By Tom Moore
We are living in a day when skirts are rising, blouses are lowering, clothes are pealing off, and lust is multiplying. In the Summer heat many generally wear less or lighter clothing. There is nothing wrong with adjusting our clothing to fit the weather, so long as it adequately covers our bodies. In today’s fashion world our women, young ladies, and teens are encouraged to wear scanty provocative clothing – especially when the weather is warm. In our day a host of women are wearing clothing that is immodest, clothing whose main purpose is to show off their body – sex appeal is behind much of today’s clothing. What is most saddening to me is that the immodest fashions of the world is being bought and put on by many of our women, young ladies, and teens in the church, and immodest apparel is being worn in the worship assembly.
God’s people must dress in such a way as to show forth moral convictions and to manifest that he or she has respect for their own body. The apostle Paul declared, “In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness [i.e. a sense of shame] and sobriety [moderation – NKJ] …” (1 Tim. 2:9). The Arndt-Gingrich lexicon says that “modest” here means “honorable and respectable.” Paul is saying that women must dress themselves in such a way which indicates moral chastity, purity, and a sense of decency. Women should dress in such a way that professes godliness (1 Tim. 2:10). When a young girl wears a dress so short that it is difficult for her to sit or bend over without her undergarments showing – friends, that’s clearly immodest! That is not professing godliness!
We know that both men and women must dress modestly, but I find it very enlightening that Paul’s instruction in 1 Timothy 2:9 is directed to women. This was not done by accident.
Biologically and psychologically men and women are very different. While there are some exceptions, it is a proven fact that men are more easily aroused sexually that are women. The Lord understood this, and for that reason commanded men not to look on a woman to lust after her (Mt. 5:28). When women dress in skimpy or revealing clothing they are promoting the sexual stimulation of the opposite sex. It is wrong for a man to lust after a woman who is not his wife, but it is also wrong for a woman to dress in such a way as to tempt a man to lust after her. Our young girls are very naive in this regard, and our more spiritually mature women need to in a very gently and loving way help our young ladies to see that the way they dress has a profound impact on their character, how people perceive them, and how boys will look at them.
Some are going to argue, “The guys need to get their minds out of the gutter!” Others will say, “I am not ashamed to reveal my body, it was the body God gave me, and I am proud of it.” Then a few will says, “Well, they are going to lust anyway.” And on, and on, and on the argument can go. The real reason that most members of the church insist on wearing immodest clothing is simply this: God’s will is not important enough for them to yield their own will to His.
It is puzzling to me why women professing godliness will wear clothing exposing their body causing men to lust after them. Husbands should not allow their wives to wear clothing that would encourage men to look on their wife in an inappropriate fashion. Father’s should not allow their daughters to dress in a manner which would encourage the wrong kind of attention? Husbands and Fathers can and must stop immodesty immediately among the women of their family. Immodesty is expected in the people of the world, but should not be found among the people of God!