Ever find yourself asking this question? It is one that we need to be carefully considering more often. At the center of this question is an age-old topic; one that we ve likely heard sermons on, studied in Bible class, or received instruction about, from those older and wiser than us. Because our society in general, along with the devil, seem to continually blitz our thinking and influence our desires related to modesty, we must be continually reminded about God s standard on this matter. 1 Timothy 2:9 tells women to adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire. We must conform ourselves to God s standards, not the standards of the world around us (1 Peter 1:14-16). Let us consider the word of God related to modest apparel, and self-evaluate our own desires, dress habits, and clothing choices. Where improvement and perhaps even repentance is needed, we must take necessary steps to ensure we are ultimately pleasing to God.
This type of statement or excuse may be indicative of someone who is looking for an easy way out, and who is more concerned about fitting in and being socially accepted, than pleasing God. Let us be honest: being a Christian and professing godliness is not stylish and trendy in the eyes of the world. So where can women find modest clothing? Yet, where there is a will, there is a way! Keep searching and settle for nothing less than clothing which professes godliness. Seek advice from older, more experienced Christian women; they will teach and instruct younger women in what is good and pure (Titus 2:3-5). Someone may ask, So what clothing choices are immodest? There has been much debate about this, and some seem to think that because there is controversy about what is and is not immodest that means nothing is immodest! Immodest clothing is simply clothing that catches the eye to draw attention to the body in a way that could be suggestive. Surveying what women of the world wear in a deliberate attempt to be sexy and from frank conversation with Christian men it is clear that revealing cleavage, exposing the mid section or navel can be provocative. Clothing that shows under garments, wraps tightly around bodily curves, rises above the knee when standing or sitting, is outlandish or gaudy and draws unnecessary attention, is immodest. Why are these immodest? Because they can’tempt men to notice, lust, and sin. In contrast, choosing and wearing modest clothing is respectable, proper, reflects self-control, and professes godliness, as we have seen in 1 Timothy 2:9-10. As such, if our first priority in life is to please and glorify God, then our clothing choices will mirror that without excuse.
Even an imperfect figure doesn t allow us to dress as we like and ignore Godly principles. The fact is, a man can be distracted by a woman dressed immodestly, even if she isn t a Miss America candidate. Men are still prone to look and/or lust if a woman is improperly clothed; even though the woman doesn t believe she has a perfect figure or is attractive. Point being, a man s view of a woman is likely different than the woman s view of herself. A woman s choice of clothing should not be based on her perception of her figure. Rather, it should be based on God s standard which is good and pure. Therefore, whether or not a woman believes she has the perfect figure , does not give her a free pass to dress inappropriately.
What responsibilities do men have in all of this? Men are to guard their minds from impurity (Phil. 4:8). Secondly, men should not look at women with lustful intent (Matt. 5:28). Conceding to lust is entirely inexcusable. It s improper, provokes the wrath of God, and causes us to lose our inheritance in the kingdom of God, (Eph. 5:5-6; Gal. 5:19-21). Men, in an effort to guard our minds from impurity and prevent lustful looking , we must purpose within our hearts to look the other way when a woman is noticeably under-dressed. Picture in your mind satan entering your heart indirectly, in the form of the immodestly dressed woman, and turn and run away, just as Joseph did, (Gen. 39:12).
Husbands and dads, as leaders (for whom the Lord holds us accountable) of our homes, we must be very open and honest with our wives and daughters about their attire. We need to explain that men see women and women s clothing very differently than women do. Shame on men, who allow their wives or daughters to wear immodest clothing and sin against God and lead other men into sin! What kind of leadership is this? Women and girls need to consult with their husbands or fathers, since men generally know what types of clothing mislead the wandering eye. When in doubt or unsure whether clothing is immodest, women should be asking their husbands or fathers, and good, godly men must demand clothing choices that are respectable, proper, reflect self-control, and profess godliness.
Should I wear it? We can confidently answer this question when our heart is in the right place. Immodest, ungodly clothing is out of the equation when our desire and priority is to honor and please God. With that as our quest, my hope is that we will be steadfast and immovable so as to not hinder the work of the Lord.