The Death Of Modesty
1 Peter 3:1-4, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart,…”
Today I commit blog suicide.
I am marking this date down on my calendar. Sunday, September 25, 2011. I am going to circle it in red. For me, in terms of any aspirations that I might have ever had to write on the public stage, this day will go down as my day of infamy. In this note I am going to do the unthinkable. I am about to step off the precipice of an irreparable social media mistake. Today, I will be polarizing. Today, you will either love it or hate it. Today, there will be no middle ground. Today, I am about to turn the big guns on my most faithful and loyal readers. Today, my full attention is fixed on the women in my audience. I wish there was another way. But someone needs to say it and it might as well be me.
Chaste. It’s a very interesting word in the original language. It literally means to be free from defilement or impurity. There is a very real sense in which the word has a “virginal” meaning. That is to say, it is a word that is concerned with innocence, modesty, and purity. Part of the idea in this specific text is that a woman through her lifestyle should excite her man not to lust but to reverence. That’s right. Her conduct, her conversation, her very character should move her husband (as well as all men in her life) to devotion. In other words, when men see her their first and foremost thoughts should be of God.
Having said that, let’s give this verse some practical consideration for a few minutes. Over the years I have watched with growing alarm the manner in which cultural styles have becoming increasingly accepted in the church. Plunging necklines. Form fitting dresses. Push-up bras. Tight shorts. Skirts that climb higher and higher with each passing year. Bikinis that have less cotton than a q-tip. Understand, I’m not talking about the world. I’m talking about the church. Sunday morning service and church outings to be specific. Modesty among women is becoming a rapidly growing problem as the pornification that plagues this nation continues to seep into the church.
Ladies, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for looking good. I’m all for looking your best. I am not saying that you need to start wearing full-length potato sacks. But I do want to point us back to the Bible. God’s standard has been and always will be modesty. Chaste behavior is the goal. These days it seems like many women are doing just the opposite. Here’s a news flash for you… Want men to stop staring at your breasts? Stop doing so much to draw attention to them. Low cut shirts and a necklace that falls right at the apex of your cleavage? Really? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the problem. Bottom line? If you are going to dress like a prostitute, don’t be surprised when men treat you that way.
Today, I want to make an appeal today to my sisters in Christ. I want to be a voice for a return to sanity and sanctity in the Church. PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!!! Dress like a child of the King. When you look in the mirror stop measuring yourself according to the standards of this world. It ain’t about your hair or your bling or making sure that everyone knows about your natural endowments. The Bible says that true beauty is not external. No!!! A thousand times… NO!!! True beauty is that hidden person of the heart. So many women end up in bad marriages because they were too busy trying to impress the wrong guy. If it takes a certain style of dress to catch him, then you are fishing in the wrong pond. God says that a man worth marrying understands that real value is found in character and godliness. The right guy is not looking at your legs. He is considering your heart.
And so, it comes down to this. Are you living according to God’s standard? Is your behavior chaste? I want to challenge all of the women reading this today (if you have made it this far without hitting the “delete” button yet) to take an honest look in the mirror. What does your husband see when he looks at you? What do other men think when they look at you? Are you exciting them to lust or are you exciting them to greater love for God?