JESUS IS THE ANSWER TO MODESTY
Many years ago someone poetically wrote, “Winter has gone; spring has sprung; and look at the nudity it has brung.” The attire of males and females, young and old, has changed over the years. Much of it has not been for good. What does the word of God say about one’s attire and body?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1). Adam was created in the image of God. (Verse 27). Eve was then made to be Adam’s wife. (Verses 18-25). Shortly after Eve was beguiled by Satan’s temptation to eat the fruit God had forbidden, she gave it “unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3:6). After both wife and husband disobeyed God, and ate, “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Verse 7). Adam then told God, I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Verse 10). This was said after they had made aprons to cover themselves. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Verse 21).
Please observe some things about the information in Genesis 3. First, Adam and Eve were husband and wife and were naked, but did not know it until they ate the forbidden fruit. Second, this hus-band and wife knew that they were naked after disobeying God. Third, this husband and wife, alone in the garden, except for wildlife, upon real-izing that they were naked, sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. Fourth, God was not pleased with their coverings. Fifth, God made them coats of skin. The coats of Genesis 3:21, from the Hebrew word k’THONETH or KUTTONETH, means “to cover…a shirt:–coat, garment, robe.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, p. 200). God did not even want husbands and wives, though alone, to run around immodesty in front of one another. One objected, saying, “God wants husbands and wives to procreate, which necessitates being undressed in front of one another. (Genesis 1:28).” True! However, it is not arguable how God intended for husbands and wives to dress in general. This being true, how careful should all others be in their attire before all!
Moses told the people how God wanted them to build an altar to offer sacrifices to Him. (Exodus 20:22-25). Verse 26 was an admonition to maintain modesty, “that their nakedness be not discovered thereon.” Aaron’s sons were to be attired with “coats…girdles…and bonnets…for glory and for beauty” when they ministered unto God “in the priest’s office.” (Exodus 28:40, 41). God then added, “And thou shalt make unto them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs…when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister….” (Verses 42, 43). Please notice how careful God was to cover the priest’s nakedness as they arose above the people.
Solomon, speaking of “a woman with the attire of an harlot” (Proverbs 7:10), distinguishes the attire of an evil, sinful person and the dress of a righteous person. In other words, God’s people are to wear an entirely different garment than an unrighteous person. God wants His people to cover up, and not to show parts that might lead others to sin.
1 Timothy 2:8 calls upon people to “pray…lifting up holy hands….” Immediately after these words, Paul says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety…(which becometh women professing godliness) with good works (Verses 9, 10). “Modest”, Greek, KOSMIOS, is “orderly, i. e. decorous:–of good behavior, modest.” (Strong’s, p. 686). “Shamefacedness”, Greek, AIDOS, means “bashfulness…modesty…reverence, shamefacedness.” (Strong’s, p. 914). “Sobriety”, Greek, SOPHROSUNE, is “soundness of mind…sanity or (fig.) self-control:–soberness, sobriety.” (Strong’s, p. 945). The Greek word, ATIMA, translated, “vile”, is used in Romans 1:26, and is also translated “shame”, “dishonor”, “reproach”. It, therefore, places immodest dress in the same category as sex perversion.
Matthew 5:28 says, “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart.” Since “God is no respector of persons” (Acts 10:34), women lusting after men is also wrong. Lust leads to death. (James 1:14, 15). Christians are to “pray, that ye enter not into temptation….” (Matthew 26:41). The devil continues to tempt as he did with Jesus (Matthew 4:7; 2 Corinthians 11:3), and so do some people. (Matthew 22:18). It is obvious that one should not be tempted to lust in view of the consequences. Question: Should one do or say things that will tempt others? Specifically, here, should males and females dress (or undress) in such a way as to cause others to look and lust? Should a Christian dress in a way that would cause another, male or female, to do the opposite of Psalm 1:1?
Some currently dress like the world. However, 1 Corinthians 6 tells Christians that their “bodies are the members of Christ” (Verse 15), that “your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (Verse 19, and that “ye are not your own”, that “Ye were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (Verses 19, 20). The Christian’s attire should reflect this.
Christians ought not to be influenced by peers, the rich and famous, or any other. He/she should seek to imitate Jesus, publicly and privately. Men, do you know what you reveal when you cross your legs, wearing shorts, and/or no top. Ladies, do you realize what you reveal when wearing garments that are low cut, short, sleeveless, and such like. Do you understand that some cloth may reveal more underneath than you think it does, especially when sunlight is behind you? Do others, male or female, have to look into your eyes to keep from seeing more than they want to see? Perhaps all should do a mirror view before feeling comfortable at home or in public. One brother refused to serve communion due to “the skin” he saw while doing so. A man converted in Trinidad by this writer told him prior to his conversion that he could tell a Christian woman by the way she dressed and walked. Read Colossians 3:1-5; Romans 12:1, 2.
Some ladies have said that they cannot find modest clothes. This is actually an admission that they are dressing immodestly. Further, some Christian ladies modesty cannot be questioned. Consider the attire of some in certain denominations. They do not reveal themselves.
Modesty or immodesty may be seen by how other react to the garments that are worn. It has been this penman’s custom to watch others watching others. People in revealing garments, whether too little or too tight are the ones who seem to cause others to look and lust. Is this what you want? Or do you want to draw others to salvation through Jesus?
Questions: (1) Is this what I want to be wearing when Jesus comes? (2) Will my attire cause others to glorify God or lust and sin? (3) By what reasoning do I conclude that it is all right to remove clothes at the beach? (4) Do I feel comfortable dressing as I do in front of the elders, preacher, and others whom I consider to be strong in the faith? (5) Will my attire lead some lost soul to Jesus or hinder them? (6) Am I trying to please men or God? (7) Do I flatter myself thinking that I will be seen and approved of others? (8) Am I seeking to look sexy or godly? (9) Do I attempt to justify my attire, saying that some will look and lust no matter what I wear? (10) Have I thought this out?
Dear beloved Christian, eternity is coming. Study the word of God. (2 Timothy 2:15). Search the scriptures. (John 5:39). Pray often. (Luke 18:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18). Seek to follow the teachings and examples in the scriptures. Whatever you may accomplish in life, make sure heaven is the number one thing you achieve. Do not miss heaven by dressing immodestly!