The Case for Biblical Modesty: It’s Appearance to All

THe Case for Biblical Modesty 3

This article is Part 3 in the series about Biblical Modesty. You are welcome to read the earlier posts. The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet and Chaste (Part 1)
and The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose (Part 2).

Titus 2, has been the basis for our entire series. Studying it has helped us see God’s emphasis on modesty in two simple words: discreet and chaste (2:5). Now we will learn more about the importance of modesty by looking further into Titus chapter 2.

This chapter instructs Titus to teach certain people (older men, aged women, young men, servants) “sound doctrine.” Doctrine is the teaching and instructions given in the Bible. The purpose for teaching these doctrines is found in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

Notice these words, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men…” How could it appear to all men?

Then the thought occurred to me, that our outward lifestyle is displayed for the world to see! Titus was encouraging people to live righteously so that the matters of the heart were an accurate reflection of what could be seen from the outside.

This verse means the grace of God that brings salvation has been shown to most people in this world by the outward righteous lifestyles of Christian people. There are still unreached people groups without a Christian influence in this world.

In looking up the definition of appeared in this verse it means, “visible, give light.” Maybe the popular children’s Sunday School song comes to your mind, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…” That song speaks of the Biblical illustration of a candle in Matthew 5:15, as a picture of God’s light inside us that shines out into a dark world pointing the lost to Him.

Matthew 5:16 is a personal encouragement from Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Our outward lifestyle and dress sends out a light that glorifies or defames the Word of God.

Modesty is one way that God’s grace appears to all men.

Let’s look at verse 12 again, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

Modesty silently teaches unsaved people and newborn Christians to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and encourages them to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

Ask yourself these questions and allow God to speak to your heart.

  • Are any of my clothes a hindrance to God’s purpose of drawing all men unto Himself?
  • Do I dress in a way that helps other people learn to live the Christian life and helps them live a more godly life?
  • Do I genuinely desire for unsaved people to see a difference in me?
  • Am I concerned about lost souls enough to change my clothing styles and wardrobe?
  • Am I committed to wearing modest clothing each day so I can be a consistent witness?
  • Does what I wear match what I say about being a Christian?
  • Do any of my clothes accentuate or reveal my body in a way that would cause my brothers in Christ to stumble?

Titus 2 goes on to explain in verses 13 and 14 more of God’s reasons for living godly and righteously, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Jesus is coming back and we should be looking for His appearing! He gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity (sin). He wants to change us into a “peculiar people.” God wants us to be special! Modest dress makes us special, not weird or out-dated.

In the area of intentional modesty we must always be monitoring and modifying our dress so that we stay righteous and pure. It helps enable us to be actively pursuing good works. This is the opposite purpose of immodest clothing, that may tempt us to actively pursue sinfulness.

God’s Intentions for Biblical Modesty are:

  1. That the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:5)
  2. That the grace of God that bringeth salvation appears to all men. (Titus 2:11)
  3. It helps deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. (Titus 2:12)
  4. It helps us and others live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. (Titus 2:12)
  5. To be a sign that we are ready and waiting for Christ’s second appearing. (Titus 2:13)
  6. To identify us as a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)

Each and every one of these points gives us a clear reason why we should dress appropriately out in the world and in front of our brothers in Christ.

If you have clothes that bring a question mark in your mind, then ask God first what He thinks about it. Then, go down the list of God’s intentions of Biblical modesty ask yourself if your dress is fulfilling each Biblical intention.

Ask trusted modest women in your church to help you if you have questions. Most women would love to help you! We have such a great responsibility as women to help men deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.

Now that we have learned these things from the Bible about modesty we have an accountability to God for how we dress. We also have a duty to teach the younger women how to be discreet and modest, and an obligation to point lost souls to Christ by our clothing styles.

“Be wise dear women, and listen to God’s biblical case for modesty by studying and learning His Word, and allow Him to make changes in your heart and wardrobe if He wants to.” (Part 1)

Heaven will reveal the effects of our modesty, or the lack thereof.

If someone came to Christ because your clothing matched your beliefs in God and His Word, it would be worth every effort to dress modestly. If our dress also encouraged other believers to be zealous of good works then it would also be worth every effort!

God has no greater desire than for us to be consistent Christians, full of faith, and zealous of His good works. Now let us do it in all that we wear!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose

The Case for Biblical Modesty - God's True Purpose

Have you ever considered God’s true purpose for Biblical modesty? Let’s take another look at The Case for Biblical Modesty. This is Part 2 in a series, the earlier topic covered the importance of being discreet and chaste in our clothing styles, you can learn more about the heart of the matter, The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet and Chaste.

An Overview and Review of Titus 2

Titus chapter 2 begins explaining to different groups of people (men, women, & servants) how they ought to act and behave as Christians. In verse 3 it begins explaining to older women that they should be “teachers of good things.” In verse 4, we learn what good things the older women are supposed to teach younger women. “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” The next verse continues explaining more subjects of their teaching. “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
The two words that describe modesty in this verse are discreet and chaste.

Modesty by my definition is: the covering of your body as not to distract from Christ by being discreet and chaste. And when I talk about intentional modesty, it is something done with thoughtfulness and carefulness.  Our clothing is an outward reflection of the clean heart that Christ made when He forgave our sins.

The Importance of Modesty Explained

The first step is understanding what modesty is. The second step is understanding why God emphasizes it’s importance.

Let’s look at the end of Titus 2:5, it says, “that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

The word blaspheme has been defined as:

  • to speak injurously toward another’s good name
  • defame
  • revile
  • to be evil spoken of
  • impious (lacking in reverence or respect) against God

Jesus was accused of blasphemy by his enemies, this was one of the accusations against Him when they wanted to stone Him. The biggest problem the Pharisees had with Christ was His claiming to be God. They believed that He was showing a lack of reverence to the God of the law. The only problem was, Christ being God Himself, could never be irreverent and the miracles and preaching He gave never once contradicted the law. Their accusations were false and they simply became the excuse to crucify Him.

Did you know taking the Lord’s name in vain is also considered blasphemy? According to Titus 2, when women are not discreet and chaste it is equal to committing the 3rd commandment. (Exodus 20:7) Many of us would never take God’s name in vain, but if at any time we dress immodestly it is just the same.

Modesty’s purpose is that “the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Intentional modesty  identifies you with the word of God. It displays an identity of belonging to Christ, like a logo identifies a brand. Immodesty on a Christian cheapens the “brand” of the name of Christ as well as the word of God.

The importance of the word of God is that it is a revelation of God Himself, proven in John chapter 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” To blaspheme God’s word is to blaspheme God. It is very serious to take the entire context of Titus 2 seriously, but most specifically to this article, our modesty seriously.

Matthew Henry said, “Every godly man’s endeavor must be to stop the mouths of adversaries.”

To stop the mouths of adversaries, we must be consistent in our life and consistent in our modest dress. Unsaved people are watching Christians, choosing by what they know about the Bible and what they know about people who say they believe the Bible (God’s Word) and making decisions every day. They decide whether Christianity and God are something worth believing in.  Immodesty becomes a distraction or stumbling block for unbelievers.

What does wearing immodest clothing do for the Christian?

  1. It causes others to put a question mark in their mind of whether a person is genuinely associated with Christ.
  2. It causes both saved and unsaved people to speak evil of you because your clothing does not match the profession of Christ that comes out of your mouth.
  3. It shows a lack of reverence or respect toward God in your heart and attitude.
  4. It casts doubt and defames God’s good name because dressing and acting immodestly tempts you to act impulsive and to commit sin. Many sins of comparing, pride, sexual temptations, etc. are associated with immodesty. The majority of Satan’s work is to defame the good name of God.

It has been said that we are the only Bible that some people will ever read. Our clothing tells the meaning of our Bible to us and shows the sincerity of our beliefs.

Choosing to be modest does the following:

  1. It protects God’s word, therefore protecting God and His name from ill-use.
  2. It confirms in the heart of unsaved people to believe the Bible because you are dressing according to the beliefs of the Bible.
  3. It encourages righteous living, because it is discouraging you from temptation and sin and unto God and holy living.
  4. It places God at the top of your priority list and shows Him reverence and respect.
  5. It can be a reflection of your clean heart.

Disclaimer: Wearing modest clothing does not give you a clean heart. Accepting God’s gift of salvation and choosing to repent from your sins, allows God to clean your heart. Many modest women are also guilty of gossip, self-righteousness, and other sins, making their hearts dirty again. Modest clothing will only work if it is a reflection of the discreet (self-controlled & temperate) godly woman.

As you notice there is no list of clothing here in this article labeled “good” or “bad.” These articles are meant for you to learn from God’s Word, His standard for modesty, and allow Him to work in your life and in your closet. The Holy Spirit will direct you, convince you of what to wear, convict you of what not to wear, it’s that easy… all you have to do is ask God for wisdom!

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:5-6

And like I said in my last article, “It’s amazing how God’s Word can teach us just what we need to be what He wants us to be. If this topic bothers you, then please pray and ask God “Is there something in my life that I need to change?” Then listen… you might be surprised at what He has to say!” God will give you the wisdom on how to be modest if you’ll only ask!

The next article (#3) in this series is Modesty: It’s Appearance For All.

The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet & Chaste

The Case for Biblical Modesty - Discreet & ChasteThere is a Biblical case for modesty! Women either love this topic or they hate it…

When I talk about modesty most people will automatically understand, others will not. I simply mean, the covering of your body as not to distract. And when I talk about intentional modesty, it is something done with thoughtfulness and carefulness.

You can relate intentional modesty to that of a bride getting ready for her wedding. The dress is chosen and fitted, the details of the flowers, the shoes, and the perfect jewelry. The bride is intentional about her dress on one special day for one special man, for one special covenant, marriage. Our dress every other day should be similarly thought out and planned because intentional modesty can be just as beautiful as a wedding dress when a godly woman adorns herself to please the Lord.

The Biblical basis by which I am sharing this with you today is found in Titus 2:4 which explains that older women should teach younger women to be discreet and chaste.

“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4

Discreet in this text according to Strong’s Biblical Concordance means: of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate

Chaste according to Strong’s means: properly, clean, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: – chaste, clean, and pure. Purity from carnality and fault.

The order in this verse is right,  we have to be discreet first before we decide to be chaste. Notice discreet means: “of a sound mind” and “curbing one’s desires and impulses.” What we act out or do is a direct result of what we think about.

We have to get the issue of dress established in our minds and hearts before we will decide that we will dress to be chaste and modest.

Modesty in our clothing choices, is a decision to put out of our mind the thought of pleasing others with what we wear. Women seek to please others in many areas, whether it be pleasing men by wearing clothes that accentuate the body or pleasing their peers by trying to fit in to a certain clothing style that our friends or desired friends have. Modesty should have God in mind at all times.

Little girls that wear big fluffy dresses tend to twirl in them and watch as the skirt comes in close and wraps around their legs and as they turn the opposite way, it ruffles back out to wrap around them again. Our dress can determine our behavior. How we act in what we wear often gives away our heart’s intention of our clothing choices. Some people truly have not learned how to dress or act modestly… others choose to be immodest to attract unrighteous attention to their bodies to satisfy their own desires for acceptance or lust.

At the point of salvation, we become a new creation. Ephesians 4 speaks about putting off the former conversation (lifestyle) and putting on the new man who after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

If there is an old lifestyle in which we wore certain clothes and behaved a certain way wearing them and God tells us to put away those lifestyles, then naturally, we should put away these clothes.

If our clothing sparks a desire in us to be impulsive sinfully (the opposite of discreet) then we should recognize that red flag immediately and get rid of that clothing. We can immediately think of the type of clothing that we wear that makes us want to walk differently and act differently. Now think of the clothes that make you feel like a beautiful ambassador, as God’s child, the kind that make you proud to serve the Lord. These two types of clothes should be very different, like water and oil, they should not mix.

As a new creature our outward appearance should reflect something new, lovely, and righteous!

You may be thinking, “well, I already put away all of my old clothes that tempted me to have a lack of self-control and do things that were not godly, what now?” It would be easy to make a list of do’s and don’ts but it would just be easier for you to consult God each day about the clothes that you put on and allow the Holy Spirit to speak in your heart as you go through your day so that when you notice the private parts of your body being shown or accentuated or the spark of lust that makes you want a man to look at you in a sexual way, you will quickly be alert and repent. Then, if God tells you that you probably should put that shirt or other article of clothing in the trash can, you will do it gladly because you now have an understanding that modesty begins in the heart by obedience.

There are practical helps that I like to give to people to help them understand how to keep themselves covered and modest while doing real-life every day activities, but today I just want you to look into God’s Word out of this one simple verse and test your heart and your wardrobe yourself without any thoughts about my list or ideas and whether you think that type of clothing is right or not.

“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4

When you are in transition from your former lifestyle and your new one, God has a way of working on one article of clothing at a time, beautifying women that really want to please Him. He likes producing women to look godly in their modesty! He continues to speak to women as they grow in Him about their clothing, always helping women maintain discretion and chastity. Be willing to do whatever He asks you to do with your clothes. If God knows how to clothe the lily of the field, then He can clothe you modestly.

Matthew 6:28-30 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

A word of warning, when you buck the Holy Spirit when He speaks quietly in your heart, then your heart hardens toward God’s voice. If you harden your heart long enough, then you won’t even listen to what He has to say about anything in your life, least of all your clothes. Discretion and chastity go out the window like a piece of litter. The choice to reject God’s promptings by the Holy Spirit is to choose the way of impurity.

Impulsive and sinful decisions leave blotches of impurity on the heart and life of God’s child that sometimes even though they can be forgiven, are not easily wiped away or forgotten.

Be wise dear women, and listen to God’s biblical case for modesty by studying and learning His Word, and allow Him to make changes in your heart and wardrobe if He wants to.

We will learn more about the reason we should be modest in our biblical case for modesty in The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose. It’s amazing how God’s Word can teach us just what we need to be what He wants us to be. If this topic bothers you, then please pray and ask God “Is there something in my life that I need to change?” Then listen… you might be surprised at what He has to say!