Many times in the past several years I’ve written articles or posts on the topic of modesty and/or modest dress. I’ve received letters of thanks and letters of condemnation. I think the letters of thanks are the ones I prefer, but I also appreciate the letters of disapproval, for it is in the reading and mulling over these letters that I gain understanding and can better articulate my convictions “the next time” the modesty issue comes up. I’ve talked about modesty to groups of women at retreats and to women in Bible studies and then through articles posted on our website. Most of the time, and I’m sorry it’s this way, women are sort of resigned to just going with the status quo or argue that modesty is “old-fashioned” or: da-ta-da-dahhh: legalistic! Ooooooo, legalism. The favourite catch-all term for anything someone doesn’t want to accept. And, it’s the favourite accusatory term with which to slap a sister who’s trying to make some seemingly radical changes in order to be obedient to Scripture. I mean, after all… you don’t want to be l-e-g-a-l-i-s-t-i-c do you? Funny thing is, those who are seeking to be modest in dress and speech are generally not doing so to draw attention to themselves—but on the contrary, they are seeking to *not* be drawing attention (and catch a lot of flack for it). I’ve found it interesting that the women get attention for not drawing attention and then smart for it.
Consider this… women are put down for dressing modestly or seeking to cover themselves and yet others are not put down for alluring or firing up someone else’s husband—in fact, if a women “looks like a million bucks” she’s thought to be cool, sexy, attractive and “with it!” And if a woman seeks to dress femininely and modestly, she’s often characterized as frumpy, dowdy, old fashioned, behind the times. It’s uncanny, really. By the way, I am talking about Christian women in Christian circles… you’d expect that from the world—but Bible reading, Bible believing followers of the LORD? Nope… you wouldn’t expect it, but such is the case.
So, Barbara just sent me a letter (she knows the best latest stuff) telling me of a site promoting modesty and so, in turn, I’d like to promote it as often as I can for the sake of encouragement as well as endorsement of a viable effort to encourage clothing manufacturers and retailers to offer clothing that doesn’t promote sexual promiscuity, that doesn’t destroy the unique design and distinction of little girls and women, and clothing which does not foster inappropriate thoughts and actions toward or about women.
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth to a man,
neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment:
for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God”
II Timothy 2.9
“…that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…”
Mothers… wake up! Fathers… wake up! your daughters wearing thongs and low pants, lace lingerie hanging from skin tight tops tied above the waist is a display of torturous enticement and defrauding behaviour. Girls and women *do* have a responsibility for what their clothing says. Girls and women do have a responsibility to dress in a manner that does not encourage sexual advances or advertise that which they cannot honestly and rightly deliver. I know it’s not just clothing… there are many factors that must go along with modest clothing in the promotion of proper, well mannered and discreet behaviour. I know that it’s not incumbent on women to carry the whole weight of responsibility for sexual behaviour or the responses of men toward women. But truly… if girls and women dress in an “available” or enticing manner, or in a way that is sexually stimulating—they do bear the responsibility for the reactions that manner of dress provokes. There’s a book entitled, “Your Clothes Say it For You” and the title is as catchy as the content. What are your clothes saying? Ask your husband. Then ask him what they’re saying to other men.
More tomorrow or later… which ever comes first.