By R.W. McAlister
In an age where modesty is disappearing, especially in regard to how we dress, it’s important that we remember how to distinguish between modest and immodest dress.
In Titus 2:5, the Bible says that older women are to teach younger women, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Discreet, chaste – I Timothy 2:9 says women should be adorned in “...modest apparel, with shamefacedness, and sobriety...” If you have any doubts about the clothing you’re considering wearing, ask yourself, “Can I wear this with shamefacedness?” Shamefacedness means, “with a sense of shame.” Clothing which doesn’t reflect a shame of one’s nakedness is not modest clothing. In other words, clothing that glorifies or puts on display much of the body is not something anyone can wear with shamefacedness. Consider these questions:
Can I wear this with sobriety? Sobriety means, “Sound judgment.” Clothing which doesn’t reflect sound judgment of how God would have us to dress is not modest clothing. If your state of dress indicates that you might be willing to engage in activity that in reality, you have no intention of being part of, then you need to dress differently – you need to dress with sobriety.
Can I wear this with discreteness? Discreteness means, “self-control.” Clothing which doesn’t reflect a sense of self-control or which causes others to experience a lapse of self-control is not modest clothing and should never be worn in public! Again, this idea applies to putting on less cotton than you find in the top of the aspirin bottle and it also apples to the other extreme of excessively fancy clothing, heavy makeup, or ostentatious hairstyles.
When you’re getting ready go out, especially to come to worship God, spend your time getting ready spiritually more than physically. Remember, real beauty comes from within and is measured by the size of your inward self (Eph. 3:14-19).
Can I wear this and at the same time be chaste? Chaste means, “pure from carnality.” Clothing which excites the passions and lusts of the flesh is not modest apparel and no one could so dress and remain chaste as per Titus 2:5!
Thanks be to God for giving us these guidelines and making it plain how we ought to dress and present ourselves before others and before the Creator of the universe! May we all strive to honor God in all that we do.
- R. W. McAlister preaches for the Anna Church of Christ in Anna, IL.He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/