Posted in Christianity, modesty

Why Modesty Matters: Examining Modesty, Pt. 2

Modesty matters because God, in His Word, commanded His women to be modest. The reason it doesn’t matter to many of us–and, at one time in the past, it didn’t matter nearly so much to me–is because, as a whole, the church isn’t very well versed theologically. In a church culture saturated with man-centered teachings, those who call themselves Christians have grown accustomed to marshmallowy theological fluff with mixed in tasty bits of culturally centered comfortableness that’s had any real hard stuff (aka God’s Word) filtered out. It’s all then watered down and sweetened with so-called Christian liberty so as to not make anyone uncomfortable or cause anyone to gag as they swallow the poisonous offering. Anything even approaching biblically sound teaching, especially in the oh-so sore spots of not-so-biblical-womanhood and all the mush that surrounds it, gives many so-called Christians the heebie-jeebies, theologically speaking.

I wasn’t raised with much of a focus on modesty. My mother raised me in church and there were, of course, standards but the standards were more or less a line in the sand. That line was erased time and time again as new fashions pushed the limits of the previous generation’s comfort zone. My mother would have never worn short-shorts or halter tops (Can you say scandalous?) but she had no problem whatsoever in dressing me in them. Thus, my standards in what I would and wouldn’t wear were more or less a matter of personal comfort than God-focused conviction. I don’t want that for my daughters. I don’t want it for the church, either.

Our line in the sand isn’t a line in the sand at all–it’s the rock solid foundation of the Word of God. Saying “But I think…” or “I know it says that, but…” concerning modesty or anything else only reveals our ignorance of the Bible. It doesn’t matter what we think, what we want, or how cute an outfit is, it only matters that God has spoken. When He speaks, we must obey. Sadly the culturally inclined church in the USA isn’t so good at discovering that God has spoken to us once and for all through His Word, that Word is unchanging, and that He, being God, meant what He said.

Modesty also matters because God Himself defined nakedness for us. In Scripture covering your nakedness meant keeping the area from the loins to the thigh covered. Not some of it–all of it. In Genesis 3: 20-21, God made Adam and Eve skin coats to cover their nakedness. They had made themselves coverings that covered the intimate areas of their bodies; God fully covered them. In Exodus 28: 42 God gave instructions for making breeches for the priests in order to cover their nakedness. These breeches covered ” from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:”. Leviticus 6:10 says “And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh”–this was to ensure that, when the priest went up the steps to the brazen altar, no one could see up his garment and expose his nakedness. These verses help us to see God’s standard for modesty–that is, that the thigh, the closest part of the body to the sexual organs, remains covered.

“But you’re talking about not dressing in fig leaves and standards for men, priests even, and anyway this is the Old Testament so none of this is really applicable…is it?”

Yes, but the point is this: God went out of His way, not just in these verses but in others, to define the why and how of not to expose one’s nakedness. If it was so important in the Old Testament, can it be any less important in the New?

“But what about grace? Or Christian liberty? After all, the New Testament reveals a God of love rather than the God of wrath we hear so much about in the Old Testament.”

Good questions. Grace is given to us so we might grow in godliness and be more pleasing to God–and not so that we might get away with sinning or have God grin knowingly at us when we demean His Word and deny His Son by throwing our sin in His holy face. And concerning that oft misdefined Christian liberty concept, Paul said in Galatians 5: 13, For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

And that loving God sent His Son to the Cross because that was the only way to save lost souls. If the fact that our salvation was so difficult to achieve that God paid the ultimate price to achieve it doesn’t shake us down to our core, nothing will.

And yet we throw our sin and our vastly misunderstood Christian liberty back in His loving face.

We ought to hang our heads in shame.

If we love God, we will want to do every single thing that we can to please Him, to honor Him. To obey Him.

“But that outfit is just so cute, and anyway if a guy looks at me to lust after me, it’s his fault for not being able to control himself.”

How can we claim we love God if we don’t care that our choices in clothing are causing our brothers in Christ to stumble–the same brothers in Christ that Jesus loved enough to die for? How are we showing love to our brethren if we are more concerned about looking cute or clinging to our so-called rights while we are willingly causing them to struggle?

I’ve heard so many women say that if men looked at them in lust, the man was the one sinning. Well, they are right in one way. If a man refuses to practice self-control, he is sinning. But if a woman intentionally throws a match on the straw to set it on fire and he gets caught by the flames, she is to blame.

As Richard Baxter put it,

“And though it be their sin and vanity that is the cause [of lust], it is nevertheless your sin to be the unnecessary occasion…You must not lay a stumbling-block in their way, nor blow up the fire of their lust…You must walk among sinful persons as you would do with a candle among straw or gunpowder; or else you may see the flame which you did not foresee, when it is too late to quench it.” 

Biblical modesty doesn’t mean we are legalistic, it doesn’t mean that we’re embracing Old Testament standards. It means that we recognize that, since we are bought with a price–the death of the Son of God–we owe it to our Lord to obey Him as perfectly as we can. Modesty is therefore a reflection of who we are in Christ.

Our love for Christ should drive us to develop a desire to be modest in obedience to Him. If we are serious about serving Him, our modesty will show up, not just in the way we dress, but in the way we comport ourselves around others.

I re-posted an article on here a few days ago about the five marks of a spiritually fruitful church. The author pointed to our having a deep devotion to the Word of God, a spirit of repentance, a growing esteem for Christ, interest in theology and doctrine, and a love for our neighbor. Nobody can embrace these guidelines and say, “Yes, that’s the kind of church that I want and the kind of Christian I want to be” without also realizing that, by embracing these things, we cannot cry “Christian liberty” and continue to live to please ourselves rather than living to please Christ, nor can we continue to dress and act with only ourselves in mind.

Satan doesn’t care what we believe as long as that belief doesn’t actually lead us to obey Christ. Isn’t it about time we prove to him we love our Savior more than we love having our own way?



Posted in Christianity, modesty

Examining modesty, pt. 1

1 Timothy 2: 9, 10, “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”

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.”

When we hear the word modesty, our first thought is usually about how women should or shouldn’t dress. While modesty does address the way we choose to clothe our bodies, it isn’t just about clothing. It’s a reflection of who we are in Christ.

Modesty isn’t just for women. Men can be immodest, also. Outside of the body of Christ, to live flamboyantly, to say or do things to draw attention to ourselves, is encouraged and admired. Without Christ, we’re all self-focused. We want attention. We desire to be admired, praised, and applauded. But when we’re part of the body of Christ, that can no longer be our goal. We cannot please our Savior by seeking to draw attention to ourselves, rather than to Him. When we do so we are seeking our glory rather than Christ’s. That’s normal for unbelievers. Shouldn’t believers be different?

Modesty has fallen out of style because the church merged with the world. Touting greater numbers, we’ve incorporated the world’s ways into our own. We didn’t do this because we thought it would honor Jesus, but because we thought it would make us relevant. But the only one we should care about pleasing is the One who died for us. If we’re not willing to do things the way He has commanded us to, why do we even bother calling ourselves after His name?

To be His follower means we do the things He commands us to do. We act as He would have us act. Speak as He would have us speak. And, yes, we are to dress as He would have us dress. If we find ourselves justifying doing otherwise, we need to do a spiritual heart-check. It just might be that we’re more relevant to the world–and it to us–than we might have thought possible.


Posted in Anna Wood, Authentic Christianity, discernment

We Just Can’t Do Church Anymore

I read the book of Acts and I love the church. I look around me at what the church has become in our land and, to be completely honest, I don’t. Those are hard words and hard to say words, but they’re absolutely honest. Those who are supposed to be Christ’s body surely don’t act as if they are. They’ve tried to be relevant, and change with the times, meeting changing needs, and all the while dishonoring the One they are to love supremely. This group has been legalistic, adding laws upon laws, and knowing little or nothing of grace. That group has been all about “Christian liberty”, liberty that, as they define it, isn’t found anywhere in Scripture. Even those who have the truth usually end up becoming more about business, more about a few families in their congregation, or more about how to pay the bills, than they are about Christ. So, no, I don’t love what we, as the body of Christ, have become. But I do love the church, as it is meant to be, as God’s holy Word lays it out.

We just can’t do church anymore, at least not the way we’ve done it for so long. We’ve discarded what is good, and true, and perfect, for that which changes with the tides. We’ve thrown away truth in an attempt to be relevant. We’ve hunkered down and, in an attempt to protect the truth that we claim to love, we’ve turned it into something ugly and hateful. Something that doesn’t reflect or honor the Lord of glory.

It’s heartbreaking. And if it breaks our hearts, you know it has to be breaking His. There is a remedy and it’s this, I believe: Stop doing church and become the church that Christ died for. Stop seeking after man’s applause and live for the glory, and delight, of One. Stop checking what’s popular and simply do and teach what’s right. Stop sending kids off on a mature Christian’s mission–no more teen mission groups, not unless those teens are truly saved, and truly mature in the faith, and, in today’s churchanity, how many do you know that are? Stop catering to the whims of teens, to the pressures of parents (who don’t have the time, the know how, or, sadly, sometimes even the desire, to teach their own children and thus push it off on youth pastors) and teach those kids the truth of God’s Word: no more games, no more fun trips here and there, get them in the Word, teach and memorize the Word, and prepare them to serve. Give them a snow shovel up North and a lawnmower down South, or put a paintbrush or a broom in their hands, and teach them how to do for others–for the glory of Christ.

Teach those things that have been long ignored: That there really is a difference in men and women, and there are ways to live out our roles, ways prescribed in Scripture, but, in doing so, steer clear of the dangers of patriarchal teaching. The man can be, and should be, the head of the home, without being elevated to ungodly positions. Teach men and women, boys and girls, about modesty, about how to reflect God’s glory through our choices of words, actions, and, yes, clothes. Teach them that there are right ways, and wrong ways, to be modest, but that the purpose of it all is to honor the Lord–not to draw attention to themselves, and not to feel somehow holier than others. Teach new Christians, and our youth, how to study the Bible, and why they ought to believe the Words of the Bible–that it and it alone, is truth. Teach them how to seek after knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Teach that Christians are to be light and salt–and how. Teach how to be good stewards of our time, of our money, of our talents. Teach us how to be wise, how to be discerning, about what we read, watch, how we entertain ourselves (and why too much entertainment, too much fun, is detrimental to the soul). Teach us that this world is not our home, prepare us for persecution, and help us to live in a way to deserve it. Prepare us for our real Home. Help us to long for God, to thirst after Him and His Word.

None of this will matter if we do it because we ought to, or because someone expects us to. We must do it for Christ, for Him who died for us. We need to learn to love Him, to obey Him, and to lay down our lives daily. We can’t do church anymore because we’re simply not ready to. We’re weak, and we need real food, no more milk of the Word, give us the meat of the Word. And teach us that doing for Christ isn’t as important as simply obeying Him. The doing must flow out of the being or we’ll just mess it up again–just like we’ve messed it up so far.

Moms, Dads, Pastors, you’ve got a tremendously difficult job ahead of you. I’m a Mom, and what I see when I read the Word of God vs. what I see when I look at the church, breaks my heart. It ought to break my heart. My own complicity, my own sin, ought to, and does, break my heart. Join me in repenting, and seeking God’s mercy and grace so that we may obey Him, so that we may truly love Him, and that we may, as the Body of Christ, be completely and utterly pleasing to Him.

Soli Deo gloria!

Posted in Anna Wood, Authentic Christianity, discernment, modesty

I Stand Before the Cross

I stand before the Cross and I profess a love for this Man, this God, who has taken my place on it…

and I turn away…

and I go shopping and I buy a bikini.

I can justify it because it is so cute and anyway,

if a guy looks at me to lust, it is all his fault for not controlling himself,

and not my fault at all.

I go to church and I worship my God…

and I hear of His holiness, I sing of His truth…

then the final prayer ends

and I go home and I turn on the television,

and I fill my mind, my heart, my eyes, with things that I would be ashamed to watch

if Jesus were here…

but, He isn’t…

and I justify it, because it is a good show,

and, after all, God is a God of love and He just wants me to be happy.

I kneel before my God and I pray

Thy will be done…

and I get up

and I go about doing my will…

with everyone that I meet…

in everything that I do…

not for a moment thinking…

that I am sinning.

I open up my Bible and I read about the wonders of God

and my heart rejoices…

I read of His love, His mercy, His tenderness…

sometimes, I come to passage that shows more than that…

where His holy anger towards sinners is revealed,

and it makes me nervous, uncomfortable…

but, I turn the page,

and I read more about how very much God loves me,

and I read into it how much He longs for me to respond to Him,

and I think how cool it is that this God of the whole universe needs me…


and I determine to try to find something really nice to do for Him…


I reach out to my God in my need…

and I can’t find Him…

and I ask Him, “Where are You?”

but, He doesn’t answer me…

and, I don’t understand His silence.

I run towards where He was but find only darkness.

I seek Him and I cry, “Why have You abandoned me?”

“Where are You, God?”, I plead…

and it’s then that I realize…

that I am alone…

and He doesn’t seem to hear me…

at all.

Then, in the echoing silence, suddenly I hear a still small voice saying,

“If you love Me, you will obey Me.”

And I am guilty.

I am ashamed.

And I fall on my face…

and I weep.

Posted in Christianity

Modesty: The Forgotten Virtue

“In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.”~~Noah Webster

“This struggle between concealment and display, fabric and skin, modesty and nakedness is a continuing story of how American society–including many Christians–has shed is clothes in public.”~~Jeff Pollard

“Modesty is the citadel of beauty and virtue.”~~Demades

“We can therefore walk into most churches on any given Sunday and behold a parade of young women pass by in tight tee-shirts, low-slung jeans, form-fitting skirts and other curve- and flesh-revealing styles. Church youth groups participate in mixed-sex pool parties without a second thought, everyone coming in their skivvies and no one batting an eyelash. We have become callused to public nudity, even in the church.”~~Mrs. M. L. Chancey

“Unless we have the courage to fight for a revival of wholesome reserve between man and man, we shall perish in an anarchy of human values….”~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“It seems to be the fashion nowadays for a girl to behave as much like a man as possible. Well, I won’t! I’ll make the best of being a girl and be as nice a specimen as I can: sweet and modest, a dear, dainty thing with clothes smelling all sweet and violety, a soft voice, and pretty, womanly ways. Since I’m a girl, I prefer to be a real one!”~~Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

“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.”~~Mrs. M. L. Chancey

“Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.”~~C.J. Mahaney

“First of all, go through your closets and drawers and pull out all of the clothing that obviously has to go-and get rid of it! Next, get in front of a full-length mirror, and try on the things that are questionable. Look at yourself from all angles using a hand-held mirror. Look at yourself close up and from far away and see what you ‘really look like’ in the clothes you have been wearing. View yourself objectively, as if you were looking at someone else—and note what your first impressions are of ‘this person.’ Check for fit and transparency and get rid of anything that doesn’t pass the test—this is no time to be sentimental! Finally, each day before you leave the house, do the ‘mirror check’ on anything that hasn’t previously been checked or if you have gained weight since last taking a look. You will be surprised to find that some of the things you were sure about won’t pass the test. This will help you weed out your wardrobe as you go. Some of you may be afraid that if you do this, you’ll end up with nothing left to wear! But just remember that the most important thing is to be obedient to God, even if it means having a very limited wardrobe. Besides, when you are all done with this project, you will become a much more careful shopper and end up being a better steward over God’s money than you ever were before!”~~Melody Green





Posted in video

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:

Thank you, brother Hartman!

Posted in Christianity, discernment

Mirror Tests For Modesty

Immodesty cannot long exist where love for Christ reigns. As love for Him and for godliness grows, the desire to reveal one’s body will decrease. If you are at the point where you desire to dress more modestly but you aren’t quite sure what to do, try this:

Stand in front of a mirror and try on each outfit that you have a question about. Then, looking at yourself from all angles, ask yourself these questions:

–Does my blouse or the top of my dress “fall away” when I bend over?  Can I see down the front of it? Does it show cleavage? It is generally safe to follow the four-finger “rule”: place your fingers just below, but where you can touch, your collar-bone; your top should not be cut lower than that.

–Is my dress sheer or see-through? Can I see my body through my it? If so, it is immodest. If in doubt, stand in a light and ask another female (or your husband) for an opinion.

–Does my dress or skirt fall below my knees so that I am properly covered? If there is a slit, is my privacy still protected or does it allow my thighs or my slip to be seen? Can I walk, bend over or sit down without my privacy being compromised? Does the fabric cling to me? Is it tight? Dresses and skirts ought to cover not reveal.

–Is my blouse or dress loose around the armhole? Does it allow others to see what shouldn’t be seen? Are my shoulders covered?

–Does my blouse or dress “cup” my form? Is there writing or a picture across the bust (that will then draw the eye where it ought not to be drawn)? The feminine form shouldn’t be unduly emphasized.

–Does my bra, slip or undies show? Can the imprint of them be seen?  Does my clothing mimic underwear in any way at all? If so, change.

–If I wear pants or shorts, are they form-fitting? Do my undies show at the top when I bend over? Can the imprint of my undies be seen? If I wear shorts, do they cover to the knees or below the knees? The feminine form is very easily revealed through the wearing of pants or shorts; if you choose to wear them, be very careful in your selection.

God will either be honored or dishonored by the way you dress. You will either give credence to your testimony or bring doubt upon His holiness by your choice of clothing. Be very careful to make clothing selections that will honor God. Dress in a fashion that is feminine and that draws attention to your face and not to your body.

In short, the rules of dressing in a modest, non-revealing fashion are these:

  • nothing too tight
  • nothing too sheer
  • nothing too short
  • nothing too low

May God bless you on your journey to honor Him with what you wear.