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Modesty is Everyone’s Issue

Luke 6: 46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

John 14: 15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

What do you think of when you hear the word modesty? Most likely it’s rules about dressing that comes to mind: how short, how low, how tight, how sheer. But modesty is more than just our choices of clothing. Modesty is about living in a way that Christ is magnified and we aren’t.

Whether in apparel, in word, in attitude, or anything else, immodesty reigns. We love to draw attention to ourselves, flaunt our bodies, flaunt our money, and flaunt our style. Those actions are just as immodest as dressing in tight, see-through, or low-cut clothing. Modesty, in all areas of our lives, has fallen out of style because the church is nearly indistinguishable from the world. Even among so-called Christians, being like our friends is often more important to us than what our Lord commands. Modesty is a commandment but how many of us care?

If we want to be pleasing to the Lord, we must begin to care. If our lives center on Him, our choices will too. One of the areas that many of us need to work on is dressing in a way that pleases the Lord–without falling into the trap of legalism. I’ve heard young women say that if they were wearing a bikini and a guy lusted after them, it was his problem and his alone. Yes, men have to take responsibility for their actions and if they give into lust, God holds them accountable. However, if a woman has dressed in such a way as to cause a man to lust, God will hold her accountable, also. The same, however, is also true of men. Some guys go around with their shirt open down to there or with no shirt on or in tight pants. For some women, these are stumbling blocks just as much as a woman’s immodest apparel is a stumbling block to men. Other men might flaunt their wealth, or dress in a way that he knows is attractive to women in order to draw attention to himself–even if he is fully covered, these actions are still proof of an immodest heart. It matters not if we are covered, if our desire is to draw attention to ourselves rather than to our Lord, we are immodest–and we are sinning.

Lust isn’t just a guy’s issue. Modesty isn’t just a woman’s issue. Guys can be just as immodest as girls and women can lust just as much as a man. Because men are visual and their minds complete the pattern their eyes see, immodesty among women is, overall, a greater stumbling block to a male than a guy’s immodesty is to women. That’s overall. But I’ve known women who lusted greatly and boasted greatly about their lust. Both are wrong to lust, and both are wrong to dress in a way that leads others to lust.

Luke 17: 1- 2, “Then he said unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than he should offend one of these little ones.”  .

I Corinthians 6: 20, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to God. It is God alone that we must please. Everything about our lives should glorify our Savior. If we either dress in an immodest fashion or allow our children to, the witness that we are giving to the lost says, “My God doesn’t have any standards. Just come to Him and you can do what you want.” God has standards so high that, were it not for the blood of Christ and the grace of God none of us would be able to stand before Him. When we ignore His commands in order to do what we want, we are sinning.

Modesty begins in the heart. A modest man or woman will exhibit qualities such as gentleness and humility (Colossians 3: 12).They will not strive to be “front and center” and gather attention for themselves. Their clothing, like everything about them, will point to God.

This message could have been for me about 30 years ago. No one told me I was being immodest in my choices of clothing or in my attitudes. It took the grace of God in opening my eyes for me to realize it. I don’t say what I’ve said out of malice or a holier-than-thou attitude. I wish someone had told me what I’m telling you. May God be glorified by our desire to honor Him in every single aspect of our lives.

Soli Deo gloria!

Standing With the Lord

How did the church lose the battle for the souls of America? By failing to be the body of Christ. A body cannot be divorced from its head and live; in the same way, the body of Christ cannot separate itself from Jesus and survive as His body. Yet, that’s exactly what many so-called Christians in America have tried to do. From the pastors down to the youth in the pews, we’ve claimed to believe the Word of God while living as if we didn’t believe it at all. Whatever the culture was pushing was the new thing that we were going to capitulate on. From divorce to abortion, from immodesty to homosexuality, if the culture pushed it you could be sure some lukewarm preacher was going to push it, too. Since many of us never actually read the Bible, we had nothing to base objections on and we gave in. Now the giving in has come full circle and we’re reaping the results of our sinfulness. At this point, it matters not what we say we believe; it matters only if we live it. There is no time to waste. The body of Christ either takes a stand with the Lord and fights for that which has been lost, and do so on bended knees of repentance, seeking God’s blessings and His glory, or we go down forever. As for me and my house, we’re standing with the Lord.

Modesty: a godly woman’s influence

Ladies, your example to your daughters and to the other ladies of the church is so important. Your life is observed, your profession to Christ is measured, you devotion either questioned or applauded.

Everything about you influences the younger women, and those young in faith. The way you speak, what you speak about, either leads them to Christ or away from Him. The things you love, how you spend your time, either influences younger women to be in the world but not of the world or influences them to be in the world and OF the world.

Your devotion to the Word of God, to studying it, honoring it, obeying it, memorizing it, will either point the way to the Lord or point the way to hell. The time you spend in prayer, not just interceding for others but simply praising God, either makes others hungry for His presence or makes prayer seem all the more boring. The way you serve, the way you love, the way you respect your husband and guide your children tells the younger generation what you really believe about what the Bible has to say about womanhood, about marriage, about family. Your influence cannot be underestimated.

As it is in everything else, so it is in your manner of dress: you wield such influence by the way you choose to clothe yourselves. If you go into a church service immodestly dressed, it will be noticed, and, doubt it not, it will be emulated. If you are a poor example in this, you may just be un-doing what another mother tried so hard to do. Many a young lady, not yet converted or very young in the faith, is watching you to see how you live, how you dress, how you act. They judge what Christ says, who God is, by what they see you do. If you, by your dedication to worldly fashions, to ostentatious designs, or to immodest dress, influence them for evil, you will not be held innocent by the Lord.

Immodesty crept into the church inch-by-inch because those who should have spoken up, didn’t. It’s time to change that. You can be one who helps it to change. You and I say we believe truth. Now let our words, and our actions, prove that we do.

A Sense of Shame

Having a sense of shame used to be considered a good thing. It kept you from making a fool out of yourself by doing things you oughtn’t, it kept you walking the straight and narrow (at least outwardly where folks could see), it kept our talk fairly decent and our women covered. We used to be more or less governed by this and consequently most of us didn’t go around openly doing things that would bring us shame in the eyes of others.

Was this a good thing? Or, a bad thing? Both, I guess. The more important thing, for a person’s soul at least, is that he is governed inwardly by a burning desire to be pleasing to the Lord in all that he does. If a man is so governed, he has no fear of man, no compunction to please man when, by doing so, he might be displeasing to the Lord. As a society, however, having a sense of shame kept us coloring between the lines.

Where is our sense of shame? Our understanding that not all needs to be put on public display?

I know the answers, of course. I’ve studied our nations fall into immodesty and intellectually I comprehend it. Spiritually, however, I don’t. How is it that women who go to church, who profess Christ, can feel comfortable flaunting their nearly naked bodies in public (and sometimes, to some degree, in worship service) and have no shame?

Is it not embarrassing for a young lady to shed her clothing and stand nearly naked in public in a string bikini? If she went to a doctor and was asked to undress down to her underwear and not cover up with a sheet she would be incensed and, yet, this same girl can strip down even further and, because she is “covered’ by two tiny pieces of cloth that she calls a swimsuit (rather than two somewhat larger pieces of cloth that used to be referred to as unmentionables) she is alright about her nakedness.

Or this same girl (or a different one…there are lots of them who do this after all) can put on tiny, tiny shorts with a tiny, tiny blouse and head off shopping and she’s comfortable with the fact that everyone who sees her sees nearly all of her. She’s gets angry though if some guy that she doesn’t know starts leering at her or makes undue suggestions.

Let’s get real, girls: you’ve undressed for all to see, you’ve shown guys you don’t know areas of your body that ought to remain private (and what you haven’t shown, he can clearly make out due to the nature of the fabric) and now you’re gonna get mad because some guy is going to look? Right. Yeah. That makes a LOT of sense.

Come on now you’re not that unwise…are you?

If you are, or if you are simply uninformed, let me fill you in: ladies, men are visual and that they are stimulated by sight. Specifically, men are stimulated by the sight of a woman’s body. If you give them part of the picture by wearing something cut down to “there”, or cut up to “here” or very tight or sheer or hardly there at all, they’re going to complete the picture in their minds.

Do you really want men undressing you with their eyes? Do you want them lusting after you? Perhaps doing things with you (or to you) in their minds (even if it is “only” in their minds)? Do you want the picture of you half-naked (or more) lingering in their thoughts for days, or weeks, after they saw you on display?

I know the argument: men ought to be able to control themselves. You ought to be able to wear anything at all and men ought not to lust after you and you’re right. You’re absolutely right. You ought to be safe from prying eyes and from prying minds…no matter what. Men ought to control themselves…no matter what. But no matter what, it ain’t gonna happen, at least not with all guys. No matter what, there are some guys who are going to see you and they’re going to lust after you. You’re putting fuel on the fire and the fire is just getting hotter and hotter.

The truth is this: It is sin to put your body on display. When you do so, you are setting men up so that they lust after you (yes, you are). When you provoke a man to lust, girls, you’ve sinned and so has the man who does the lusting. The lost man now stands more condemned before God, the Christian man who succumbs now feels shame at his lust. By your immodesty, you might cause a man to fall back into a sin he’s struggled with (such as pornography). You might cause him to look at the body of his wife who has borne him many children and compare it to you who has borne none and judge her unfavorably. Many men will struggle with pictures of you coming to their minds for days or even weeks after they initially see you nearly undressed.

And, you, my dear, will stand guilty before a holy God for your part in their sin.

Oh, yes, guilty you are…even if you don’t want to believe it.

Ladies, we owe it to our brothers in Christ to make it easier on them. We owe it to the lost men to show them fruits of true Christianity.We owe it to our younger sisters to be an example of a faithful Christian maiden (or, depending on your age, a faithful Christian woman). Most importantly, we owe it to our Lord to obey Him.

If you’re one of the girls who has sinned this way, I ask you: please don’t do it this Summer. Enjoy yourself, yes; wear pretty clothes, absolutely. But please wear clothes that cover you. For the sake of your brothers in Christ, for the sake of the young Christian man who is just coming to terms with his manhood (and is trying to remain pure in thought for his future lady), for the sake of the lost, for the sake of the girls whose future husbands you just might be causing to sin, for the sake of my sons and for your sake, dear one, please keep your clothes on. We don’t need to see all of what you’ve got to display.



Modesty: Entering The Fray

Each one of us has an incalculable impact on the lives of others. What we say or fail to say, what we do or fail to do, what our lives stand for or what we fail to stand up for, daily we are modeling our convictions for all to see. Daily we prove our devotion to God by our choices: little devotion shows itself in excuses, much devotion shows itself in a life of death to all but Him.

“Why do you always harp on modesty?” is a question I’ve been asked more than once. It’s the wrong question to ask so I won’t take the time to answer it. A more proper question would be, “Are you, by your daily choices, honoring God in all that you do?”

Am I? Are you?

Since we are admonished in Scripture to do all that we do as unto God, each of us must daily be asking ourselves, “Can those around me, those whose lives are in some way touched by mine, tell that I am living for Christ alone? Or, does my life, my choices, give them reason to believe it is my glory that I am seeking rather than His?”

So, in talking about teaching modesty, we must get the emphasis off of me. The question should never be “Why does she talk so much about modesty?” for that is focusing your attention on me (where it doesn’t belong) rather than on God (where it does). Instead, let’s ask:

“Is modesty mandated in Scripture?”

“Does my theology show itself in my choice of clothing?”

“Does how I adorn myself speak of how I honor and value Christ?”

“Is provoking men to lust, in fact, a sin?”

If these questions can be answered “Yes” then modesty is important and we must all concern ourselves with it. For many decades Christians have sat back and contented ourselves with fussing at each other, completely oblivious to the changes taking place right in our midst. The devil moved in and took over and we never even noticed. He brought many changes with him and we embraced them…because, after all, God didn’t really say…,did He?

That’s the same lie the devil has been propagating since the beginning of time but we are too blind, too deaf and too biblically illiterate to know it.

Be sure of this: the devil is on the side of immodesty; he’s all for it maintaining its hold in the church. That should tell us something about where we ought to stand on this issue, don’t you think?

The immodesty of the younger generations is decried by many yet how many are willing to walk into the fray and do something about it? Where are those who are willing to be laughed at or to be accused of legalism in order to address it? Are you? Am I? There is a desperate need in the church today for godly men and women to be willing to speak the truth about this issue in love. Most aren’t. What we fail to understand is this: by failing to speak about immodesty, by pretending it isn’t an important issue (or that we are somehow infringing on other’s rights by addressing it), we are speaking very loudly about it. Very loudly, indeed, and our silence is heard in hell.

If we are not actively teaching that immodesty is sin, if we are looking the other way as girls and ladies who profess to know Christ come to church dressed in tight or tiny clothes, if we pretend we don’t notice when they go out in public dressed in clothing that is nothing less than an advertisement for sex (except to wag our tongues at each other in judgment against them) then we are endorsing their sin. Worse, when we fail to stand for truth, we ourselves are sinning against a holy God.

The obligation to speak truth lies with each one of us. We’ve been silent far too long. We must teach modesty because the issue of modesty is important to God. This isn’t an easy issue to address; if you take a stand for modesty some folks won’t like you. Some already don’t like me for taking such a stand but that’s okay; it’s God Whom I’m seeking to honor, not a person. I’m walking into the fray and I invite you to go with me. We might get singed but since many of Jesus’ followers have been burned at the stake, I’d say that’s a small price to pay. At any rate, my Lord died for me and anything, anything at all, that I can do to obey HIm, to show forth His utter worthiness, to give Him the glory He so greatly deserves, is worth it. I pray that many others feel the same.

To God alone be the glory.


Keep Your Clothes On

Spring is here and Summer isn’t far behind. As coolish days give rise to hot ones women will once again start shedding their clothes in the name of freedom. I guess that I ought to be used to this by now but it still bothers me. I don’t want to see the undressed bodies of girls I don’t even know and I sure don’t want my sons seeing them.

Whatever happened to decency? To propriety? To modesty?

Where is our sense of shame? Our understanding that not all needs to be put on public display?

I know the answers, of course. I’ve studied our nations fall into immodesty and intellectually I comprehend it. Spiritually, however, I don’t. How is it that women who go to church, who profess Christ, can feel comfortable flaunting their nearly naked bodies in public (and sometimes, to some degree, in worship service) and have no shame?

Is it not embarrassing for a young lady to shed her clothing and stand nearly naked in public in a string bikini? If she went to a doctor and was asked to undress down to her underwear and not cover up with a sheet she would be incensed and, yet, this same girl can strip down even further and, because she is “covered’ by two tiny pieces of cloth that she calls a swimsuit (rather than two somewhat larger pieces of cloth that used to be referred to as unmentionables) she is alright about her nakedness.

Or this same girl (or a different one…there are lots of them who do this after all) can put on tiny, tiny shorts that come up to “here” on the legs and down to “there” at the waist and along with it a minuscule blouse that doesn’t quite cover “there” at the bottom and is cut down to show at least part of you-know-what at the top and head off shopping and she’s comfortable with the fact that everyone who sees her sees nearly all of her. She’s gets angry though if some guy that she doesn’t know starts leering at her or makes undue suggestions.

Let’s get real, girls: you’ve undressed for all to see, you’ve shown guys you don’t know areas of your body that ought to remain private (and what you haven’t shown, he can clearly make out due to the sheerness or tightness of what clothes you left on your body) and now you’re gonna get mad because some guy is going to look? Right. Yeah. That makes a LOT of sense.

Come on now you’re not that unwise…are you?

If you are, or if you are simply uninformed, let me fill you in: ladies, you need to realize that men are visual and that they are stimulated by sight. Specifically, girls, men are stimulated by the sight of a woman’s body. If you give them part of the picture by wearing something cut down to “there”, or cut up to “here” or very tight or sheer or hardly there at all, they’re going to complete the picture in their minds.

Do you really want men undressing you with their eyes? Do you want them lusting after you? Perhaps doing things with you (or to you) in their minds (even if it is “only” in their minds)? Do you want the picture of you half-naked (or more) lingering in their thoughts for days, or weeks, after they saw you on display?

I know the argument: men ought to be able to control themselves. You ought to be able to wear anything at all and men ought not to lust after you and you’re right. You’re absolutely right. You ought to be safe from prying eyes and from prying minds…no matter what. Men ought to control themselves…no matter what. But no matter what, it ain’t gonna happen. No matter what, there are some guys who are going to see you and they’re going to lust after you. You’re putting fuel on the fire and the fire is just getting hotter and hotter.

The truth is this: It is sin to put your body on display. God said it, I didn’t. When you do so, you are setting men up so that they lust after you (yes, you are). When you provoke a man to lust, girls, you’ve sinned and so has the man. The lost man now stands more condemned before God, the Christian man who succumbs now feels shame at his lust. By your immodesty, you might cause a man to fall back into a sin he’s struggled with (such as pornography). You might cause him to look at the body of his wife who has borne him many children and compare it to you who has borne none and judge her unfavorably. Many men will struggle with pictures of you coming to their minds for days or even weeks after they initially see you nearly undressed.

And, you, my dear, will stand guilty before a holy God for your part in their sin.

Oh, yes, guilty you are…even if you don’t want to believe it.

Ladies, we owe it to our brothers in Christ to make it easier on them. We owe it to the lost men to show them fruits of true Christianity.We owe it to our younger sisters to be an example of a faithful Christian maiden (or, depending on your age, a faithful Christian woman). Most importantly, we owe it to our Lord to obey Him.

If you’re one of the girls who has sinned this way, I ask you: please don’t do it this Summer. Enjoy yourself, yes; wear pretty clothes, absolutely. But please wear clothes that cover you. For the sake of your brothers in Christ, for the sake of the young Christian man who is just coming to terms with his manhood (and is trying to remain pure in thought for his future lady), for the sake of the lost, for the sake of the girls whose future husbands you just might be causing to sin, for the sake of my sons and for your sake, dear one, please keep your clothes on. We don’t need to see all of what you’ve got to display.


Modesty by Al Martin

A dear brother in Christ suggested that I recommend the following video to you. I do so readily.

This is the audio link:  http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=2250872194

Thank you, brother Hartman!

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