Views From The Pews

It goes without saying that times sure have changed.  I for one, don’t lament that.  I am glad to be the beneficiary of many of those changes.  However, not all changes have been for the better.

One of the changes that I do lament is the overall downgrade with reference to morality, reverence, and modesty.  We now live in a time when young women wear clothing in public that is more suitable for the privacy of their bedroom.  As if this weren’t bad enough, these young women even wear this type clothing to worship services.

One of the problems I think we have is that we have forgotten the purpose of clothing.  Clothing was intended to be worn to “cover” our bodies and to “hide” our nakedness.  Today, many wear clothing to “expose” their bodies, and to tantalize and excite the imagination.

It has become a weekly practice for me to be shocked by the dress of some who walk into the church building to worship God.  I go home asking myself, “Where is their sense of shame?”  and “How could their parents allow them to dress that way?”

While repeatedly seeing such a disregard for modesty is discouraging, allow me to share an encouraging story with you.  Yesterday, a few minutes before our worship service started, a teenage young man moved from one end of the pew to the other.  After moving, he ended up sitting directly behind me.  So I turned around and said, “Hey, (blank) why did you move down on this end?”  His response was, “Are you kidding?  There’s no way I could ever worship God sitting by the girls down there.  Did you see how they were dressed?  I couldn’t possibly stay there and keep my mind on spiritual things.”

Let me tell you, I haven’t been that proud of a young man in a long time.  What an expression of spiritual maturity!  And what a sad commentary on the way our teenage girls were dressed.

Friends it’s time we speak up for this truth, like we would any other truth.  Modesty is as much a biblical issue as baptism or worship.  Would we idly sit by in our churches and watch as God’s truth on baptism or worship was hijacked or discarded?  Surely not.  Then why would we idly sit back in our churches and witness God’s truth on modesty being ignored?  Preachers need to lovingly speak the truth on this subject, and call people to accept the high and holy calling of Jesus.

Allow me to close by asking a question…When is the last time you preached, or heard your preacher speak, on the subject of modesty?

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Comments 8

  • Many believe that modesty is relative. Well, we’re not in an African tribe where all the women go topless, and we’re not in the Arctic where goose down is a necessity, so what do we tell our young ladies that is objective? I believe we owe them this. Having sat in many teenage Bible classes as a student and teacher I came up with at least one thought that is pretty solid. “If it has to be adjusted, you shouldn’t wear it.” Pulling it up or pulling it down is a sure sign that the garment does not fit, is too revealing, or both. (One is a good sign of the other).

    Like the young man in your example, he knows what a girl’s dress can do to him. I have found through some discussion that girls, for the most part, haven’t a clue. To them, it’s cute or it’s what’s in style. Our girls must be educated in a very poignant and direct manner on this issue.

  • Thanks you and all I can say is amen. The teaching of modesty begins in the home when our children are very small. This teaching goes on throughout the time they are in our homes. One important factor that I rarely hear discussed is how that modesty is broken down. When we force our children to go to different sex doctors are we not breaking a barrier that we have worked to establish? Please consider protecting your children’s modesty by choosing same sex doctors when at all possible. And why not set the example of doing so yourself?

    Pat
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/KeepPure

  • Thanks you and all I can say is amen. The teaching of modesty begins in the home when our children are very small. This teaching goes on throughout the time they are in our homes. One important factor that I rarely hear discussed is how that modesty is broken down. When we force our children to go to different sex doctors are we not breaking a barrier that we have worked to establish? Please consider protecting your children’s modesty by choosing same sex doctors when at all possible. And why not set the example of doing so yourself?

  • Good thoughts Steve. In March when I preached on modesty I found it interesting that Adam and Eve had made a covering for themselves. Although it may have been adequate for a husband and wife type relationship, God clothed them with “tunic.” This garment was at the very least a garment that covered from the shoulders to the knees (some think it was a long sleeved garment). Why would a husband want to share what God intended him only to view with the world? Why would a father want boys to view his daughters in such a way that the boys would desire them for their outward appearance rather than their inward beauty?! Is that the type of relationship a father wants for his daughter? Good thoughts but I imagine you will receive some negative feedback. By the way, I really appreciated my elders getting up after I preached on Modesty and acknowledging that they supported this important message from God’s word!

  • Last time I heard a sermon on modesty in dress was about 4 weeks ago, by Joe Canales, Lackland Terrace Church of Christ, San Antonio.

  • I think Dale has a strong point. That guy has some really good insight.

    http://www.matthewsblog.waynesborochurchofchrist.org

  • Once again you have hit the nail on the head Steve. I was just discussing this very topic today with a dear friend after Sunday School class. Are we really doing our young people a service by allowing and condoning this by our lack of attention for the pulpit and church leadership? The last sermon I heard on this topic was preached over two years ago by my good frien Mark Hagewood. Keep up the good work.

  • Bro. Higginbothom,

    I spoke on modesty(What a Christian Lady is to do in a hypersexed world) at PTP this year and it is always such a tough subject to address because the topic needs to be direct and pointed these days but there is the blush factor that many of us still have in approaching immodesty. I wish I had seen this article while I was preparing. You have some great thoughts on it. The church use to be a safe haven away from the world. A place we didn’t have to worry about facing worldly problems such as immodesty. Today, it is sad men can’t feel comfortable even standing at the pew edge to passing the Lord’s Supper without worrying about being faced with women’s chests are upper legs exposed. I have two sons, one 13 years old and the other 10, and they have questions why Christians would dress so scantly at worship services.

    Thank you for your time and concern involved in your article.

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