7/22/09

The Modesty Mandate Is for Moms, Too!

Why is it that Christian moms work so hard to be godly examples to their daughters—until it comes to clothing choices? Not all Christian moms, of course, but an appalling number of them. A Christian mom I know says she wants her daughters to be decent and winsome, modest and ladylike—but that’s not the image she portrays for herself. She often wears clothing that would be better suited to a bedroom rendezvous with her husband, revealing far more than she should in public.

What is this double standard for modesty in our homes? Being fashionable is one thing, but some of the same moms who make clear-cut rules of modesty for their daughters live as if there are no rules for their own wardrobes! They’ve adopted the world’s self-serving philosophy: “If you’ve got it, flaunt it”—which is so opposite to biblical truth (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; 1 Peter 1:15). A few weeks ago, I watched as a woman who regularly attends my church (not a visitor) walked from the front of the church to the back, before the service. Her slinky, low-cut blouse caused men to look away, pew after pew, as she walked the aisle. If she only knew (and cared) what mental battles her immodesty caused in men and boys, she would perhaps turn around and walk the aisle the other way, kneeling at the altar in repentance.

I don’t mean to sound harsh. My heart grieves. Part of shepherding and nurturing our children and teens is to teach by our godly example of modesty, not by the whims of Hollywood or the fashion industry. The modesty mandate is clear, and not an option for the believer (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3-4). It is related to a woman’s godliness and yielded heart. Christians are called to live in light, not any shade of darkness. We are to please the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10). Yes, we are under grace; but Moms, let’s not abuse that liberty, causing others to stumble through immodest dress. Ask God whether your clothing is too tight, too low, too short, too revealing, or too suggestive—and remember that God will never lead you in ways that contradict His Word.

Have you seen this problem growing in your church? What does your church do to help combat immodest dress? I'd like to know.

A related post: “A Modesty Meddler.”

6 comments:

Kelly Heaton said...

I would love the church to address this issue. Why are we so worried about stepping on toes? Has the church forgotten about church discipline? I would love to see large T-shirts given to offenders as they enter the church by the women greeters. Of course, they would have to have much tact as they handed them out. Perhaps the problem started when the church started inviting nonbelievers into the church to worship with them? Boy, Dawn, you apologized for being harsh. After my comment, not necessary. hahaha! God bless each of you ladies that care about this issue.

Dawn Wilson said...

Discipline is difficult when unbelievers join believers in services -- they have no context for "modesty." But hopefully, the saints will model it! [Because we sure don't want to shun those who desperately need Christ.] We can't expect the lost to act like anything but the lost; but believers should know the difference. And they should care about holiness in every area of life.

Miss Jocelyn said...

Beautifully written and I agree. All too often do I hear or see this. Thank you for sharing on the matter as a mom and christian woman.

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Jocelyn. Your own blog is evidence that you stand for femininity and purity without compromise.

Pam Story said...

I am reminded of my trip to Israel when on the night before we were to visit "holy sites" the women were advised to dress in a modest fashion. The next day we arrived at the site where there were men stationed at the entrance to the sites. If they felt you weren't dressed properly, you were handed a shawl to wrap around your shoulders before entering the building. It became a great source of amusement later on the bus to tease those women who had been "shawled" during our visit! Perhaps we should take a lesson from our Jewish brothers and sisters and implement something like that at our churches!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thanks for this insight, Pam. I wonder how that would go over in our churches?!!