“I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Timothy 2:8-10).
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror” (1 Peter 3:3-6).
There seems to be no concern for modest apparel in today’s world. However, even sadder is the lack of concern for modesty among members of the church! Do commands from God not apply to women today? Certainly they are for women today! God’s commands do not change to fit worldly standards! There is no variation or shadow of turning with God the Father (see James 1:17). Christians must realize that all commandments in the New Testament are to be obeyed today!
Many women argue that modesty is decided by each individual. Yet even the dictionary defines modest as “observing the proprieties of dress and behavior; decent.” God has given us the ability to think and reason; thus we are able to discern what is decent according to standards set by God. The Bible gives us all we need to know in order to understand decency in appearance and in behavior. Note the aspect of behavior needs to be modest, as well as one’s appearance.
Other women use the excuse: “That’s the only clothing being sold today and everyone is wearing it, so it must be considered proper now.” Do you really think that excuse will stand before God? Look at what Jesus said in Luke 16:15, “And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Are you willing to become an abomination to God in order to be highly esteemed by the world?
Women may say they are not able to find modest clothing in stores. Yes, some stores no longer sell much decent clothing. It may take looking a bit longer, but it ispossible to find decent clothing. Some express the idea that modest clothing is “too expensive.” However, I have found just the opposite; modest clothing is not as expensive as the “latest styles of immodesty.”
Older women often are deceived by the idea, “No one looks at older women, so it really doesn’t matter what we wear. Just go for comfort.” There is NO truth to that idea. All women, regardless of age, are noticed by others. But more important, ALL are noticed by God, and ALL are accountable to God.
Basically, attitude controls what appearance and what behavior we display. InProverbs 27:19, we read, “As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.” Also note Proverbs 11:20, “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their ways are His delight.”
Women desiring to truly please God are willing to be more careful about what is or is not “on display” with each item of clothing worn. Here’s a helpful hint: stand before a mirror, full length if possible, and look at top, bottom, sides, and all points between. Turn, twist, bend over, raise and lower your arms, eyeing yourself from all angles. You may realize you are displaying more than you thought! Sit in a chair in front of the mirror, crossing and uncrossing your legs and note what is seen. Observe carefully every item of clothing you put on. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” We can cause men, and boys also, to have feelings of lust because of immodest clothing which exposes too much flesh.
Ladies, even a tiny bit of cleavage does not fit the description of modest apparel. Any display of the thighs is not a description of modesty. Many Christian women are displaying too much flesh. Others, while not dressing immodestly themselves, are calling the display of flesh “cute” on others! No, it is not “cute” in God’s sight, and neither should it be in ours. We also are guilty when we approve of those who practice sin (see Romans 1:32). Yes, immodesty is a sin, and we need to realize it is sin!
A woman with the right attitude will be glad when a Christian sister draws her aside and lovingly talks with her about an article of clothing being immodest. A wife with the right attitude will thank her husband for wanting her to dress modestly before others. Because of the right attitude, she realizes certain parts of her body belong only to her husband and she will not desire to expose these parts to others. A Christian woman with the right attitude will not buy immodest clothing for herselfor for her children, and she will teach her children to dress modestly. She will teach, both by example and with words, explaining it is sin to dress immodestly.
If we truly desire to glorify God, we will gladly dress modestly, instead of trying to justify immodesty! If we truly desire to glorify God, we will teach others to dress modestly also!
Are you glorifying God or glorifying the world?
By Dena Ivie
Dena and her husband, Charles serve with the church in Tatum, NM. Charles is the pulpit minister for the congregation of about 20 members from the local area. There are more articles by Dena on the ladies’ page of their website athttp://tcoc.atspace.org/ladies.html