Girls Gone Mild!

Have you ever had the experience of going to worship God and being shocked by the way some fellow Christians in the assembly have dressed? If you have, I assure you that you are not alone. Immodesty has become an unspoken, but a very visible problem in our assemblies.

Here is an audio sermon that I preached yesterday morning on the subject of “Modesty.” If you’re wondering what kind of response I would have after preaching a sermon like that, I will also tell you that I have never, in all my years of preaching, preached a single sermon that had as much positive feedback.  Apparently, the majority of people in our congregations are not pleased with what they see.

The very end of my sermon was “cut off” but I want to take a moment and explain what I want the congregation to do with this sermon.  I wanted to leverage the church’s collective influence and positive peer pressure to involve them in this sermon.  I asked them all to write me notes, sharing their thoughts on this subject.  I plan to “edit” them, print, and distribute them to the congregation next Sunday.  I want those who would flaunt the Bible’s teaching on this topic to know that they are “out of place” in our assembly of worship.  I think by involving comments by the entire church, it will make it much more difficult to dismiss my sermon as irrelevant or just my opinions.  (By Sunday evening, I had already received over 30 letters/notes from the congregation).

Maybe you can work this sermon into something that may be of profit for your congregation as well.

Girls Gone Mild – Audio Sermon by Steve Higginbotham

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Comments 20

  • Steve,
    I want to commend you for a superior job you did with this lesson on modesty. I don’t see how anyone could fault the manner in which you presented it. I know as we talked about this last Monday on our way to the preacher’s meeting, you were giving this topic all your deepest respect and consideration. The results showed. Thanks again for sharing this very timely lesson. I thought your idea of requesting “input” from the congregation was perfect. I hope you get lots of good feedback and support.
    God bless you and your excellent work at South Green St. Congratulations on beginning your 20th year. I know I treasure our friendship, and I am very thankful we live close to each other. Keep preaching the Word brother.

  • Steve,

    Part of the difficulty is because of the fact that our gospel is for the world and the “world” often finds its way into a worship assembly. There are those who should know better (and I’m sure those are the folks you’re speaking to) and there are those who can’t be expected to know any better. How do you rebuke the one without crushing the other?

    I believe Paul’s answer was sufficient. Let the older ladies teach the younger ladies how to be modest. Let the older men teach the younger men.

  • This kind of lesson is 15 years overdue by all preachers. You can’t go anywhere in the summer without seeing garbage on everybody from the Elders down to the youngsters. I’ve seen preachers and Elders wives with shorts and some in clamdiggers, guess they plan on digging for clams. Jeans and even junky jeans on Elders. One even was teaching in Tim. 2 and went right over it and failed to a”dress” his dress. It took a long time for this lesson to get through with all the slow computer feed on line but it was worth waiting for it to the end. Obviously the older women weren’t teaching the younger and ALL lessons need to come from a preacher from time to time. Thanks Steve, Patrick

  • Bold. Like what you’re doing here, Steve. Sometimes the listeners of our sermons fail to hold the mirror up. Your endeavor here is forcing that to occur. Great job.

  • As an employer, I daily meet with people looking for employment. Almost every time, I’m forced to ask myself, “Did this person come to me wanting employment dressed like that?” That person had to get up this morning and look in the mirror and accept their appearance and dress for employment.

    Unfortunately, I’ve oftentimes sat through church asking myself a very similar question about how certain individuals could look in the mirror and accept their appearance for the purpose of worship.

    Very good lesson, Steve. Thanks for having the courage to cover such a topic.

  • Steve,
    I have listened intently to your lesson several times, knowing how much another sermon on modesty was needed here in W. Ky. (It’s been a while.) yesterday morning I preached a similar sermon to yours, & it had a tremendous reception! Thanks for additional motivation.

    –Mike Tucker

  • Steve, I listened to your lesson just now and I wish to commend you on the way you presented it in love and in a totally non-offensive way. The lessons that I have heard on this subject in the past were usually full of mean spirited and hateful remarks. Yours had not of that and I thank you for it. Keep up the great work. In Christ, Jerry

  • Thanks to everyone for the kind comments and support.

  • Steve,
    I thought this article and sermon was fantastic. I hope that you don’t mind that I linked to this article on my blog to point other people to your fine work!
    Jonathan Jones II
    Spring Hill, TN

  • Hey Jonathan,
    Thanks for the kind words. Certainly I don’t mind that you linked the article and sermon. I’m glad you found it helpful.

  • If find it interesting that every comment here is by a man. I remember years ago, in the 1970’s, in church (of Christ, yes) a sermon on the topic of wearing mini skirts to church. The deal was that the elders, etc who passed the Lord’s Supper couldn’t keep their minds on “holy thoughts” when seeing all the leg exposure. What really struck me about the situation was that the females were being BLAMED for the male’s inability to control their lusty thoughts.
    So, while I do think many clothing styles are too revealing (then and now), I also feel that you guys should take more responsibility for your reactions. Temptation is all around–for everyone–I don’t, for instance, blame a piece of cake for tasting good when I’m on a diet. Get my drift?

  • Hello Lisa,
    Thank you for your comments. To begin with, I would say that the reason all the comments on the posts were from men had nothing to do with the subject matter, but rather has to do with the make-up of those who visit my site. I don’t know that you can find a “female” comment on any post I’ve written since January. So don’t read too much into that.

    Next, I would say that the women who wore immodest clothing is to be blamed for the lustful thoughts of men. Careful, I did not suggest that the men are guiltless. Surely they are not. But the source of this sin is the immodest dress. This sin is what led to the second sin of lust. I don’t think the announcement you heard in the 1970’s was an attempt to justify lust on the part of man, and put all the blame on women. And really, you don’t think that either, do you?

    I am with you with reference to everyone taking responsibility. Men and women need to dress modestly. Men and woman need to refrain from lust. I assure you that no one is trying to give anyone a “free pass” to sin. By addressing the subject of “modest dress” I no more condoned lustful thoughts than preaching a sermon on “lustful thoughts” condones immodest dress.

    The purpose of the lesson was to call men and women to purity.

  • We need more plain sermons like these!

  • I agree to a certain point. People who are regular attendants should dress modestly. However, people should not be judged by their appearances. We are required to “come just as you are to worship”. In the end it is always a heart matter. When convicted by the holy spirit one (male or female) will be more likely to restrain from looking at the inappropriate outfits and instead see the broken person before them. This same conviction will also encourage modesty.
    Its not our job to judge but rather lovingly instruct by sharing more of God not saying go put something else on if you wanna worship. Jesus never shamed the whores and poor but welcomed them. Once they are in his presence and realize what is important (themselves) they willingly changed their ways.

  • Hello Christine,
    Thanks for your reply. I’m glad we agree to a “certain point.” However, from your comments, I think I can see that we do part ways at some point. I find it interesting that you said it is, “not our job to judge but rather lovingly instruct…” Could you tell me what you perceive the difference in those two are? You see, my article was an attempt to “loving instruct,” yet it seems you view it as “judging.” I don’t ever remember “shaming” people either for that matter. I have tried to be like Jesus and welcome all people, but Jesus instructed them to “go and sin no more.” While modesty is partially a matter of the heart, it’s also a matter of our dress. One cannot run around naked while claiming to have a pure heart. Neither can one dress like a Puritan and have an impure heart and be pleasing to God. Both are required. We need people of God to stand up and speak the truth on this topic like any other topic. Why? Because it’s the word of God! Will it step on the toes of some? Yes, just as preaching on stealing, lying, adultery, and any other sin will. Someone needs to call those who are engaged in sin to come out of it. This is precisely what Jesus did.

  • Hi Steve,
    Thanks for taking the time to respond to me. I guess I need to expound the content I originally posted.
    When I stated it’s “not our job to judge but rather lovingly instruct…” I was speaking more from the standpoint as a sheep and not the shepherd; speaking to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

    I highly doubt you have shamed people but unfortunately there are plenty who do. Especially people who are convicted of the message but don’t follow up with action. I think there is a very fine line between instructing and judging. Especially when it comes to sins the world considers acceptable; even the norm.

    Jesus was amazing at not crossing over from instructing to judging; even when angry! Yes, Jesus did step on toes but not by insulting or shunning people. (This is where I should have been more explicit in my original post….) After Jesus instructed his people he was often confronted by the pharisees. He didn’t say or do anything that would belittle them. He didn’t have too. They did that well enough on their own. Why was Jesus confronted? Because they didn’t like what he was saying. Why? Because the pharisees were offended because of their guilt and they knew they were wrong! But pride steps in and pushes out godly action.

    Today, I see many people who live this way. How many times has someone been looking at a young woman sitting next to them with half her breasts showing thinking how dare she dress like that in the house of God and yet he/she can’t take their eyes off her chest. Tell me then, who’s in the wrong? I say both. I also say the person who is staring and JUDGING is worse (if there was such a thing because sin is sin no matter how large or small.) I say worse because he/she knows better. Again, it’s a heart matter.

    I hope you weren’t offended by my post, because it wasn’t meant to be confrontational. I’d like to think of it as more of a reminder to everyone that no matter what is on the outside Jesus is most concerned with the inside.

  • Christine, I wasn’t at all offended. Thanks for your clarification.

  • Thank you for your message on this very touchy subject. I am a woman and a pastor’s wife and it is high time that women stop blaming men and begin to dress in a manner that promotes Godliness. We all have a part to play, however, for your message sake, us ladies ought not to put a rock of offense in front of our brothers. I believe that our dress represents our heart. I pray that women would totally surrender to the Lordship of Christ even in our dress. Thank you for your boldness.

  • I don’t believe I have ever heard a sermon like this before. It was to the point, but done with respect. I appreciate that there are preachers who tackle this problem and bring it out in the open. Good job!

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