Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Does the Word Look Good on You?

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I was recently asked by a friend to read some blog posts on the subject of modesty and offer my judgment about their teaching and tone. Below is an excerpt from those posts which were written by Debbie Heck:

To the Sweet Young Girls in my Life,

Yes, this post is just to the girls. Specifically to some young girlfriends of mine. I love you very much. I am constantly impressed by your kindness, your deep love for others, your caring example in looking to the needs of others, your desire to please the LORD. Your faithfulness in attending services. I LOVE YOU!!!But you, like me, are not perfect. I have my struggles and you have yours. I know one of those struggles put upon all of us is the pressure to conform to the world. The pressure to buy into the foolish idea that you must win a fella by your outward beauty and by showing off your lovely young figures. Sweet friends of mine, please do not buy that lie Satan is trying to sell you. Please look to His word for His idea of modesty. Do a word study on articles of clothing. Please do not come to church again (or anywhere else) in short dresses or with ANY cleavage showing, with skin tight T~shirts stretched tightly across your chests. Wearing a see through lacy undershirt under your too low cut t~shirt does not make your outfit modest. It draws the eyes right to an area of your body that is CREATED to be seen by ONLY your husband. It’s for your future husband’s pleasure some day, and for nursing whatever sweet babies God may give you (if you choose to do so). It’s not for my sons to view (unless one day they are your husbands…and right now they AREN’T). It pleases that old liar, the devil, and he couldn’t be happier that you have been caught in his trap. It saddens and angers our LORD, who continually warns us to be READY. To remain PURE. To stand fast always. To be watching for HIS return..

Your own dear mommas or grandmommas may not stop you. They may not have the Bible knowledge themselves. They may be thankful that you are improving in your dress, and be afraid to push you a bit farther to where you need to be. But sweet girls, immodesty is a sin. Immodesty can not only cause you to be lost, but others to stumble as well– other girls, because they see YOU as a good Christian girl and think it’s o.k. to dress like you are dressing, and boys because they can’t help but stare…and imagine. They are not bad boys. I am a woman, and I can’t help but see, and males are just more visually affected. That’s how God created them. That’s why it’s COMMANDED that as women we adorn ourselves in modest apparel. There will be a time when you get to bare all. It will be right, good, pure, wonderful, complete happiness…in your Christian marriages. But for now, keep those beautiful, lovely bodies covered up. Keep it a mystery and just shine with your beautiful smiles, your beautiful actions, your beautiful modest clothing.

I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!!! I look forward to spending more time on this earth with you. You light up a room just by your very presence. I look forward to spending eternity with you, sweet girls. Will you please think about these things? Will you please be willing to die to self, and follow the LORD and His will even though it’s hard. Will you please try to have a humble heart and not be angered by this note to YOU? Will you please be brave and post this on your own page to encourage your own dear friends?

Have a super day my sweet young encouraging friends! Big warm hugs to all of you!


After reading the letter above and realizing there have been some who took issue with its content, I offer the following response. I hope it can plant a seed or encourage a soldier. In fact, God can do anything, so I’ll go ahead and hope Debbie’s words or mine will make a positive and practical difference in some mother’s example of modesty or in some teen girl’s closet or dresser drawer. Here’s what I think:

I know that my weighing in on the subject of modesty really makes no difference. What’s important is the Will of God for our lives and how we respond to that revealed will. There’s a clarion call for modest dress in I Timothy 2:9,10. The words are “modest” (not calling attention to oneself), “shamefacedness” (retaining the ability to blush with embarrassment) and “sobriety” (seriousness, viewing things the way they really are.) The way things really are today is that approximately eight out of ten of our boys struggle with a pornography problem when they graduate from high school. These boys are our brothers. They are family members. They sit beside us and our kids in worship. We are related through the blood of the Savior. Can we honestly say we are loyal to that cross when we know of a very effective way to contribute to their purity of heart and we, because of a desire to be comfortable, stylish or to fit in, choose (either purposefully or because of a lack of sober thinking) to be the “eye candy” that may divert a man’s thinking from purity to lust? “It must needs be that offenses come, but woe to the one through whom they come. It would be better for a millstone to be hung around the neck of the one who causes one of these little ones to stumble, and that he be cast into the bottom of the sea.” (Have you seen a millstone?…I would encourage you to google a millstone and it will take just a sec for you to realize that you would not want to be tied to one in the bottom of the sea!) Girlfriends, it is very possible to partake (have a part in) somebody else’s sin (I Tim. 5:22).

Now, about what Mrs. Debbie wrote…To be sure, only a woman knows definitively the motives of her own heart (I Corinthians 2:11). But, as a sister looking at the writings of another sister, may I just say that I can hardly see how her teachings could be construed as anything other than what older women are COMMANDED to be teaching in Titus 2. It’s not merely a good idea or even a suggestion that we teach the tenets of Titus 2:3-5. It’s a command and the reason given is so that the Word of God will not be blasphemed. It is my strong judgment that, had older women not taken a hiatus from teaching the principles of Titus 2 for about 30 years, that there would be no objection, no lashing out against such teaching, no such “blasphemy” against the Word as we regularly witness when teaching about chastity and discretion in our classes, in our writings and in our ladies’ and girls’ days today. Frankly, I am very glad for anyone, like Mrs. Debbie, who will help make up for lost time!

I know that my opinion weighs no more than any human one…nothing at all. But the Words of the Bible will judge me in the last day. “Whoso looks on a woman to lust after her commits adultery in his own heart”…”That the women adorn themselves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety as women professing good works.”… “Whoso causes one…to stumble…it would be better for that person to have a millstone about [her] neck and to be cast into the sea.” Do I really want to argue about why it’s okay for me to wear the low cut dress or wear the shorts or the short skirt or the see-through top or the tight leggings under a minimal dress or shirt? Maybe I’ve listened with my husband to too many men describe the pain of pornography in their homes. Maybe I’ve been privy to too many adulterous relationships that had their small beginnings in church related activities. Maybe I’ve listened to my son tell me he’s decided not to ask a girl out because he just thinks her dress is not going to help him get to heaven–too many times. Maybe it’s my husband’s classes with young men who often tell him the very most difficult obstacle to faithful Christianity that they face in this world is the way girls dress. Maybe it’s the combination of all these things. But each time one of these things is brought to my attention, I have to stop and think: “How is the Word of God looking to the World when the wardrobe choices of many of those who claim to be Christians mirror the look of street walkers, at worst, and average women of the ungodly world, at best? I believe the result is the one Paul warned Timothy about in the relevant passage: blasphemy of that sacred Word.

I have a tender spot in my heart for women who read Titus 2 and I Timothy 2 and seriously attempt to call women in an undressed society to modesty. We will make mistakes sometimes in our approach to the subject. We will make enemies, though unintentionally, when we cross the grain of the culture in such a blatantly Biblical way. We will be imperfect vessels of His truth. But I, for one, will not be found silent. The command is too clear and the price of silence may be pain and sorrow in this life as the short precursor to eternal loss. I love simple preventive measures when the potential ruin is so unimaginably final, yet never-ending. I hope your response to those who are willing to step out of a comfort zone and take the message of modesty to precious girls in hopes of guarding their happiness and protecting the equally precious boys from sin will be one of gratitude. But, if you can’t muster that, may it at least be one of tolerance.

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