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In describing the mode of dress appropriate for women in church, the apostle Paul exhorts them to dress "modestly" with "decency and propriety" then goes on to contrast immodest dress with the good...
This is a subject that American Christians avoid like the plague. However God has some things to say about the way we dress. I'm going to be very frank, because people tiptoe around this issue. The fundamental idea of modesty is to not draw attention to yourself by your clothes. Clothes can be immodest if the fabric or cut of the garment advertises wealth: "not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing," (1Ti 2:9 NKJ) And clothes can be immodest if they draw attention to your body by not covering the parts that stimulate the sexual drive of others. First: the fundamental reason to wear clothes is to COVER our private parts. Notice, the first thing Adam and Eve did after they sinned: "they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Gen 3:7 KJV) Today, clothing designers dream up 10,000 ways to REVEAL the private parts--the breasts, the hips, the legs, etc. Want to be modest? Easy! Wear clothes that do not show the skin or the shape of any part of the breasts, hip area and legs. You don't think showing the leg is a big deal? Consider this--what God said to Babylon when he spoke of his judgment on that city: "strip off your robe, uncover your legs," (Isa 47:2 RSV) And consider why advertising agencies spends millions finding models with the prettiest thighs and calves in order to draw attention to the products of their clients! It really comes down to engineering, I hope that doesn't sound too cold, but it is practical. How high should the neckline of a shirt or blouse be cut? High enough and snug enough so that when you bend over, NO part of the breast is revealed. How tight, what kind of fabric? Easy. If it hugs the shape of the body, its too tight. At the risk of being crass, but it needs to be said, I have seen women in a church worship group wearing a bra and blouse that allowed their nipples to be seen! Good grief! How many men had that sight burned into their brain and struggled with lust then and afterward! Come on, girl! Didn't your mother tell you anything about how to get dressed modestly? Apparently not! When it comes to pants on women, there are two considerations: First, the verse in Deuteronomy, "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this." (Deu 22:5 NIV). Second, the practical fact that, because a woman is built wide in the hips, it is almost impossible for her to wear pants and be even halfway modest when she bends over. Do I have to be crass and tell in detail how this works? I remember an evening at a church service, where the pastor's wife was up front, and with her backside to the audience, did a full bend to pick up something, wearing pants. Little was left to the imagination--I wish I hadn't been paying attention, I saw what only her husband should see in the privacy of their bedroom. Except for women who are very narrowly built, a garment that is gathered and loose fitting is needed for modesty--not to mention femininity. That spells s-k-i-r-t. I'll probably get lambasted and accused of being a "legalist" for saying so--but its the plain facts. How much leg to cover? Well, where does the leg cease being a sexual magnet to men? The answer--the ankles. Again, the calves are one of the most powerfully attractive part of a woman's body. So,yes, that skirt should cover the calves. And when the woman sits down, it should be loose enough and long enough to completely cover the attractive part when sitting down. Now, this is beginning to draw a picture of how women worldwide have dressed, doesn't it? You think Great-Grandma didn't know what turns a man on? Better find out why she had 12 children! Our society is, collectively, a big idiot. We think our licentious manner of dress is just a no-brainer. Yes, it is a NO brainer! And the Church runs one step behind. Honor God with a new pace.. Modest.
Modesty in dressing is an expression of the inner mind, and showing the humble personality, and it allows for considerations beyond a person's wealth, and which encourages moderation in our daily activity. 1 Cor 2:13, "And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words". A moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan, nor radical, and always want to do things as appropriate, since those negative characteristics are of the world and discouraging for a good Christian life. Generally, things that are not moderate cannot be modest, and also are vices to the spiritual growth and developments. An example of modesty is seen in Christ humility, Romans 12:16,"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited". Humility is the quality of being humble, which is the submission to divine grace of God, and a recognition of self in relation to God, and also considered as the self-restraint from excessive vanity, Humility is the concept which addresses intrinsic self-worth, relationships, and socialization as well as the perspective, and which is emphasized in religious practice, morals and ethical study, such as being moderate and modest at all times. 1 Timothy 2:9-10, "I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God".
I am a married woman and I dress with modesty, not only as a Godly testimony but also out of respect and honor to my husband, whom God gave me as the only one to see my body, and an example to my daughter. Men are not the only ones who see the way I dress; young boys see it and young ladies also, who are still being molded into the adults they will grow into.
Dressing is the act of wearing clothes, especially for public appearance. Therefore it is important to dress appropriately for dignity. Hebrews 13:7, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith". Our dressing should be able to express the good reputation expected for Christian faithfuls. Reputation is the image of a person, a social group, or an organization, and an opinion about that entity, typically as a result of social evaluation on a set of moral standards. Having good reputation, is believed as being modest in personality (Titus 2:7). Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves."
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