Look closely at the picture below. What do you see?
modestly dressed
Most people will see “stodgy, old-fashioned, way-too-hot-for-summers-in-Minnesota” clothing.

Now I know I’m going to step in it big-time with this, but that’s okay. Ann & Elizabeth went shopping the other evening and came home with several items for Elizabeth’s summer wardrobe. I was pleased with their purchases. However there was one pair of shorts that I questioned at first, but later approved.

Why the initial disapproval? I thought they might prove to be too short, thus immodest, thus inappropriate. All right. I’m ready, Let it fly.

modestly dressed“But Pastor Kevin, don’t you think setting legalistic requirements on clothing will open up a charge of hypocrisy or legalism?” Perhaps, but I’m willing to deal with that if my daughter(s) or wife are dressed modestly. Sadly most people associate modesty with the picture above. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Doug, over at Coffeeswirls, brought up this topic this week. I’d written on this very topic for our church newsletter earlier this summer, so I thought I’d include a few thoughts from those two articles for your consideration.
Let me “tackle” simple dress for now (if you want to talk weddings, we can do that later.  Many Christian young women (25 & under) fail to take into consideration a rule of faith when choosing clothing: don’t cause a brother to stumble into sin. It’s not that they deliberately set out to make a man sin with his eyes. Most just don’t think… because they’re not guys. God made men with very sensitive visual awareness of his surroundings, including the way women dress. And many women fail to realize this when they put on clothing that’s too revealing, too tight, too suggestive, too tempting.modesty

So ladies, young women and others: please glorify God by helping the men not to stumble and sin. Stand in the mirror and take a good look at what you’re wearing. Ask another, older, mature Christian woman for advice. Ask a man (husband or father) for input. But above all things, do not let your outer appearance be an occasion for sin to others in the church.

Scripture helps us here, as it should at all times: “…women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…” (1 Timothy 2.9, ESV). When it comes to our worship services, you don’t have to look dowdy, but you shouldn’t dress in a way that draws attention away from God and toward yourself in any manner.

When you dress to go out on any other given day, remember: what you wear on the outer body says everything about what is in your heart.

I’ll add the second part later today or tomorrow.

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7 Responses

  1. You chastise young women for dressing suggestivley and tempting men. Young women also like looking at eye candy. We’re visual creatures too. Young men should refrain from wearing tight trousers, or wearing a split to the waist shirt.
    At the other end of the scale, the young men who wear their trousers four sizes too big so the trousers slip past their hips showing off their boxers. And let’s not even discuss plumbers!

    What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

  2. PS: Erica made me do it. (-;

  3. You’re absolutely correct. Men must learn about modesty as well. In fact, I read, a couple of weeks ago, a disturbing statistic that young women (I think b/t ages of 18-30) are the faster growing group using pornography on the internet: chat rooms, viewing, web cams, etc.

    Oh, and by the way, Erica is a terribly bad influence. If you don’t believe me, just ask her about our church choir rehearsals!! Is it any wonder we nearly drove our director insane!

  4. Who me?????? It wasn’t me! All I had to do was keep my mouth shut for a count of three and ‘Lightening Rod’ Kevin would blurt out what I was thinking and garner the evil eye from the director.

  5. So now, I’ve learned if I try to be the quiet one, Erica will incur the wrath of. When my daughter, eldest, was home (before college) Erica and Rebecca would sit and giggle for hours (it seemed like hours anyway). I think they were having belching contests among the altos!

  6. Um, it didn’t descend that far, but let me tell you, never assume Rebecca is bluffing when she gives you a dare! LOLOL

  7. I agree that there must be standards of modesty for women AND men. Although the only temptation I’ve ever faced when looking at immodestly dressed men is the desire to smack them upside the head and jerk up their drifting trousers. In christian charity, I refrained.

    Seriously, this post was very well written. At our church, we have a dress code for men and women to honor God and to keep from causing our fellow parishoners to sin. As a Catholic, I’m glad we are not the only ones upholding standards of modesty.

    Erica did not make me do this, but I agree, she can be a bad sinfluence.

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