Are you a virtuous woman or a sensual woman?
Are you a virtuous woman or a sensual woman?
This is an old post but still very applicable. Here is a humorous look at the need for modesty.
Yes, you know who you are. You are everywhere. Tell me, please—where can I flee from your presence? You are my age (30’s-40’s+) and you are spending way too much time in the junior’s department of your local department store. Give your teenage daughter her clothes back and head to the nearest Talbots.
Merci, beucoup, mon bonne Paris amie.
This is a verse that is commonly used to excuse all manner of outward appearance.
1 Sam 16:7 …for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. KJV
This is one of those verses that even non-Christians seem to know and throw out along with “judge not”. However, if you will look at the full passage for the phrase you will see it means much different than it is commonly claimed to mean.
1 Sam 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. KJV
The Lord tells Samuel to “Look not on his countenance” or “on the height of his stature.” How exactly does this have anything to do with clothing? The Lord is telling Samuel to not judge David by his “countenance” meaning whether he is handsome or plain. This is not referring to clothing at all. Look at the next criteria “on the height of his stature.” This is how tall he is, not what David is wearing. David very well could have been very short.
Later in the passage, this verse is found:
1 Sam 16:12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. KJV
What does this have to do with his clothing? Not one thing, it is describing David’s physical appearance.
The Lord will judge us on our heart but we as mere men must judge only on the appearance and the fruit, not a man’s heart. A person’s outward appearance is an indicator of the condition of the heart.
A person can look perfectly modest, pure, righteous, and God fearing on the outside and have an evil, depraved, and God-hating heart. Nevertheless, a person who is modest, pure, righteous, and God fearing in the heart cannot look immodest, evil, depraved, and God hating on the outside.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. KJV
Just as out of the heart the mouth speaks, also out of the heart the clothing choices are made. Are your clothes chosen to glorify the Lord and represent Him or are your clothes chosen to glorify yourself?
Modesty Alert Post – This may not be appropriate for men who do not have daughters or are not in leadership over women.
Although the survey answers were done by teens and men, 12 – 60 years old, they can be rather frank in their descriptions of immodest attire, clothing items and behavior in women.
The Modesty Survey is an exciting, anonymous discussion between Christian guys and girls who care about modesty. Hundreds of Christian girls contributed to the 148-question survey and over 1,600 Christian guys submitted 150,000+ answers, including 25,000 text responses, over a 20-day period in January 2007.
The following are some sample comments Christian men wrote about women and modesty. There are hundreds of comments on a variety of modesty questions at the website.
~ I’m actually not sure why, but something just feels “wrong” when I see them, especially on Christian girls/women that I respect.
~ I don’t think there is anything wrong with them in and of themselves, of course, however, in my mind there are certain kinds of women who wear them historically–and that’s not the best of company to keep!
~ Depends how far they are covered by the dress or skirt. If they are not covered, then it is immodest because of the association most people have with high black boots on women.
~ They usually are simply because they are reminiscent of what prostitutes wear, and are often accompanied by short skirts. They can also cause girls to walk in suggestive ways.
~ This is obvious to me, why else would someone wear so short a skirt unless it is to flaunt their bodies?
~ There needs to be an option stronger than “strongly agree” for this one. It’s even worse if the girl actual moves, as miniskirts tend to show everything clothing is supposed to hide.
~ Miniskirts make a statement. They offer a promise of a chance to be allowed to see more.
Other Posts about Modesty
I have had several fans of the “Bama Twins” get quite upset with my stating that they dress immodestly. The conclusion I’ve arrived at is:
Those who are defending immodesty are the “Lord” of their lives and they refuse to allow Jesus to be Lord of their lives, despite the lip service they give on Sunday mornings.
This is just a portion of the article; follow the link to read the rest.
Free to Be Modest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
An immodestly dressed woman is giving away something that doesn’t belong to her. This principle of ownership means that, are you ready for this, that you and I are not free to dress in any way we please.
We’re accountable to God. He owns us and if you’re not a child of God that’s a principle that you’re not going to like, in fact, you won’t like any of these principles if you don’t belong to the Lord.
But if you are a child of God, you will find great comfort and security in the fact that you do belong to God, that your body is His. It means that you can trust that God will take good care of His property; also that you have a responsibility to take care of it.
The second is the principle of Lordship. Jesus is Lord over all. Ownership; then Lordship. Romans 14 [:9] tells us: “For this very reason Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”
You know what it means when we say that Jesus is Lord. It means that God has the right to regulate every area of our lives, including what we wear.
So I want to ask you, “Who runs your life, who’s your Lord?”
Most of us would say, “Jesus is my Lord.” But when it comes down to what you wear, who’s your Lord.
Are you governed by fashion, are you governed by the culture? Are you governed by your friends’ opinions or are you governed by Christ and His Word?
Who is your Lord? You see, you and I are not to be enslaved to anything or anyone other than Jesus–to have any Lord other than Him is to be a slave.
The women who have adopted the worlds’ philosophy of fashion and clothing are not free. You’ll never be truly free until you’re free to do what God wants you to do regardless of what anything or anyone else dictates to you.
Other Posts about Modesty
When God was giving Moses instructions for the temple and for the priests, He gave very detailed instructions. Right down to the under garments! For those who think wrongly, that the Lord does not care about our clothing, all you have to do is actually read through the Bible.
42 And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him. KJV
The Lord tells the priests to wear linen breeches from the loins to the thigh. The “loins” is the upper and lower abdominal regions and the region about the hips including the pubic region and the reproductive organs. The “thigh” is the area extending from the hip to the knee. Therefore, the priestly breeches would have looked something like this:
This is in order to cover their nakedness! How many women (and men) wear much smaller garments and then argue that they are not naked? But notice this is the undergarment worn under the remainder of the priestly attire. The priest then wore a linen coat (robe) over these breeches or trousers.
These breeches or trousers were to cover their nakedness. What does the Bible mean by nakedness?
1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.
3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. KJV
Notice that baring the leg and uncovering the thigh was nakedness. Uncovering someone’s nakedness was shameful.
Ex 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. KJV
The Lord even commanded the Israelites to never walk up stairs to the altar so as to not be nakedly exposed in His presence. Most churches today have steps up to the podium or stage. Many women do not realize how short a dress becomes when viewed from behind when she is walking up the steps to the stage.
Now how many ladies come to church each Sunday morning thinking they are dressed so nicely, yet the Lord looks upon them in their nakedness, shame (Isa 47:1-3) and iniquity (Ex 28:42-43). There are women who honesty do not understand what the Lord requires as modest attire but there is no excuse in the church and specifically, the pastor, allowing women to continue in iniquity all the while claiming to be Christians.
Other Posts about Modesty
(Sorry for the bad links, I think they are fixed.)
The world’s attitude toward fashion, Mohler said, should not be the church’s.
“The [world’s] attitude is if you’ve got it, flaunt it,” she said. “Leave as little to the imagination as possible. Regenerate Christian women, I don’t believe, leave home with this attitude. We seek to live godly, holy lives.”
Nevertheless, immodest dress is a problem in local churches on Sunday mornings, Mohler said. Women may not have a worldly attitude about modesty, but because of naivete, carelessness, busy lifestyles or cultural pressures, some women unknowingly dress immodestly, she said.
Also see the document Modeling Modesty.
Am I saying that never, ever, not even once can she wear a halter top, tube top, cropped top, mini skirt, skin tight shirts, anything that shows cleavage or midriff, hip-hugger jeans and shirts that don’t meet, that she can’t even go into an Abercrombie store, that she can’t keep Clinique in business when she is 14, and that her Sunday clothes are going to be different from her other clothes? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Unlike the discount store whose tags say, “there are no rules,” her father and I believe there are rules. There are absolutes. There is a line that you just don’t cross. I hasten to add that it wouldn’t matter if her father was a seminary president or a ditch digger, the rules would be the same. Mary Mohler
Modesty: God, My Heart, and Clothes (pt. 1) by C. J. Mahaney
Perhaps you can relate to Jenni. Maybe modesty sounds unappealing to you. If we played word association you’d come up with “out of style” and “legalistic.” Maybe you think God is indifferent about the clothes you wear. What does he care?
But, as Jenni ultimately discovered, there is “not a square inch” of our lives—including our closets—with which God is not concerned. Even more, he cares about the heart behind what you wear, about whether your wardrobe reveals the presence of worldliness or godliness.
Modesty: The Attitude of the Modest Woman (pt. 2)
Modesty: The Appearance of the Modest Woman (pt. 3)
Modesty: A Pastor’s Concern (pt. 4)
Modesty: A Word to Fathers (pt. 5)
Modesty: The Right Adornment (pt. 6)
Modesty: The Modest Woman’s Allegiance (pt. 7)
Where am I going with this? Oh, don’t try to look so innocent. You know exactly where I’m going.
So here comes this brother into the assembly of the saints, hoping for a rest from the battles of the week, a moment to regroup, sing, pray, get the Word, fellowship. He looks up to the choir, or to his left or his right — and in a tick of the clock, he’s facing the same struggle he faced every time he turned on his TV, opened a magazine, or went down a city street. He’s seeing things that make it far too easy for him not to keep his mind focused where it needs to be focused.
And he’s not in a nightclub, he’s not at a singles’ bar, he’s not at the beach. He’s in church.
Given that I took an illustration from church service, many naturally thought I was writing about how Christian women dress in church. I wasn’t. I was writing about how Christian women dress publicly, period. Church provides a bright and shining illustration, but it isn’t as if (to speak bluntly) there’s some virtue in dressing like a saint in one building, and like a slut in another.
Men tend to lust after women. And women tend to lust after being lusted after. We struggle with modesty because we all want to be the Spanish dancer. No one wants to be the duck.
But there are men out there who are fighting hard for integrity. They’re doing battle every day, desperately trying to stay pure and focused on their wives. And what do we do? We whip out our fans. We look hot, on purpose. We flirt. We pose. On purpose. We aren’t about to tone down our characters. We know how to play the part. We do it well. And everyone likes it. They’re paying attention to us, aren’t they? And we’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy it.
A Church In Need of Prayer – (Part 2) Specifically the comments
Kelli at The Land of Boys wrote this letter months ago but it is very appropriate for all mothers, here is a quote from it.
Sometimes just because something is fashionable or in style does not mean that it should be worn by an adult, much less a child or a teenager. Too often lately all I see are girls who look as if they are being trained to be living the life of a prostitute, rather than a lady.
By Trent Griffith
If I remember right, the year was 1985. As a pimple-faced high-school senior, I attended a Christian youth convention along with 7,000 other bundles of exploding hormones (otherwise known as teenagers). The keynote speaker was a young and impressive black preacher who held us on the edge of our seats with his high energy, constant motion, and vivid word pictures. His assignment that day was to call us to a life of moral purity. His passion for the subject was evidenced by the fact that with each point, his voice would raise an octave. At the climax of his message, he turned his attention toward the girls among us. Unhindered by what seemed like gravel on his vocal chords and sweat beads on his forehead, his voice crescendoed with a plea I will never forget: “IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO COME TO YOUR PARTY, THEN DON’T SEND ME AN INVITATION!”
The phenomenon produced by that statement was amazing. Hundreds of young ladies began crossing their arms and tugging at their skirts to try to conceal something that was exposed by immodest clothing.
Proverbs 7 introduces us to what the King James Version calls a “strange woman.” The first characteristic identified in her is that she was “dressed as a harlot.” Whatever that means, it is certainly something no parent wants his daughter to be characterized by. So why are parents so reluctant to prevent their daughters from “dressing as harlots”?
1. Many parents are using the wrong standard of comparison. Paul warns us of this when he says, “When they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding” (2 Corinthians 10:12b, ESV). Some parents honestly feel that their daughters are modest compared to what they see in the world. And compared to the immorality they could be involved in, the way they dress seems pretty innocuous. What they fail to understand is that immodest apparel now could be the door to immoral behavior down the road.
2. Moms may have seen their daughters wrongly in competition with other girls, and they may actually be encouraging their daughters not to be outdone by the external appearance of their peers. They may have fallen for the lie that external beauty is of supreme value. They have mistakenly communicated to their daughters, “Pursue all the attention you can get through the way you dress.” Proverbs contrasts the value that God places on internal beauty versus external beauty: “As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion” (11:22, NASB).
3. Dads are usually depending on their wives to regulate their daughters’ apparel. However, as sincere as a mom may be in helping her daughter dress appropriately, she simply cannot see through the eyes of a man. Dads understand in a way moms can’t how the slightest indiscretion in a woman’s dress can place impure thoughts in a man’s mind. Therefore, Dad must get involved.
4. Some dads have such a fragile relationship with their daughters that they are afraid to risk a confrontation that may widen the gap in their relationship. They don’t want to be accused of being the “fashion police” or be viewed as the “bad guy.” Many dads have neglected to invest “parental capital” they can spend when they need to speak the truth in love to their daughters. Girls whose dads who have not given them proper amounts of attention may try to seek the attention of other guys through the way they dress. Dads must recognize how this can set up a young lady for moral impurity.
5. Other dads tragically have been desensitized to the way their daughters dress because of a stronghold of pornography in their life. They simply fail to notice seductive clothing on their daughters because they have so often let their eyes feast on impure images.
Now, as the father of three pre-adolescent girls, I have been convicted by God of my responsibility to prevent the invitations from going out with my return address on them. So I’m starting early! I have established the Daddy-Gets-To-See-It-First policy. Every time one of my girls gets a new outfit, we have a little fashion show. You should see how they gleefully eat up the attention of their daddy as I tell them how elegant and beautiful they are, strolling down the runway. But my purpose is not to see if they are in fashion. That’s Mom’s expertise. I am looking to see if they are wearing anything in a way that would cause rounds of hormones to explode in a guy as he looks at my daughters. I ask myself, “Is it too low, too high, too tight, or otherwise too revealing? Would what they are wearing cause the eye of a man to be drawn to any part of their body he has no business dwelling on, thereby sending an invitation to a guy I don’t want at their party?” If an article of clothing doesn’t pass the test, it finds a new home.
The “Why, Daddy?” questions are answered with a simple, “It’s just not best,” usually followed by an, “Okay, Daddy.” Frankly, I have found little that would fall into the “not best” category on my one, four, and eight year olds, but I realize that if I try to implement my policy when they are eleven, fourteen, or eighteen, I will probably have difficulty coaxing them down the runway. I figure starting now will ensure they still value my input when “Okay, Daddy” is harder to get!
Recently I was asked to address the issue of modesty at a local Christian school board meeting. Several parents had been pressing the school to enforce its dress code. In the midst of the meeting, one man threw up his hands in frustration that the local churches had not addressed the issue in their youth groups. That same week I had a discussion with pastors who were appalled at how parents could allow their children to dress so immodestly when they came to church. It was a cycle of irresponsibility. The parents pointed their finger at the school; the school blamed the church; the church leadership pointed their finger (and rightly so) at the parents.
Let’s break the cycle! Otherwise, Dads, don’t be surprise when unwanted guys start showing up at your daughter’s party!
A Church In Need of Prayer – (Part 2) Specifically the comments