Question: This one seems to always surface in June….Some seem to have convictions about modesty, but then when it comes time for a wedding, the attire that would be inappropriate in their minds for most occasions, seems to be perfectly acceptable. What gives?
Response: Well, this does seem to be a bit of a rhetorical question. I would be surprised if the one who asked the question doesn’t already have a fairly strong opinion about situational modesty. But, nevertheless, let me just take the time and space today to say that, of course, what’s too skimpy, tight, short, low-cut or revealing under other circumstances is certainly so at a wedding. It has always blown my mind that some women who are big on dressing modestly throughout the teen years have been willing to show cleavage, bare shoulders and/or naked backs when they are the center of attention as the bride in front of so many men just a little while before they are to give themselves to their husbands in the most intimate and holy relationship between two mortal people. I think if I’d had the discretion to cover myself in other situations when the world was undressing, I would want to stay covered just a little while more, till I could present my body to the man who would own it for the rest of our lives together (I Cor. 7:4). I would want to show that man this respect during the wedding ceremony.
And then it also seems that some in the audience at a wedding are comfortable wearing, on that Saturday evening, outfits that are skimpier than anything they would wear the next morning to worship services. I believe that we sadly give the nod to what is culturally correct rather than what is chaste and discreet as commanded in Titus 2.
I think I get more mail about immodest clothing than any other subject I ever address. Two observations come to mind when I think about the interest in this subject. One is that we seem to be constantly asking “How close to immodesty can I get without actually crossing the line into disobedience to the injunction in I Timothy 2?” The other is that as our culture moves more and more toward culturally accepted nakedness, we, as God’s people seem to be comfortable following so long as we stay a little behind the world in our movement into immodesty. Both of these observations make me want to shout the words of Romans 12:2.
I’m glad for some faithful sisters I know who regret what they wore on their wedding night. I’m glad they have sweet and penitent hearts. While I’m sad they’ve had to remove their wedding photos from Facebook or Instagram because they now know the clothing was surely not in conformity to I Timothy 2:9; that it was not taking into account the seriousness of Matthew 5:28, I am still happy for their conviction and the way they have decided to teach their own children about this subject. Their daughters will have fewer regrets.
I am saddest of all for those who have no embarrassment (or “ability to blush” as the Greek word for modesty or shamefacedness, taken literally, puts it in I Timothy 2:9). I am sad for the lack of concern for brothers who, while trying to control their thoughts, will continue to have to battle the temptations that are put in front of them, even in the family of God. In a world where the devil is having a heyday with pornography and fornication, surely God’s daughters could take some responsibility for making the atmosphere in the family of God a safety zone from the temptations caused by immodesty. The fact that the whole world is doing something should have nothing to do with our choices about morality. In fact, I can think of no better way to glorify Him than in this very visible and noticeable distinction of dress.
Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.