Immodesty “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:8-10)
ImmodestyShould Culture Determine Modesty? • In some cultures, and at certain times, almost any show of “skin” is considered immoral • Sultaana Freeman of Winter Park, Florida (2002) wanted to be photographed for her driver’s license while wearing a veil because, she said, her religion dictates modesty in public. • In certain fundamentalist Islam societies women must be completely covered • Washington Irving’s quote from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
“A Little of a Coquette”Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving "She was withal a little of a coquette, as might be perceived even in her dress, which was a mixture of ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set off her charms. She wore the ornaments of pure yellow gold, which her great-great-grandmother had brought over from Saardam; the tempting stomacher of the olden time; and withal a provokingly short petticoat, to display the prettiest foot and ankle in the country around.“ (Coquette: A usually unscrupulous women who seduces or exploits men)
ImmodestyShould Culture Determine Modesty? • In our culture, almost anything goes! • When French designer Louis Reard introduced the bikini in 1946, Parisian models would not model it. He hired a nude dancer to unveil the swimsuit. • Today, little is frowned upon in society. Thong bathing suits, “Daisy Duke” shorts, Micro-mini skirts, are championed on television and in movies, and are seen everywhere. • “We don’t wear them that short”… Why not, if it is accepted by society?
ImmodestyThe Bible is the Standard we must follow! • God is Immutable • Regardless of what “society” allows, there is a point at which God has and always will “draw a line” • Where I draw that line, and where you draw that line doesn’t matter. What matters is where God draws it. • It is obvious that the world has crossed the line. • What about the Christian? He must depend upon God rather than man to determine whether he is modest in his behavior and dress.
Isaiah 5:20-21 “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” The claim, “I don’t see what is wrong with it” will not help you in judgment if you disregard God’s directives in this or any other matter.
1 Timothy 2:9 “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing…” Terms to Define: Modest, Propriety, Moderation
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Do not let your adornment be merely outward; arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” Terms to Define: Gentle, Quiet
ImmodestyDefining Terms (1 Timothy 2:9) • Modest (kosmios, koVmios) • “Orderly, well-arranged, decent…” (Vine’s) • “Respectable, honorable” (Arndt & Gingrich) • Used by 1st century writers as a contrast to revealing clothes • Propriety (Shamefacedness, KJV) (aidos, aidws) • Lit. “Downcast eyes”; Bashfulness, modesty (Strong’s) • That modesty which is “fast” rooted in the character (V) • Word was used in Gk. For opposite of promiscuous
Jeremiah 8:12 “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their punishment They shall be cast down," says the LORD.” The fact that one is not embarrassed to wear a particular outfit does not mean it is O.K. Somearen’t ashamed, But they should be!
ImmodestyDefining Terms (1 Timothy 2:9) • Moderation (Sobriety, KJV) (sophrosune, swfrosunh) • “Soundness of mind… Self-control (Strong’s) • “It is that habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to these from arising.” (Vine’s) • Used in the sense of being free from worldly values and lusts. In effect – we must see immodest dress as shameful, (not attractive); as indecent, (not cute)!
ImmodestyDefining Terms (1 Peter 3:3-4) • Gentle (Meek, KJV)(praus, prauV) • “Denotes gentle, mild, meek” (Vine’s) • “It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting.” (ibid.) • Quiet (hesuchios, hsucioV) • “Indicates tranquility arising from within, causing no disturbance to others.” (Vine’s) • One’s adornment is to come from a Gentle and Quiet spirit!
ImmodestyDefining An Opposite Term • Lewdness (Lasciviousness, KJV) (aselgeia, aselgeia) • “Denotes excess, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness” (Vine’s) • “The prominent idea is shameless conduct (ibid.) • Also translated as Licentiousness, Wantonness • Contrast the term shamefacedness (downcast eyes, blushing, modesty) with Lewdness (shameless conduct), and consider the common dress of our day.
Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
ImmodestyDefining Nakedness • Naked (arowm, Hebrew) • “nude, either partially or totally” (Strong) • Naked (gumnos, gumnoV) • “nude (absol. or rel., lit. or fig.)” (Strong) • “unclothed; scantily clad or poorly clad; clad in the undergarment only (the outer being laid aside)” (Vine’s) • Best defined by context and descriptions. (Genesis 3; Exodus 28; Isaiah 47) • Note: Definitions not implying binding O.T. God has not loosened what he considers sin (cf. Acts 17:30)
Genesis 3:7, 9-10 (7), “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (9-10), “Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ 10 So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’”
Genesis 3:21 “Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” Tunic – (kethoneth, Hebrews) lit. to cover. “a tunic, an inner garment next the skin; also worn by women; generally with sleeves, coming down to the knees, rarely to the ankles.” (Genesius, pg. 420) (Note: No distinction between men and women in this).
Exodus 28:42 “And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.” Note: Well aware that this was ceremonial dress. However, note that the linen trousers had a practical purpose! To cover their nakedness as they ascended to the altar. The phrase is an inclusive Hebrew idiom, indicating a covering complete to the knee.
Isaiah 47:2-3 “Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.” Note: Yes, figurative of Israel. But, the picture does not make sense if the definition of nakedness is not valid. An uncovering of the thigh.
The Woman’s Body The Bosom (Including cleavage) The Midriff The Loins The Thigh Common sense indicates that outside of marriage, these should be covered! The Man’s Body The Chest The Abdomen The Loins The Thigh Common sense indicates that outside of marriage, these should be covered! ImmodestyWhat Body Parts incite lust?
Proverbs 5 (1-2), “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend your ear to my understanding, 2 That you may preserve discretion, And your lips may keep knowledge.” (3-4), “For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword.”
Proverbs 5, cont. (16-20), “Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well. 16 Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? 17 Let them be only your own, And not for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19 As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?”
Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Is the Old Testament A Guide? • It is a schoolmaster! (Galatians 3:24) • Sarah appealed to as an example of Modest dress (1 Peter 3:5-6) • Old Testament: “written before… for our learning…” (Romans 15:4) Basic definitions and principles are eternal. • Ex: Marriage (Genesis 2; Matthew 19). Nakedness (Genesis 2:25; 3:7-21) • Principle of Sanctification (cf. 2 Cor. 6:17-18)
2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.’ 18 I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty.’”
ImmodestyWhat Modest Dress Does • Covers nakedness (Gen. 3) • Reflects shamefacedness, sobriety, godliness & good works (1 Tim. 2:9-10) • Reflects purity, reverence & a quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3-4) • Based on the Bible definitions, some dress is always indecent. Revealing (see thru, skin-tight); Insufficient (exposing thigh, midriff or chest); Provocative (sensual, sexually alluring); Showy (ostentatious or extravagant)
Conclusion Every Christian should be careful to dress modestly so as to reflect godliness, good works and a meek and quiet spirit. To achieve this, we must examine our hearts to develop and keep a basic sense of decency and shamefacedness. Dress Modestly!