Monday, August 1, 2011

Modesty

In our Bible study at church, we were discussing the topic of modesty and how this is SO important! Our fearless leader pointed out that there are men (both young and old) in our church that battle with the sin of lust. Our Lord has commanded them to guard their eyes and keep their hearts pure. Why then, women, are we setting out to tempt them to sin? Because it makes us feel good when they look at us? Yes, God has made you beautiful, but that is for your husband (or future husband) to enjoy. You are just as, actually more, beautiful when you aren't showing so much skin. Of all places on the planet, church should be a safe place for men. They should feel safe with their church family.

Another woman shared something her very elderly pastor demonstrated one time. He put a picture of something up on the center screen and told everyone in the congregation to keep their eyes fixed on that picture. No matter what else happens in the room, keep looking at the picture. Meanwhile, on a side screen, a picture of a pink elephant flashed a couple times. Well, you couldn't HELP but quickly glance that way. They he said, "Ladies, I might be old, but I'm not dead. Some of you are dressing in a way that it is like the pink elephant and the men can't help but look."


Why do we do this, ladies?


Not just at church, but at the store, restaurant, pool, social events, play dates....everywhere. We need to be conscious about how we are dressed and what others are seeing (or not seeing).


Look in the mirror before you leave home. Is that shirt too tight? Too low cut? Skirt or shorts too short? Now the Bible does not give guidelines about what is and is not modest. But I am sure you know where the line is for your own body. I know it is hot in the summertime, but we still need to be cautious.


Romans 14:13 Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.


Are you a stumbling block for your brothers in Christ?


A couple of reasons were discussed as to why a woman might dress in such a manner:


She is simply naive. Maybe this is a teenager or young adult (or even an adult who is young in her faith) that does not realize how men are visually tempted. Well, I am telling you now. They are made that way. That is how God made them. And it is not just teen boys who have a growing curiosity of women. It is men of all ages.

She feels pretty when she wears that type of clothing. I found this reason interesting. She feels pretty. Hmmmm. Why does she feel pretty?


If all of a sudden, that dress (or whatever piece of clothing) was plastered all over Glamour or Vogue magazine as something no one should be caught out in public wearing because it is SO outdated....would she then feel so pretty? Is the culture dictating how she feels in her skin and what clothes make her feel pretty?


Or maybe it is because when she wears that particular top or dress, she gets attention from men, and that makes her feel pretty? I mean let's be honest. Who doesn't like the occasional honking of the horn or whistle from an admirer? But that is what this is about. While that man is whistling at you, he is also undressing you and imagining all sorts of lustful thoughts. He is sinning.


Maybe this is the way that someone is dressing their daughter (or allowing their daughter to dress). Our young women are so vulnerable to the culture and peer pressure. It is hard to teach them that their beauty lies in their hearts and not their skin when everyone else around them is talking about clothing, make-up, hair styles, nail polish, tattoos and piercings. That is not what makes a woman beautiful.

 

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. [1 Peter 3:3-4]

Moms - we need to care about how our girls dress. This needs to start when they are young, for a couple of reasons. It is easier to train our children when they are young. If we start off telling them that it is wrong to have their bellies showing in public and that their skirts and shorts need to be a certain length, then they will learn to be modest. We do need to be very careful that we aren't teaching our daughters that their bodies are bad in any way. They are a gift from God and they can dress in whatever way they want for their husbands (in private) when that day comes. But they need to honor God with the body He has given them.


The other reason is that men are looking at even our young girls. If your 10 year old is dressing and acting like a teenager, what type of attention do you think she is going to get? In times like this, it is especially dangerous. Just watch the news. I see young women (and even little girls trying to act like young women) out a lot and wonder if their mother cares about how they are dressed. I am thankful that I don't have this battle - yet.


So I urge you women, take caution in what you are wearing, especially at church. It is sad that there are men who simply are not able to attend church because they do not want to be tempted into lustful thougths because of the way women are dressed. We are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ. So please care for these men as brothers.
Inside the walls of our church and fellowship among brothers and sisters in Christ needs to be a safe place for EVERYONE.

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. [1 Corinthians 8:9, 12]

Here are some great resources to check out if you are looking for more information about modesty and being a godly woman.

4 comments:

  1. Such a worthy topic. I'm afraid we're not teaching this principle to our young people. We so often just TELL them to be modest without the "why and what" behind it.

    Love the elephant story!

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  2. This is a subject so dear to my heart! As a mother to three sons, I am very aware of the immodesty of today's culture and the importance for Christian women to take the lead and be an example in this area. Thank you for addressing this is such a grace filled manner. Wonderful post!

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  3. I have a teenage daughter (and three sons, one of whom is a teenager) and my daughter is SO modest. I am thankful every single day for her modesty but also that she has managed to be herself,her funky, crazy, artistic self while maintaining a sense of modesty.

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  4. I love all the wonderful feedback regarding modesty. When I was young, I was told a lot that my shorts needed to be a certain length (this tomboy didn't have to worry about skirts - lol!), but I was never told why it was important either. Through the teachings of several gifted leaders, I have learned the whys and hope to share and encourage others. And for the daughters who naturally are modest - Praise the good Lord!! I can tell I am going to have it rough with my girls. My 6 year old is easily influenced by all that shines and glitters at the mall. :)

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