Modesty

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Without doubt modesty is nothing less than a holy feeling; and without doubt the person whose rule of modesty has been transgressed feels the same sort of wound that he would feel if something made holy to him by his religion had suffered a desecretation. I say “rule of modesty” because there are about a million rules in the world, and this makes a million standards to be looked out for.  -Mark Twain- Following the Equator

Sometimes women, we are our worst enemies. Instead of fighting for true injustice in the world, abuse, sex-trafficking, child slavery and rape we are assessing each other’s dress code and deeming it inappropriate. We disguise it under the veil of religion, determining that we cause men to lust with our clothing. As if we have the power to dictate the feelings of another.

Only who determines modesty? Muslims can feel we Christians are immodest. Certain denominations of Christians determine that other denominations are immodest and the list goes on and on. I find it interesting though that men aren’t held to this standard. A woman’s lust for a man isn’t predicated on his attire or so it seems.

I just want it to stop. The women in the church clucking and running around talking about the attire of others are nothing more than bullies who have determined it is their right to speak out, behind your back of course, about their opinion of the way another dresses. The problem is you can make all the religious rules you want to about dress code. Unless the heart convicts you, you follow the rules in front of the rule authorities but you won’t follow it on your own because it isn’t your conviction.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Col 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. 20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 8:33 am  Comments (7)  

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  1. Clearly one of the most commons sins of Christians that is least recognized is spiritual pride. The feeling that ” I am better than you” for whatever reason. Clearly they ignore the parable of the pharisee and the publican praying in the temple.

    The sin that goes hand in hand with the sin of pride is the daily double of judging. We need to be reminded that only God can judge. We need to reminded that Jesus loved sinners and was kind to the woman who committed adultery and told the crowds “to him who is without sin cast the first stone”.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  2. I’m actually having to confront this issue in one of the churches I lead worship for—a woman who comes to sing with me has worn a dress and a top that made certain people feel uncomfortable. I’ve been kinda’ puzzled as to how to approach her about such attire for though she shows cleavage, I have never seen her flaunt it or do anything out of sorts. I find it funny that some in the church see breasts as merely sexual instead of a woman’s anatomy. The fact that a woman has breasts shouldn’t be seen as sensual but a sexual trait. These people complained because there are men who have “sexual addictions” in the congregation who will lust. But I’ve noticed she gets attention no matter what she wears and guys hit on her or look her up and down no matter what. I also wonder if it should be forbidden for a man to wear an open shirt since chest hair turn some women on…or how about the color of his eyes which is one of the things women say make them aroused. Or should we forbid him to have features that make women notice him and turn them on? What if he’s just nice, polite, wealthy and conscientious? Should he stop being these things?

    Hey, there’s not a man alive who appreciates a woman’s body more than me, but there’s a time and place to turn off our own urges. A man who looks at my friend and is turned on will be whether she wears full body armor or a bikini (she’s a pretty woman). I certainly don’t need them to go naked, that would be too distracting, but as long as they cover their parts with generally solid opaque clothing, I fail to see how they are responsible for my lustful thoughts. To be honest, sometimes women in well-fitting, fully covering clothes give me more thoughts than exposed skin.

    It’s a double standard to think they can wear a bathing suit at the beach which can be a bikini or full-cover then turn around and gripe about them coming to church with a blouse that shows too much cleavage or pants that fit well. In fact, it’s pretty silly.

    But for the sake of my weaker brother (and one sister who spoke to me Saturday) I will talk to her and ask her to tone it down a bit.

  3. What gives us the right to be the fashion police though? So she changes her outfit to conform to the church, but if her heart does not convict her then she does it out of pure judgment. I know the predicament you are in though. One in which you feel stuck in the middle.

    Only what turns one guy on doesn’t do it for another. I have to say, I don’t wear sleeveless tops to church anymore for one reason. I raised my hands when I was singing and after service a guy came up to me and said, “Hey, I really think it’s great that at your age, when you wave your arms around they don’t jiggle.” I felt creepy after that, like my arms were being checked out. So I stopped wearing them on Sunday. I wear tank tops everywhere else, I just don’t want someone distracted by my arms during worship and I certainly don’t want to be wondering if someone is looking at my arms. Plus the comment about “at your age” was sad too.

  4. Actually I think the person “thought” they were giving you a compliment but, then my mind says “why is he looking at your arms during worship he should be focused on God” so then I come to the conclusion “yeah thats a little creepy”. I think that is why I don’t get to excited in my worship, I mean I don’t bounce around much because I know I am a big girl and someone once told me my backside bounces when I get into the music…okay I wasn’t offended I know I have a larger backside than most but “why are you watching me bounce and not singing or focusing on something esle?” So now that has hindered me during my worship but….I still worship my God daily. I won’t be able to answer everyone’s questions but “yeah” I understand.

  5. I call these people “Michal’s family” because they criticize or fixate on the outside rather than the issue of the moment. David strips down to his undergarment to dance before the LORD and all Michal can think of is all the young women watching.

    David had better reason than some of us because we wear clothes to accent our features many times, he did it out of pure joy and gratitude. Michal worried about what God thought trivial. I think that story illustrates how small minded some people can be.

    • That is a sermon!

      • I thought so myself—at least it will become a blog entry 😉


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