Sunday, December 26, 2010

Immodesty ~ The Elephant in our Sanctuaries

If there's one thing I know about myself it's how to dress. I'm not touting a degree of fashion, don't misunderstand. I'm a simple dresser who is more times than not satisfied with a pair of bluejeans. I'm just saying that it's a pretty demanding world out there and I reserve the right out of all the things required of me to pick and choose what I will and will not wear. Any implication or imposition otherwise by anyone is stepping where no toes should go!

Or is it?

"..women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.." 1 Timothy 2:9 (esv)
In Barnes' notes on the Bible he states... "There is no religion in a negligent mode of apparel, or in inattention to personal appearance - anymore than there is in wearing gold and pearls; and a female may as truly violate the precepts of her religion by neglecting her personal appearance as by excessive attention to it. The true idea here [about modesty] is, that her attention to her appearance should be such that she will be offensive to no class of persons; such as to show that her mind is supremely fixed on higher and more important things, and such as to interfere with no duty which she owes, and no good which she can do, either by spending her time needlessly in personal adorning, or by lavishing that money for dress which might do good to others, or by neglecting the proprieties of her station, and making herself offensive to others.
For some reason, this issue is RARELY preached on (I have never heard it). Consequently, it's the "elephant" in our sanctuaries today. I think we need to shine a little light... do a little soul searching. I'm not about to tell anyone how to dress though...uh uh... I'll let Randy Alcorn do it. haha!

The resources Randy mention are: The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear? and Free to be Modest.

I found another video the younger ladies might also be interested in. Listen to what these young men have to say about girls who dress modestly versus girls who don't.

The goal of modesty for Christian girls and women should be to glorify God. We should strive to reflect our love for Christ through both our appearance and in our behavior.

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.
1 Peter 3:3-4

A few years ago THE REBELUTION - (A teenage rebellion against low expectations) created a modesty survey that was taken by over 1600 guys. I'm not sure that one can still participate in the on-line survey but the overview and results are still available and are quite amazing. Check it out!

I like truth and balance. I'm not advocating for burqa-wear (head to toe cloaking) and yet I hope we (me included) won't toss the issue aside as irrelevant either. Are those bluejeans we favor pleasing to God? Blouse too low? Skirt too short? Maybe, maybe not. Let's ask Him and find out...


  1. Good post Lorrie. Our churches are less and less a house of prayer, and more and more a beauty and fashion contest! Hollywood has come into the church. That's no problem, everyone is welcome... but let's not adapt to the ways of the world!

  2. Marja ~ I'm glad you make the point about those coming in. In no way, shape or form should a non-christian (or anyone really)be made to feel unwelcome due to how they are dressed.. God forbid!
    But, those who are Christians trying to live Holy lives aught to consider if their dress and behavior are pleasing to God and responsible towards others. After all, if we care more about pleasing ourselves isn't that a form of idolatry?
    Thanks for your input Marja :-)

  3. Yeah, and this is one thing the Bible gives clear direction on... You don't need a degree to figure out how to dress :)

  4. Word! @Lorrie Godbless yah!

  5. Some churches try to resolve the problem by dictating a length for skirts, tops, and even sleeves. That has the exact opposite effect: it encourages the naive teen girl to rebel. But if Paul's injunction to Timothy, and other Scriptures, are taught in a loving fashion, and girls understand that boys think of them as sluts, then perhaps we would see less body and more of the REAL GIRL--who she is.

    Even adult women don't understand how to dress, especially if they're new to the church. I remember one visitor with a significant neckline that distracted me from worship. When she noticed, she smiled at me. I wanted to say something, but didn't know how to phrase it so she'd understand it doesn't honor God and not think she was being judged.

    In every other way she looked like a slut, too, so it was a struggle to focus on the Lord. Maybe today, after 6 years of additional maturity, I could try and say something. But no guarantees I wouldn't be misunderstood.

    ~ VT

  6. Appreciate your input guys!! :-)