Beyond Immodest

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. (1 Tim. 2:9)

The hemlines rise as the necklines plunge. The dresses are so tight and short that sitting down is very difficult. In others long slits expose the legs well above the modest hemline. Short tops leave the naval exposed. Tight fitting tops with soft underclothing reveal every detail.

Who wears such clothing? While our first thought might be of those we see in the world everyday, I am thinking more of professing Christians I have seen in local assemblies and other Christian gatherings.

This type of dress goes beyond being immodest and enters the realm of being immoral. The Lord himself said, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

The truth is, there are young, and even some older, sisters who dress in ways that not only draw attention to themselves (immodest, 1 Tim. 2:9–10), but who unknowingly, I trust, encourage young men, and some older ones, to sin. Their dress is so revealing and provocative that it is very difficult for the opposite sex not to take that second look.

Dress among professing Christians has gone from casual to sloppy and inappropriate, and now to immoral. It is time for older sisters to approach younger sisters and speak to them on this issue. In some cases, elders may need to address this problem..

It is not only women who are dressing immorally. Young men also need to take into consideration the temptation they place before the opposite sex. Many young men also dress inappropriately for assembly gatherings. This is not to say that a jacket and necktie are mandatory, but looking like one just came off the ballfield or basketball court is not appropriate for an assembly gathering of Christians. These same young men would never dress in this fashion for an employment interview, or to attend a wedding, but have no reverence for meeting with the Lord’s people in the Lord’s presence.

Perhaps of even greater concern is that Christian parents seem to say little or nothing to their children about their dress, and it would be reasonable to assume that they supply the clothing that is worn. Is it because they condone this type of dress, or is it that they are simply afraid of speaking about this subject?

Some in assembly leadership may be fearful of driving the youth away by addressing such issues. What a shame it would be if in an effort to keep our young people we ignore the obvious. (1 Cor. 13:6) We may keep them, but what will be the product of such thinking? Certainly not mature and godly young people. The same grace that saved us also teaches us "that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world," and we need to teach it as well.

Given the atmosphere of the day in which the guilty often claims to be the victim, it may well be that those who do speak to the issue will labeled as legalistic, or worse. Let us not allow such labels to deter us from speaking the truth in love concerning the immoral dress which is evident among professing Christians. Brethren, these things ought not to be.