Who knew the topic of modesty would stir up so much controversy!? Just to clarify, it was God who said that women should dress modestly, not me. There seems to be a lack of understanding concerning what the bible says, so let’s start there.
Setting the Scene
1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, “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.”
Why did the Apostle Paul care about how women dressed? Does God hate braided hair? Readers today might be wondering why gold and pearls are so scandalous. 1st Timothy was written to the church community in Ephesus which was also home to the temple of Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love). At night, the temple prostitutes would go out into the city wearing…wait for it…elaborate hairstyles, gold, and pearls. This flashy style was the calling card of pagan prostitutes.
Satan will always try to corrupt what God has established. Because God made women to be honored, Satan will try to defile them. Because God desires that women be cherished, Satan wants women to be used and abused.
The fashion style of the culture in Ephesus was being affected by the style of prostitutes and Christian women were adapting their styles to match the culture’s style. Christian women were attending worship gatherings dressed like hookers!
In churches today, we welcome sinners, but we expect followers of Christ to hold to a higher standard. Imagine if your piano player, sister Suzy, came to church this Sunday wearing fishnet stockings and a see-through top. This would be extremely distracting for other church members, (although you might soon have the most popular church in town)!
Scripture isn’t saying that women should make themselves unattractive, but that beauty should originate from the inside. When going to worship, Christians should be especially careful not to dress in a way that draws attention away from God.
Ironically, while our culture has been claiming to “advance women,” we’ve also been systematically objectifying them into sexual commodities. It’s sad that so many Christian gals go right along with the cultural shift, blindly following fashion trends, and voluntarily adorning themselves as commodities.
Do you say “respect me” with your mouth, and “use me” with your wardrobe?
Tips for Ladies
I’ve asked my wife, Amy, as the household expert, to offer some advice to the ladies:
Think about how your clothing will affect men. Most women dress, not to impress men, but to impress other women! Don’t just follow fashion trends without asking yourself if your outfit will cause men to stumble.
You can still dress cute while dressing modestly! It might take longer, and you might have to work harder, but you can do it! You have to be creative; you can take something that’s not modest and make it modest by adding undershirts or leggings.
If you’re single, ask yourself, “What kind of man does my outfit attract?” Will your outfit attract a Godly man who will view you as an image-bearer of God, or are you attracting predators who will see you as an available commodity? If you’re married, you shouldn’t be looking to receive attention from any man who isn’t your husband. This means married gals should not only avoid suggestive outfits, but also suggestive behavior.
Tips for Moms
What do you do when your daughter wants to wear something inappropriate? You say, “NO!” Repeat after me: “Nooooooooooooooo.” Doesn’t that feel good? You are the guardian of your daughter’s wardrobe! You don’t let bad articles of clothing in, and you don’t let her wear something inappropriate out! If it’s not modest, don’t buy it for her. I know this will shock some moms, but you have authority over your daughter. You’re in charge, so be in charge. As the first woman in the home, you set the standard of modesty with your example.
Tips for Dads
That’s right, dad. It’s not just mom’s job to protect your daughter. You play an important role in developing your daughter’s understanding of modesty. You must teach her that she has value because of who she is, and not because of how she looks. If you show her plenty of love and affection, she won’t crave it from other men. I recommend the book: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know.
Many dads disqualify themselves from being guardians of purity by routinely inviting impurity into their own homes…right through the internet connection! You won’t be able to guard your daughter’s purity if you’re defiling another man’s daughter on your computer screen while your family sleeps. You must avoid sexual immorality so that you can be the champion of sexual purity!