Our Simple Journey of Faith, Family and Life

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Modesty By: Richard Mummau

We want to look at 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".

We want to look primarily at the aspect of being "modest". Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says this:

kosmios (2887), "orderly, well arranged, decent, modest" (akin to kosmos, in its primary sense as "harmonious arrangement adornment"; cf. kosmikos, of the world, which is related to kosmos in its secondary sense as the world), is used in 1 Tim. 2:9 of the apparel with which Christian women are to adorn themselves; in 3:2 (rv, "orderly;" kjv, "of good behavior"), of one of the qualifications essential for a bishop or overseer. "The well-ordering is not of dress and demeanor only, but of the inner life, uttering indeed and expressing itself in the outward conversation" (Trench, Syn., Sec.xcii).¶ In the Sept., Eccl. 12:9.¶

We live in an age when so many people have lost all sense of modesty. The moment the sun comes out and it begins to get hot, they begin to take their clothes off and wear less and less. And what some people consider "modest" is not really modest at all.

We usually consider "modesty" as relating to the attire of people, but it actually begins in the heart. A person who can expose their bodies in public are giving evident to a barren spiritual condition of the heart.

A study of the Scripture will show that "nakedness" is *always* associated with and signifies a "barren spiritual condition". And all we have to do is look around when we are out in society, especially during hot weather, to see the condition of people's hearts today.

Now I will not make a blanket statement and say that every person who is not modest is not a Christian. I have known some people who were not dressed modestly, but when told what the scriptures say about modest dress, began to make some changes in their attire. And generally when they did this, they brought upon themselves criticism from many other people who consider themselves to be good Christians.

We live in an age when any statement that is made that implies immodest dress is not for the Christian brings out a volley of disputes and angry words by those who consider themselves to be a Christian, but are dressed immodestly.

I just want to give a few thoughts about modesty that have come to my mind.

We often think of Modesty as pertaining to the women only. But men can dress immodestly also. I believe that we men should have our bodies covered. We should not be wearing tight trousers and form fitting shirts. I have always considered a T-Shirt to be underwear and therefore I never wear a T-shirt without another shirt over it. The "muscle" shirts that can be bought are also not modest. In fact, anything that we wear that draws attention to the "body" can probably be considered immodest. The heart of a man can also be seen by how he attires his body.

Modesty for the women means also to cover the body. There is clothing which covers the body, but is also immodest. Dresses that are too tight are immodest, even if they are a cape or a jumper. I've always been blessed by sisters whose dresses were long. I think a safe guide is if they are at least half way between the ankle and the knee, preferable closer to the ankle than the knee.

My wife mentioned that she saw a Plain woman who had on a denim skirt that had a slit at the side of the skirt. These types of dresses are often more provocative than other dresses.

A man's carnal nature is often stirred more by a dress that leave more to the imagination than is actually seen.

Slacks or pants on a woman are also immodest, because they reveal the form of the body. I know that some people consider slacks more modest than a dress. But if the dresses are long enough, a woman can do many things without appearing immodest. For someone who has only worn slacks for many years, it does take some practice to learn how to work in a dress. But it can be done.

Now I could probably mention many other things, but I just wanted to say enough to get you all to thinking about this are of our Christian lives. Paul writes "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him". Colossians 3:17

With this verse in mind we can always apply this test when we buy a dress or make on. Would I buy this dress or make my dress like I have made them if my Lord Jesus Christ was standing by my side. Or, if I gave this pattern to the Lord for approval, would he make some changes to it, or would he give it back to me the way I gave it to Him? J

And for us men, would we be happy for Jesus Christ to come and visit us and find us attired the way are usually dress? Or would I hurry up and change my clothes if I saw Jesus coming down the street knowing he was coming to visit me?

I had someone tell me one time that "no one" was going to tell them how to dress. But the moment they picked up the newspaper and saw that they were out of style, they had to hurry up and get to the store to purchase those clothes that would make them acceptable in society. So, everyone has been told or influenced by something or someone in their choice of clothes. Are we being influenced by the world or by Christian Principles. One woman made this statement to my wife and I, *I’d sooner be caught dead, than out of fashion*. What kind of spirit is that manifesting?

I might add that even when someone is dressed modestly, it is still possible to dress in such a way so as to draw attention to ourselves. Anything we wear for the "express purpose" of drawing attention our selves is wrong. Sometimes this is seen in the little ornamentation and lace that is put on the dress. It is true that the modestly dressed woman will draw attention to herself. But modestly dressed women dress the way they do to please the Lord, and if that happens to draw attention to themselves, so be it. We don't dress like the world just so that we don't draw attention to ourselves. We dress differently to please the Lord. Our motive for dressing like we do is what God sees.

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