modesty-not JUST for sundays....
These are comments that I wrote on my friend Ryan's blog long before I had ever contemplated even HAVING a blog. I'm going to edit them some but the heart and soul of what I was trying to get at when I wrote them last spring is still there.
Also, this is not an attack, nor specifically directed. This is a topic about which I feel passionately, and these are just my thoughts.
Let's begin with physical modesty....This post was written in response to a question as to whether or not girls should dress modestly in church.
Modesty is a weird issue. Not weird in that there are some gray areas over what is important, but weird in that girls simply do not understand just how visually stimulated guys are. We all struggle with lying and pride, but lusting is something much more common to men than women. It's a sin area that many woman can't wrap their minds around. I've heard many a girl say "It's their problem. They need to just not look at me like that." I think the root of the problem lies in how we, as men and women, relate to one another in Christ.
I'll speak only of what I know many girls do. Often, with each Christian brother that they meet, they look upon him as a potential boyfriend or husband first....then, once they decide he isn't the one for them, they "demote" him to the position of brother in Christ. So instead of being concerned with helping him stay pure because he is their brother, they are concerned with getting and attracting his attention.
In Song of Solomon, numerous times Solomon states "my sister, my bride." Always my sister first. If we, as believers, were to have that mindset, I think it would go a long way towards dealing with the purity thing. Even once married, your spouse is first your brother or sister in Christ, and we are to treat them as such.
Beyond that, it's also a HUGE heart issue for girls. They wear makeup and revealing clothing to get attention and to feel pretty, because that is where their self worth lies. My heart breaks for these girls, but then, it just makes me that much more zealous for the purity of the guys that I know. I have said before "Curses upon the woman that makes my future husband stumble and lust over her in his heart and mind." To an extent obviously, that's just a joke. But it's a heart check for me. Am I causing someone else's future husband to stumble?
So is it important for girls to be modest in church? My answer is a RESOUNDING yes. But why do we need to clarify it with "in church?" If you are going to be a modest woman, you should always be modest. Are you a servant only in church? Are you joyful only in church? I have friends who have "church wardrobes" and "non-church wardrobes" and this simply astounds me. If it's inappropriate before God and fellow worshippers on Sundays, why in the world is it appropriate Tuesday evening? There should not be a dichotomy between the sacred and the secular. Men have a hard enough time dealing with non-believers who dress scantily-the last thing they need is to have to fight this battle when hanging out with their sisters in Christ.
And yes, no matter what you wear, chances are some boy some where will be able to find something to lust after. And yes, it is THEIR sin. They will be held accountable for it. But for the girls who have been talked to about their apparel, who then continue to wear immodest clothing because they view it as their freedom in Christ, this is now YOUR sin as well. You also will be held accountable for it. You may not understand this sin in their life, but once you are made aware of it's existence and your possible contribution to it, I believe that there is now a level of responsibility and accountability on your part as well.