temptation. All around you, there are people dressed naked and half naked, exposing their bodies for all to see. Some women when they sunbathe will even remove the straps on the back of their bikini top to avoid getting suntan lines on their back. Then there are couples who lay on their blankets together, kissing one another passionately. There are too many scenarios to mention each one specifically. Some of these sights occur very close up, and others happen off in the distance, but all are easily visible to anyone frequenting a beach or pool. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that the whole atmosphere is permeated by flesh. It is my advice not to go into that kind of an environment and expose yourself to that, if you care about your own soul and the souls of your children.

Jesus said, "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Mat 5:28).

He also taught us to pray that we would not be led into temptation. In fact, we must abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul (1 Pe 2:11). And we are supposed to flee immorality, but these days Christians are flocking to the beaches and swimming pools where inappropriate amounts of flesh are on display. The apostle Paul said, "Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1Co 6:18-20).

If you know that the environment at the beach or pool may tempt you, your spouse, or your children, then why would you go there? You are just asking for trouble, by knowingly going into a place where there is temptation. And if you know that you could cause someone else to stumble, possibly even a brother or sister in Christ, then why would you do that? You could cause someone to stumble either by the way you are dressed or simply by your act of going to such a place.

Paul wrote, "Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit...It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles." (Rom 14:16-17, 21)

Shells collected at the seashore
Remember that the Lord will hold you accountable for everything you do while in the body, whether good or bad. "So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God." (Rom 14:12)

Perhaps you are thinking that this is too severe, and we cannot possibly avoid this recreational pastime. Well, the Lord said "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." (Mat 5:29). He commanded you to guard your soul by cutting out of your life those things that offend you and others, which could cause you to end up being thrown into hell.

As I already mentioned, I confess that I was once among the throngs of Christians who go to the beach. I was even a Sabbath breaker. Sometimes after church on Sunday I would go with a group of young singles from my church to the beach and play volleyball. The sisters in our group were wearing the kind of immodest attire I have already mentioned, which is displeasing to the Lord. This ought not be so.

Nevertheless, the Scripture warns us, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." (Rom 12:2)

Putting it All Together
Whatever you decide to do is your own choice, but I have done my part to sound the alarm. I felt it was necessary to write and warn you about this, since it is so widely accepted in the Church. Please consider this prayerfully and repent, if it is applicable to you. Jesus is coming back very soon. Do you think He is going to rapture you up, while you lay there on the beach among thousands of naked and half naked people, and you yourself are dressed immodestly? He is coming for a holy Bride without spot or wrinkle (Eph 5:27).

If you want to go for a walk along the beach, because you want to see the Lord's beautiful creation, collect seashells, or spend time in prayer there, or read the Bible, and you believe the Lord has given you the liberty to do so for the glory of God, then I suggest you find a time to go there, such as during the cooler months, or in evening or very early morning, when there are far fewer people there. Or find a secluded place away from the  crowds. And if you do go, dress modestly. Please cover your body! Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Author holds exclusive rights to all photos, which are not to be used without permission.

Author's note Also see Garments of Godliness, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Keeping Your Body Pure and Holy, For the Glory of God Alone, Whatever You Do, Do All Like This, The Wardrobe of the SaintsAn Open Mind that Loves the Truth, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Separation from the WorldAsk for the Ancient Paths, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Pleasing the LordIs Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth?, Called to be Blameless, Keeping Sundays Holy, and Restored Truth. You can access the Seeking the Lord Main Directory or my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.


  1. I totally agree in modesty....y go to the beach where you are surrounded with immorality...the Holy Spirit in is would definitely convict us of all wrongs. thanks for these messages sir. it just floods the mind on how God views His creation and what is expected of us. I pray God grants us the grace to walk steady with Him

    1. Amen. I appreciate you sharing that. I believe you are among the very small minority in the Church. You're welcome. God bless you.


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