Originally published Tuesday, 28 May 2013.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness...as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10, ESV)
I struggle with my flesh and anxiety on the topic of dressing with modesty. This isn't an everyday/ every-time-I-get-dressed struggle; however, I am a person who has a very sensitive conscience. Therefore, what I consider immodest the next woman might feel the freedom to dress in and vice versa: I may dress in something another women would not feel the freedom to wear. Even so, there are questions we can ask ourselves, as the Bride of Christ, and some tips to remember to help our men in the area of lust while we women purse purity in modesty of dress.
- Will this cause a man to stumble or my sister to grumble that I have worn this in her man's presence?
- Have I kept my cleavage in its context? That is, am I covering my cleavage in public and revealing it in the master suite?
- Are only two cheeks visible and lifted in a smile? Or,are four revealed when I bend over?
- Are my clothes as tight as a wet suit and I look better prepared to plunge into the ocean with an oxygen tank than to go out for dinner? Or, have I left room to breath?
- What is the status of my heart's intent? Am I dressing to purposely turn the heads of men or a certain man, or am I presenting myself in such a way that communicates I care about my appearance?
Purity is ultimately a matter of the heart, mind, and inner man. God's word provides the ultimate answers for the questions we face weather in specific guidelines or generalities. Concerning the topic of purity, I return to Psalm 119 again and again.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. with my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statues!
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statues; I will not forget your word. (Psalm 119:9-12, 15-16, ESV)
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity of speaking with the women of our church on the topics of envy, jealousy, and modesty. The forum came half-way through our pastor's wonderful sermon series entitled, Pure: Discover the Pathway to Intimacy. (If you attend Calvary with me and missed either the men's or women's forum there are CDs available at the Welcome Desk that you can purchase for both.)
Last night on Pinterest I found several other posts and videos on the topic of modesty to share.
First, this post by Courtney at Women Living Well. I highly recommend this read. I especially enjoyed the portion in which she compares godly, beautiful women of the Bible to the description of the Proverbs 31 woman. The comments are additionally worth skimming.
Second, this video was helpful to consider our men's point of view on the clothes we wear and how this affects our relationships with men.
So now it is your turn:
Women, consider: How do you determine what is appropriate or inappropriate for your apparel?
Men, what is your reaction to the viewpoint presented in the video above?