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A WORD TO WOMEN ON MODESTY (Part 4) Print E-mail
Written by Kevin L. Howard   

Getting things backwards


It seems that many married women are confused.  They dress sexy (low-cut top and short skirts) when they leave the house and dress unsexy (oversized tee-shirts and sweats) at home.  If you're dressing seductively, do it at home where your husband can enjoy it--the only one who's supposed to enjoy it.


Married women, if dressing seductively in public is your way of trying to make your husband proud when you're out with him, follow the biblical approach.  If you are a follower of Christ, think deeply on 1 Timothy 2:9-10.  Paul says to Timothy, "I also want women to dress modestly,[1] with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." 


Similarly, 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair[2] and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.[3]  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."  The Bible warns against outward adornments because people inevitably invest too much in the outward person at the neglect of the inner person.  Your virtue is far more important than your outward beauty. 


Single ladies, if dressing seductively is your way of luring a man, you'll lure a man all right.  But he won't be the kind you'll want to marry.  If you marry a man you seductively lure to yourself, you'll regret it. 


Mystique will make the man you want to marry wonder, in a healthy way, what you've got underneath those clothes.  And marriage will be his ticket to find out.



[1] The Greek word translated as "modest" or "modesty" derives from the word from which we get "world" and "earth."  In the context of modesty, the word means adornment, order, arrangement, or decoration.


[2] Why do the biblical authors make such a big deal out of women's hair?  Take the time to study 1 Corinthians 11 and see what it says about the subject.  The biblical writers, inspired by God, placed significance on hair that modern culture does not.  "Women's hair was a prime object of male lust in the ancient Mediterranean world" (Ed. Gerald Hawthorne, Ralph Martin, and Daniel Reid, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, Downers Grove, IL.: IVP, 1993, 585).  As Christians, we would be wise to spend more time studying this issue (women showing their hair in public) and discussing its relevance in the modern church.


[3] Professor Grudem says, "It is incorrect, therefore, to use this text to prohibit women from braiding their hair or wearing gold jewelry, for by the same reasoning one would have to prohibit 'putting on of clothing.'  Peter's point is not that any of these are forbidden, but that they should not be a woman's 'adorning,' her source of beauty" (Wayne Grudem, 1 Peter, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989 reprint, 140).  I am, however, more persuaded by J. Ramsey Michaels when he says, "Braiding hair and donning jewelry can be viewed together as an extravagance in itself . . . in a way in which the simple 'wearing of clothes' obviously cannot."  But Michaels adds, ". . . Peter's interest is not so much in denouncing certain modes of dress for their own sake, as in making the more general point that outward adornment--of any kind--is not what counts in the sight of God.  Clearly, he did not approve braided hair and conspicuous jewelry with dresses to match, and there is every indication that he shared the viewpoint of his contemporaries that such things were sexually provocative" (J. Ramsey Michaels, 1 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary, Dallas: Word, 1988, 160).


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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