The following is a portion of a lecture I was asked to give at the Southwest School of Biblical Studies in Austin, Texas, earlier this year. It first appeared in print in the book called “Why Do We?” printed by Southwest School of Biblical Studies in 2013.
Introduction and Purpose:
Of all of the topics I address, the issue of modest dress among women is one of the two most controversial, even among audiences of Christian women. There have been several times, in my public teaching about this topic in which I have been sharply challenged about the things I have taught concerning this topic–things which I still teach and believe to be practical truths for our time based on principles espoused in the Word. The last part of the previous statement, of course, is why I believe we should “worry” about being modest as women of God, both in deportment and in dress. It’s the purpose of this discourse to expose principles from the Word which would require modesty among women of God today. I would further state that any time we find God’s “rules” for our daily living to be grievous or difficult, we should remind ourselves that He is our Creator and He knows what will ultimately bring us happiness and fulfillment. His prohibitions are always stated for our own benefit.
Key Principles and Scriptures:
• A meek and quiet spirit should characterize women of God today (I Peter 3: 1-4).
• Modesty is specifically commanded. (I Timothy 2:9; Titus 2:3-5).
• Agape requires doing what will help my brothers go to heaven (I Cor. 13:5; Mt. 5:28; I Cor. 8:13; Mt. 18:7).
1. We must be concerned about modesty because it is inherent in the spirit of meekness. Meekness, a synonym of gentleness, involves having a cause that is bigger than myself. Gentle people are such because they are not wrapped up in self, but rather are devoted to some engulfing cause. The cause of Christian women is service and evangelism.
I often ask women to list the reasons for immodesty in our society today. The most frequently stated reasons for dressing and behaving immodestly are as follows:
• To draw attention to self.
• To be stylish.
• To be comfortable. particularly in hot weather.
• To fit in with peers.
As I contemplate those answers, I often ask myself, “Which one of those reasons is not about me? Which one of those reasons is born of a desire to evangelize or serve others?” The reasons for immodesty are clearly selfish.