Women and Modesty
Modesty and Christian Women
This article was written by Brigette Hyacinth
True modesty in both men and women today seems to have pratically disappeared, and not just in the secular world, but also within the church. This is a big problem today that needs to be addressed by the churches. But although this is a problem with both men and women, this article will focus on women and modesty.
Do you remember what happened back in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3? Let me remind you of a conversation that took place back then ... "So Eve, what did God tell you. He said what? Are you sure He meant that? I don't think thats what He meant. This is want He really meant ..." And 6000 years later, the same event is being re-enacted over & over again!
We have become so accustomed to the ways of the world that we no longer recognize our departure from true principle. Those who do see it are often charged with fanaticism. The dangers must be exposed by the watchmen who have been assigned that responsibility. We are not engaged in a popularity contest.
Let the Aged Women Teach the Young Women (Titus 2)
1 Timothy 2:9-10 ...'In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.'
IMMODESTY has always been a problem. "It's a Timeless problem". In Biblical times there were problems with how women dressed, and today it has become a TOTAL CRISIS! There seems to be blatant open competition amongst professed Christian women to see who could wear the: shortest, tightest, sleeveless, plunging neckline, high slit - outfit. In fact, if you DO cover your body, it seems very odd. If you wear loose fitted clothes, you seem very odd. If you do NOT wear pants, you seem very odd. In fact, wearing UNDERGARMENTS (tights, vests, tube tops, tank tops, halter-backs, shorts, miniskirts etc) in public has become the acceptable norm!
Satan's First Attack Was on a Woman
The devil began to twist and deform what a woman of GOD is supposed to be ... BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS & ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (REVELATION 17:5), has presented an image of womanhood at its worst - the whore. This is Satan's counterfeit "bride" and we may be sure that he will do everything possible to make us look like one of his, rather than one of Christ's.
The devil promotes nudity. LUKE 8:27, ACTS 19:16. The more skin and body form exposed, the better. The tighter, shorter and lower-cut your clothes are, secures you the devil's endorsement. The Bible often calls improper covering of the body nakedness. Most often it refers to the wearing of undergarments in public. (1 Samuel 19:24, 2 Samuel 6:14, 20; 1Chronicles 15:27, Isaiah 20:2-4, John 21:7)
GOD provides clothing for Adam and Eve in GENESIS 3:21 and scripture tells us that SIN is the reason for the need to CLOTHE the body. The PURPOSE of your clothing is NOT to promote sensuality, lust or entice men. But is for COVERING the body, NOT REVEALING it. GOD uses clothing to represent our characters, as the outer covering often reveals what is inside. He wants us to dress tastefully and becomingly, in a manner that will attract attention to JESUS instead of to ourselves.
ROMANS 12:2 ...'And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.'
1 TIMOTHY 4:12 ...'Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.'
The enemy wants you to look like the world, and act like the world but God wants us to be different and to let your light shine to others.
We are called to HOLINESS. A woman who FEARS the LORD has a Biblical obligation to the LORD to avoid the appearance of evil, and to dress modestly as an act of Worship.
A holy dressed woman is the single biggest witness to Godís glory as far as appearance, because that is our first witness above all else. God said obedience is better than sacrifice.
People use clothes as a means of communicating with others. "People use clothes to tell others what they want them to think about them". (Psychological studies at Britain's Newcastle University)
We need to search our hearts and ask ourselves some thought provoking questions:
1. Look around you - PREDOMINANTLY, what kind of people wear the type of clothes you are wearing? What kind of people dress that way? If fleshly unconverted people who walk in darkness have the exact fashion style as you - Warning Signs! Something is clearly wrong there! Remember, broad is the way that leads to Destruction.
2. Will what you wear cause others to Stumble? - PROVERBS 7:10 says ... 'And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.' ... Most men are attracted or enticed and tempted by what they see. We must remember what battles men face to stay pure, as they are stimulated visually by women. (Matthew 5:28) They should never have it flaunted in their faces, and to have it done in church is an act of evil in the sight of a Holy God!
This is why JESUS is so clear about causing other people to stumble. MATTHEW 18:6-10 ...'But woe unto the man by whom the offence cometh.' Remember, if a woman shows her thigh, she is considered to be naked. Bathsheba's flaunting her nakedness caused the downfall of a mighty man of God. The other person has to look out for himself. But The Bible says in ROMANS 14:21 ...'It is good neither to eat flesh ... nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth .. or is made weak.' ... We are responsible if we cause others to stumble.
3. Is it worn by the opposite sex? - 'The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.' (Deuteronomy 22:5) ABOMINATION - Extreme disgust & hatred, Loathing. VERY Strong words by GOD! God called for a clear distinction between the sexes and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it, but the enemy's plan is to obliterate this!
"But It's in the Old Testament and it's the heart that counts and it's not a big deal once the clothes are not tight, besides it's more practical." Ah yes! The battle cry of the lukewarm and entangled Laodicean church member. But the Sabbath and the Ten Commandments are in the Old Testament too, and many other instructions STILL binding for Christians today! The BIBLE is GOD's FINAL AUTHORITY - not preference, opinions or how you feel! For nearly 6000 years, women always wore dresses, but only since the last 40 years, a dress is suddenly "impractical" to wear. People seem to be playing "pick-n-choose" with Old Testament verses. Will you be like many of the liberals today and cut these verses out of your Bible as Jehoiakim did?
Pants on women grew out of the feminist movement, and was their trademark. And when you wear pants, even if they are not tight, you put your approval on the wearing of pants for women, so that your sisters feel encouraged to do the same. Although theirs may be tighter than yours, your example serves to encourage them in the wearing of pants. They become bold with a false sense of security and frivolity.
Deut. 22:5 applies to us today. Even though we are not under the Mosaic Law anymore, something that is an abomination to God is always an abomination. (This is based off of Rev. 21:27, which says that "no one who practices abomination" (KJV) will enter into the New Jerusalem.)
Since pants are men's apparel, and dresses are women's apparel, it is an abomination for a woman to wear pants or for a man to wear dresses. Cross-dressing is definitely displeasing to God.
The punishment God instituted in the Garden of Eden on Women is applying even today. Jesus dying on the cross didnít do away with pain in childbearing.
Look at the spirit of the world in our women today; it is one of rebellion and pride. We may not want to admit, but it is quite clear pants are associated with the man, even the unsaved world knows it, the next time you go in ANY store, LOOK ON THE WOMANS RESTROOM DOOR! It has a woman in a skirt and a man in pants, thatís whats going to condemn us at the judgment.
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
4. Would JESUS be proud to walk down the street of Jerusalem with you? - Or would they want to stone JESUS for walking with a harlot? Check your wardrobe!
5. Must you use the argument of the world to defend it? - 'That your FAITH should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the POWER of GOD.' (1 CORINTHIANS 2:5)
6. Whose attention do you CRAVE? Ė Do you love the attention of men or Jesus Christ? So then, Do you dress like the unblemished Bride of Christ or the devil's concubine?
7. Finally, would I really want to be caught Wearing this Garment when JESUS returns?
Sadly, it is not only acceptable, but it is highly encouraged by the world system to dress in the equivalent of your underwear, and walk, swim, sit, and to "lay out" in front of anyone who cares to look on. We purposely strip our bodies, literally, and expose our flesh to public view, to friends and strangers alike and we have faithfully passed that heritage on to our children. That it is okay to be immodestly dressed as long as it's by a pool or at the beach, and of course, all of it has been in the name of "relaxation" and "exercise".
100 YEARS or more ago, there wasn't much difference between a bathing suit and a woman's regular clothes. The old fashioned modesty in swimsuits was observed even though men and women who were not related often did not "bathe" together. So women were even modest with other women. Their desire was to reflect JESUS' character in their manner of dress. But the advent of Hollywood has twisted our thinking and brainwashed us, until we believe that pants, swimsuit and undergarments are very acceptable to wear AS CLOTHES. Just do your research. Satan has taken the territory of our bodies by removing our covering inch by inch for over 100 years.
The Historical Perspective on Modesty. What was ILLEGAL CLOTHING 100 yrs ago, and would cause your ARREST, is now POPULAR and ACCEPTED Everywhere Ė EVEN IN THE CHURCHES!
1880's The first women to start wearing pants were the French. These were considered "bicycle pants".
1890's: Swimwear was modified street clothing.
1900's: Arms were exposed.
1920's: You would be arrested if you appeared in a modest 21st century bathing suit.
1920's: Legs and backs were exposed.
1930's: Cleavage (in Tagalog: Biyak) was exposed and men began to swim bare chested.
1935's: Two piece bathing suits appeared with a small break between upper and lower half.
1940's: New fabrics appeared which hugged the body.
1960's: Navels (in Tagalog: Pusod) were exposed.
2000 and beyond: Anything goes! Bikinis with fabrics like skin that really leave nothing to the imagination prevail!
Mixed swimming occurred in some establishments, and these places were known for their promiscuity. Mixed bath houses were considered hotbeds of vice, as only women with loose morals would swim in mixed company.
Over the centuries, respectable bath houses continued to be separate. Before the mid-18th century, mixed swimming was condemned by Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims as an occasion for vice. From the latter half of the 1800's, women who went bathing - usually outdoors - wore an elaborate bathing outfit which included sleeves, a skirt, and loose pantaloons to below the knee. The fabric used was basically the same heavy fabric used in other clothing - so today we would hardly even consider such an outfit a 'real' bathing suit.
In some countries like Spain, Portugal, and Italy, the bikini was banned. Decency leagues pressured Hollywood to keep it out of the movies. One writer said it's a "two piece bathing suit which reveals everything about a girl except for her mother's maiden name."
At first, the bikini was rejected in the U.S. by the "prudish Americans", and a 1954 issue of Vogue magazine featured a swimsuit with matching jacket as "still another way of looking dressed, not undressed." As recently as 1957, Modern Girl magazine sniffed, "It is hardly necesary to waste words over the so-called bikini, since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing."
In the 1950's, advertising agencies quickly prepared marketing research to find out the reaction of men to a woman wearing pants. Using newly developed technology, they tracked the path that a man's eyes take when looking at a woman in pants from the front and back.
TODAY, the fashions are so pervasively broadcast over every media outlet that everyone dresses the same. TV/Movies, Soap Operas, Advertisements have so popularized "sexy" clothing and nakedness, that if you challenge it, you are thought of as being weird, boring, crazy or out of your mind. The thought of the day is .. If you've got it, flaunt it! Leave little or nothing to the imagination as possible!
The world's attitude toward fashion should be totally unacceptable by the Church
Any Biblical discussion of MODESTY begins by addressing the Intent of the Heart. All respectable apparel is the fruit of a GODLY heart. Your wardrobe is a public statement of your public and private motivation. Is your dress DISTINCT or do you blend in with the culture and fashion of this world? Are you Separated from this world as the LORD tells us to be? (2 Corinthians 6:17).
Your clothing is to be motivated by modesty. Immodesty is an expression of vanity, pride, selfishness and arrogance and reveals the absence of Humility. It is the act of drawing undue attention. A modest heart always precedes modest dress. Modesty is distinctly present in a GODLY woman. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. A woman who focuses on worshiping God WILL consider carefully how she is dressed. Your clothes should say - "Look at my face". This should be the only area men want to look at when they see YOU. Today, fashion has a stronghold on so many of us!
If it is wrong to wear a bathing suit walking down the road or in church, It is wrong to wear it at the beach. The Water/Sun has nothing to do with it. Do you expose your body to the lustful thoughts of others? They are going to think it, whether you like it or not.
Ladies, who inspires your dress? Who are your role models? Is it GODLY women of the bible as Esther, Sarah and Deborah? Or fleshly sinful celebrities of this corrupt culture?
Who helped you pick out your clothes? Is it the Godly Christ-centered women of the church? Or is it your carnal unconverted friends / family / church members? Who, through your dress are you imitating and identifying with? Whose Acceptance do you care for and want? Your dress is NOT to be an identification of a sinful culture!
Either we are dressing for GOD, or we are dressing for the world. We CANNOT have it both ways. Unfortunately, many Christian women no longer are deemed "Peculiar" the way God wants them to be. Instead they are more interested in conforming to the world, rather than to the will of God.
What should be noticeable about a woman professing Godliness? It is not her wardrobe but her good works. There is to be this observable lifestyle of serving others. That's your Godly adornment. That is the transforming effect of the Gospel. Less time on worldly style fashion and more time serving GOD - A consecrated and obedient heart.
What are you Noticed for? What are you Known for? What is most eye-catching about you? Your clothing or your Love for GOD? Whom are you living for: GOD or the world? See, Paul isn't just simply advocating modesty in dress. He is insisting more time and energy be devoted to Spiritual Adornment, because of THE GOSPEL. It should be the GOSPEL that motivates, informs and defines you and this is modesty. Love to God must be a living principle, underlying every act and word and thought.
Modest hearts, respectable apparel, good works - in these ways we are to be distinct. For our brothers who are saved and the lost yet to be saved and ULTIMATELY for the SAVIOUR who saved us. It's about LOVING AND LIVING the GOSPEL.
In these last days, fashions are shameful and immodest. They are noticed in prophecy. They were first brought in by a class over whom Satan has entire control, who, being past feeling [without any conviction of the Spirit of God] have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all manner of uncleanness. If God's professed people had not greatly departed from Him, there would now be a marked difference between their dress and that of the world.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 ...'Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.'
2 Timothy 4:3 ...'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.'
Because of my loyalty, priority and devotion to please GOD, I refuse to dress like this world. Your body is NOT yours, as you were "bought with a price". Please Let GOD cover you with HIS ROBE of RIGHTEOUSNESS!
May this stir our hearts to a desperate need for moral dependence upon HIM!