Friday, March 03, 2006

Modesty Revisited

Tonight I was continuing my voyage through Debi Pearl's Created To Be His Help Meet. One of the chapters dealt with women being chaste, based on Titus 2:4-5, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste..." Debi made some interesting statements that left me at my knees before God.

Modesty has been something that I have been learning. When I was a teenager, my father, in particular, was less than thrilled with my exceptionally baggy sweat-shirts and other wide tops. I was still getting "comfortable" with my newly developing body, and combined with the "flashdance" fashions, this made these baggy clothes very appealing to hide in. As the years went on, I changed in my tastes and began to risk shorter hemlines, more figure-flattering tops, etc.

Debi Pearl discussed modesty in the context of Matthew 5:28: "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." She re-iterated how men are visually stimulated and how we, as women, need to be careful of that. In fact, she pointed out that, "Jesus said that a lusting man commits adultery WITH a woman, not against her, meaning that the woman is included in the lusting adultery."

As I read on in the chapter, I was reminded of some of my outfits in previous days that may have caused a man to stumble - skirts too short, tops too tight, etc. I was especially convicted about my clothing selections for church and I confess this because I hope others don't make similar mistakes. Although I may have been naiive, I should have known better.

Debi writes, "If you want to get provocative, do so in private with your husband. In fact, I recomment it, but when you come out of the bedroom and go to church or to the local store, dress as you would dress for the Judgment Seat of Christ." Wow! That sure takes modesty to a new level. But she's right. We need to be professing our godliness in all our behavior, including our dress.

May we all pledge anew to carefully consider the men in our lives... and I am not speaking of our husbands here. There are other men that sit behind us in church, work beside us, that are exposed to our immodesty. Let us not be contributing to the sin of lust which is rampant in our society, but let us raise the standard of feminine attire to a place of purity and beauty, as it was intended.


Kim from Hiraeth said...

This is a matter dear to my heart. As a mother of three boys, I am disheartened to see the inappropriate manner in which women, young and not so young, dress for church, not to mention every place else! How hard it is for a young man to keep his thoughts in order when the young woman standing in front of him, singing hymns is wearing low rider jeans to show off her tatoos!

I have seen more and more bare midriffs and cleavage and lingerie in church in the past two or three years. The sad thing is that often the parents of these young women see nothing at all wrong with the provocative way their girls dress and become offended or enraged when the subject comes up. As an Elder's wife and a leader of women's Bible studies, I have broached this subject more than once and with all the gentleness and love I possess and for some reason, this seems to be more of a hot button than even direct expressions of concern about their children's spiritual condition!

How hard it must be to raise daughters in this culture!

Marlene S. said...

We have 2 young ladies in our church that are beautiful examples of dressing fashionably and modestly. I appreciate them so much in this regard.

At the same time, there are many that make concentrating at church like the wilderness temptations may have been for Jesus - in your face and very difficult. I suppose that's one analogy we can use to help our boys stay pure. They are definitely facing the "prowling lion" on this one. And it seems he is getting less and less subtle in this regard. I pray that your boys can stay pure in mind. All the best in raising them!

Homemanager said...

Marlene and Kim,
My daughters and I have talked at great length about this area. There seems to be a dearth of modest and pretty clothing for women.

Maybe we should be praying that the Lord lead us either to good resources, or to some nice patterns that could be made.

My daughters and I have done a little sewing, but I've had to keep things very simple. I'm still in process myself. :o)

A young woman that I'm discipling from our church came from work, wearing a pair of nice dress pants with the hem pinned in place. So, now I'm teaching her to handsew. She is interested in learning machine sewing so we are headed in that direction.

I'm very excited because she wants to learn and has even invited a group of teen girls to sew pillows for the teen class room at church.

I believe the answer lies in taking one girl at a time and spending the time investing in them. Maybe offering a little "sewing class". They might gain interest by starting with some small project, a purse or bag, followed by a nice blouse or skirt, for those who are really interested. Here is the key piece though, Prayer and instruction in the word! This problem is really a reflection of the heart of these young girls. Are they even saved? Do they know what is taught in the scriptures and why? They are a reflection of their parents. Are the parents even saved? Do they know that they are responsible for teaching these things? If so, are they aware that they are sinning?
I think there are alot of people who haven't been taught from the scriptures or they are blind to the fact that our Christian walk is a "lifestyle", not just a religious duty for sundays.

Personally, I think it reflects the condition of the Body of Christ at large. We have become more "conformed to the world" and less to the "image of Christ"....