Monday, February 2, 2015

Guest Blog - Immodesty

It was a cold winter night and I was talking to my mom in the breakfast room. My sister had a friend over to spend the night. She was newly-saved, and came from a pretty rough background. We, however, had been raised in a Christian home with some strict standards, so what happened that night was unexpected.

 I was standing there as the friend came down in her night clothes, what there were of them. Everything seemed bare. From her skimpy spaghetti-strapped shirt to her almost-non-existent shorts, I found it a bit shocking.  I had older teenage brothers who lived with us and I was sure my mom was going to throw a blanket over her.  The friend ran downstairs so excited with news. 

"Mrs. W,  I got some Christian music." 

She was excited to share her new Christian walk.  She ran over to the CD player and put in a CD.  Blaring out of our CD player was an "worldly" singer, singing "O Holy Night" on a Christmas CD.  It was a Christian song, but that's where it ended. She danced around singing it while I stared.  I was scared and embarrassed of what was going to happen next.

I watched one of my brothers walk by with his mouth hanging open, like our family had lost their minds.  But then to my amazement and awe, I saw something happen that, to this day, has helped shape the way that I minister to girls.

When the song was done, I saw my mom walk up to that young girl, slip her arm around her and tell her how proud she was of her.  My mom saw that girl taking a tiny little step forward and encouraged her. 

I can't tell you what happened to that girl--she was in our lives for only a few short months-- but I just have to wonder if she continued to grow. There are too many of us who try to change the outward looks of a person before getting to their heart.   

There is a much larger picture. The church is a hospital for sinners, and we have gotten away from this. There are ways to encourage and help these girls.  The biggest thing is to give them Jesus and, when they TRULY "get" Jesus, they will want to dress and live for HIM.  We need to teach them to want to please HIM with their actions and heart.  Teach them to search the Bible for HIS expectations of them, not ours. 

We so often are quick to condemn the ones who have an outward appearance of ungodliness but what about all of us who are in some way inwardly filthy?

" Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. " - Matthew 23:27

Gossip, self-centeredness, unforgiveness and "secret sins" are running rampant in the church, but, yet, we sigh and turn our nose up at the immodestly-dressed young girl who came to church, even though she didn't have to. She was seeking something more (ok, maybe she did want attention, who knows). However, we have that one opportunity to give her Jesus. 

I've said ALL that to recommend this beautiful post by Erin Davis, from True Woman. I have given my favorite excerpts below. 

Drop Your Stone

For those of us who have grown up in the church, the choices of non-Christians can often be alarming. But we need to stop being surprised when the lost act lost. It's been my consistent experience that young women usually don't dress immodestly because they want to ooze sexuality but simply because they don't understand God's heart on the issue.
Instead of passing down a list of rules for what we wear, the Bible encourages us to "wear" the qualities of Christ.
Let's take a detour to a story that might help us see how to approach that young lady in your church like Jesus would.
In John 8, Jesus encountered a woman whose life was riddled with sexual sin, and she probably looked like it. She had been "caught in the act" of adultery after all. I doubt she had time to throw on modest clothing before she was dragged before Jesus. How does Jesus handle the issue?...

Start with the Gospel

... There's no doubt we are all guilty of sin. We can't cover it up or talk our way out of it. The adulterous woman deserved the punishment the crowd wanted to give her. She was guilty. I deserve the punishment of death that is suitable for sinners. I am guilty. But Jesus offers the woman an exchange. Trade in condemnation for acceptance. Trade in shame for love. Trade in a life of sin to become a new creation.
Does that girl in the pew in front of you know the gospel? Has she turned her life over to Him? Just because she is in church doesn't mean she has. When you approach her, start with the gospel.

Let's Figure This Out Together

...Whoever is doing the work is doing the learning." Sure, you could download your thoughts on modesty to the young women in your world. They might think it matters. They probably won't. But if you challenge them to open up the Bible for themselves and to discover God's heart on this issue (or any issue) without an agenda, you will see the light bulb go off in their hearts.
This requires an important shift. We need to stop asking, "How can we get our girls to dress modestly?" and start asking, "How can we get our girls to be passionate students of God's Word?
Here are some key verses and thoughts to get you and the girls in your church started.
(1 Tim. 2:9–10).
...When we talk to girls about the issue of modesty, we need to broaden the conversation to get them thinking about how the ways they present themselves reflect (or don't reflect) Christ.
This is just a puzzle piece in the bigger picture of God's heart for modestly presented in His Word:
  • Matthew 6:28–30 tells us not to be preoccupied with clothes, but instead to focus on the things of God.
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 says that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are to honor God with our bodies.
  • 1 Peter 3:3–4 says that true beauty is internal. Nothing we could ever put on and nothing we could ever take off can give us the kind of true, lasting beauty that comes from Christ working in us.
  • 1 Peter 5:5–6 urges us to clothe ourselves with humility.
  • Proverbs 31:25 describes a woman who is clothed in strength and dignity.
  • Psalm 132:9 talks about being clothed in righteousness.
Instead of passing down a list of rules for what we wear, the Bible encourages us to "wear" the qualities of Christ. This is why you have to start with the gospel when approaching this issue. No one can wear the qualities of Christ until they have turned their lives over to Him.

Take Her Shopping!

I'm not sure if you've ventured into a Forever 21 or Abercrombie and Fitch lately, but being a young woman with a commitment to modesty and purity isn't easy. Marketers aren't pushing girls toward the "respectable apparel" that Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy but toward the opposite. If the girls in your church are going to live like Christ has called them to in this area, they are going to need reinforcements. Care for her heart, first, through love and Bible study, but then help her give teeth to what she's learning by venturing with her into the mall with ideas and encouragement.
Yes, modesty matters! But the hearts of the young women in your world matter so much more....

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO THIS ARTICLE. Go to and read the WHOLE article. It is so worth it! - Rejoicing in the Present

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