"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me" John 14:1
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Dressing Modestly
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
Dear Hope,


I know you're too young to understand this letter.  In fact, you can't read yet, but I write it knowing that one day you will be able to comprehend its meaning. 


I specifically want to warn you of the dangers of adorning your body without adorning your soul.  I'm not sure what will be fashionable as you grow older, but these days American women, even professing Christian women, love to decorate the outside, often to the neglect of their internal and eternal selves.  Not only should you guard against the riches of this world that would provoke you to dress in clothes more expensive than they need to be--to impress others--but I'm sure the temptation will come to wear clothes that also show off your body in an immodest way.

Written by Kevin L. Howard   
The pants cling tightly to the thighs, and the shirt hangs short enough to expose a little of the lower back when she bends, or her belly when she raises her arms.  Ah, the joys of modern fashions!  Or, what about the tank tops that show off the shoulders and underarms?  They're great too.  Yes, men find them unforgettable.
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
If churches started a class on modesty, nearly every person at those churches could benefit.  Men need less provoking of their imaginations, and women need the emphasis on godly character rather than great bodies and expensive fashions.  Children could also use more godly role models at church.
Written by Kevin L. Howard   
With women showing off more of their bodies in public--via their clothes--a man who wants to stay pure in his thoughts could grow bitter.  Every time I see a woman dressed immodestly I could writhe with anger at our sinful culture but such a response could easily lead me to think I'm superior to her, that I'm somewhat less sinful.
A WORD TO WOMEN ON MODESTY (Part 10) Print E-mail
Written by Kevin L. Howard   


First, women need to better emphasize dressing modestly to the females in their sphere of influence.  How about publicly addressing immodesty in the church every six months?  What about addressing it at a women's retreat?  If need be, women can use magazine pictures or TV clips to start a discussion with other women about modesty.


Second, Christian women need to make sure they're dressing and living modestly.  Help men live holy lives by the way you dress.  We're assaulted with sex every day.  We're already trained (by culture and our own sinfulness) to think sexually, so don't make us endure it at church.  There's still great power in concealing your physical beauty.


If you're a mom, don't underestimate your influence over your girls in the way they think about themselves and your boys in the way they think about women.  The father's role is vital too.  If fathers start instilling the virtues of modesty while their children are young, then these same fathers might not fret as much when their sons and daughters blossom into teens.  If a man already has a teen daughter, he can hopefully still shape her outlook on her body.  He must show her love, but remain firm that she isn't free to dress like a streetwalker.  And he can have the same positive influence on his sons, teaching them to respect women and to cherish sex as a gift of marriage. Train your children now while they're young.  Teach them not just to dress modestly but to think modestly.  After all, modesty is a heart issue. 


Dressing modestly won't get you into heaven, but it might help keep some men out of hell.  If what you're wearing to church is immodest, it's probably too immodest to wear anywhere else, and vice versa.  But this article is about more than how you dress.  It's about being a person with a pure heart.  Modesty is part of your character and will express itself in how you walk, what you say, what you wear, and how you bend down to pick something up.


You can be dressed the right way and still send the message of immodesty by what you say or how you walk.  Immodesty (or shall we say, impurity) can even be conveyed by your eyes when you look at someone.  Do your part in helping keep men pure and families together.  When in doubt about what you're wearing, put on more.  How about asking a trusted older Christian woman what she thinks about your dressing habits?


You can dress attractively without being sleazy.  But the Bible warns about the trap of outward beauty.  If you have to choose between attractive or virtuous, I hope you choose virtue.  You will not always have to choose between the two, but sometimes you will.  And dressing modestly is asking little from a soldier seeking to wage war on the enemy.  Seeing Jesus' smile of approval when you get to heaven will make your sacrifice worth it.


Introduction (Part 1) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/153/63/

The daily battle men face (Part 2) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/154/63/

Protecting yourself and men (Part 3) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/155/63/

Getting things backwards (Part 4) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/156/63/

Way of the world (Part 5) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/157/63/

How you sit, bend, and carry yourself (Part 6) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/158/63/

Tips on dressing modestly (Part 7) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/159/63/

Addressing the problem in your church (Part 8) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/160/63/

Legalism versus freedom (Part 9) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/161/63/ 

Conclusion (Part 10) http://www.neednotfret.com/content/view/162/63/   


Bibliography and Further Reading


 A 10-part series of the article, "One Man's Plea for Christian Women to Dress Modestly,"

by Kevin L. Howard, www.NeedNotFret.com



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