Posted in Christianity

Women of God Speak Out About Modesty

“One of the first evidences of a real lady, is that she should be modest. By modesty we mean that she shall not say, do, nor wear anything that would cause her to appear gaudy, ill-bred, or unchaste. There should be nothing about her to attract unfavorable attention, nothing in her dress or manner that would give a man an excuse for vulgar comment. When we dress contrary to the rule of modesty we give excuse for unwholesome thoughts in the mind of those who look upon us, and every girl who oversteps these bounds makes herself liable to misunderstanding and insult, though she may be innocent of any such intention.” ~ Margaret Hale  

“Christians are wise to remember that modesty is biblically mandated.” ~ Mary K. Mohler  

“Views on dress today cover the spectrum from ‘anything goes as long as my private parts are covered’ to ‘I cover myself from neck to ankle and never wear anything bolder than navy blue.’ It is unfortunate that modest dress is a controversial topic in Christian circles. What should be a fairly easy issue to decide upon (and obey) has been fragmented into dozens of ‘sub-arguments’ about liberty versus legalism, law versus grace and shamefacedness versus ostentation. Our culture is so saturated with immodesty that we have become desensitized to it in many ways. What was once considered pornography is now brazenly displayed on the magazine covers that assault our eyes at the grocery checkout. The world chides us for being ‘repressed’ or ‘uptight’ if we attempt to uphold the barest shadows of modest behavior and dress. Even fellow Christians tell us that there are no absolute guidelines for dress, and that we mustn’t hinder another’s ‘liberty’ by insisting that Scripture gives us boundaries for our attire. In the midst of this confusion, we find it difficult to ‘rightly divide the Word of Truth,’ dividing instead into camps of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ and wasting all our ammunition on our sisters in Christ when we should be building one another up in love. And cursing the darkness may make us feel good temporarily, but we had better start lighting candles if we expect anyone to take God’s Word—and His commands for modesty in particular—seriously.” ~ Mrs. M. L. Chaney 

“Purity, I fear, has gotten mixed up in people’s minds with the caricature of Puritanism, which, in the popular imagination, is a dour, brittle revolt against all the pleasures of the flesh. Puritans were in fact very earthy people, robust in their affirmation of life, not by any means ‘Victorian’ (another word grossly misunderstood today in being made a synonym for all that is negative). Neither the concept of purity nor the doctrines of the Puritans deny life. Rather they refer back to the very Giver of Life Himself. Purity means freedom from contamination, from anything that would spoil the taste or the pleasure, reduce the power, or in any way adulterate what the thing was meant to be. It means cleanness, dearness—no additives, nothing artificial—in other words, ‘all natural,’ in the sense in which the Original Designer designed it to be.” ~ Elisabeth Elliott  

“Nakedness is shameful, but what constitutes being naked? Try this food for thought: Adam knew he had sinned and tried to cover himself with the loin covering of fig leaves, yet he still said he was naked – an assessment which God did not dispute (Gen. 3:7-11). There is obviously more to being naked than being without any clothing. Thayer says it is “scantily clad” and Arndt-Gingrich include “poorly dressed.” Take another look at what God made for man to wear in Gen. 3. Adam made a “loin covering” which God replaced with a “tunic.” Wilson and Gesenius define the word as generally covering from the shoulder to the knee. The priests where told to cover their thighs or they would be naked (Ex. 28:42) and the figure of shame in Isaiah 47:1-3 includes uncovering the thigh. Peter recognized that though he could fish in the relative privacy of his boat on the sea without outer garments, he reclothed himself before going ashore to meet the Lord. (Proving that you can swim just fine with some clothes on.) I have a very hard time dismissing these precedents when attempting to make a biblical definition of sufficient clothing.” ~ Laurie A. Moyer  


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