The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Posts Tagged ‘modesty’

Modesty – It Matters: The Need for Modesty

Posted by Pastor Szekely on May 7, 2008

[This is post #3 of 3 – please click here to begin at post #1 on “Modesty – It Matters”]

WHY IS MODESTY SO IMPORTANT?

 1) Because immodesty increases sin (Prov 23:27-28), and it is modesty that curbs immodest behavior – that behavior which increases sin…and

2) When mankind fell into sin, the heart became darkened and desperately wicked…

GOD WANTS US TO BE MODEST IN OUR BEHAVIOR!

Immodesty has an identity as we’ve seen in our last post in Proverbs 7. As with immodesty, modesty also comes with an identity. This is very important to note. Deut 22:5 tells us, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” What is God telling us in this verse? Simply: Men ought to wear men’s clothes and women ought to wear women’s clothes! Why does it say that God is telling us this? If men were to wear women’s clothing, or if women were to wear men’s clothing, that would be an abomination before God. So God is telling us – He’s reiterating to us – the Bible fact that man and woman have different identities! You should be able to look at someone and recognize that person as a man or a woman…whether a young person or a child is a boy or a girl.

Babies Indentified in ColorBTW: Did you know – The idea of dressing newborns in either blue or pink is rooted in the Bible fact of identity and modesty? Blue is a “boy’s color” while pink is a “girl’s color”. This speaks of identity. And modesty is behaving according to a standard of what is proper, decent, and pure…especially in the display of one’s body. So even at birth we try to display a modest difference in identity!

But soon after infancy we find out that this world tries to “wipe out” the different identities, or if they can’t be wiped out, this world tries to make these identities immodest! It’s getting more difficult to buy clothes for children today even though there are many clothes out there. Much of today’s fashions either try to make our sons look like a girl, or they try to make our daughters look like a boy…or an immodest harlot with midriffs and tight, revealing clothing.

In many cases and most often, it’s the way a woman looks and her modesty that are under attack from the enemy. Men also need to be on guard and aware as well, but most often it is the woman who is under attack. Why is this?

The woman was created for the man [Gen 2:18], and God brought her unto the man [Gen 2:22]. And then Adam said in vs23-24: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Now you might say, “Well, what does that mean?” It means that the woman was made for the man – to compliment him, NOT to compete against him – she was made to be his companion and they both, to become “one flesh”. God knows this, man knew this, and the devil knows it! This is why the woman’s modesty and dress is most often under attack. Immodesty is used by the devil to make man fall. God knows this, and that’s why modesty IS the Bible way.

Ladies, would you consider yourself modest in the way you think, act, and dress? 1 Tim 2:9-10 says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” Let me give you 3 good questions to ask yourself as you examine your apparel:

#1: Is it too short?

Dresses, skirts, blouses, tops, shorts, (swimwear?  It’s more like “underwear” today!)

#2: Is it too tight?

Dresses, skirts, pants, tops – They need to have some slack to be modest!

#3: Is it too low?

Tops; Wedding dresses – If there’s ever going to be a day in your life that you should look chaste, modest, and pure, it should be your wedding day.

 

What are the goals of modesty? If you read and remember my first post on modesty I asked the question: What in the world do we wear? I said that it’s more important to ask “How do I wear” rather than “What do I wear”…why? BECAUSE THE REAL ISSUE IS THE HEART! “How you dress on the outside says a lot about you on the inside!”

 

Now if this is true (and it is), let me ask you this: Where do goals come from? Goals begin internally (in your heart) and they’re expressed externally (in the way you act; in the way you dress). So the goals of modesty are a heart issue! Modesty or immodesty will begin in the heart (internally), and it will be expressed in the way you act and dress (externally).

 

For example: Why do you dress the way you do? What kind of reactions are you trying to get? Can a person dress well (attractively) without being seductive? It really comes down to a ‘heart issue’. Attractiveness is different than sexuality. The world equates the two by getting us to think that to be attractive is to flaunt the intimate parts of your body. That is utterly wrong! What we ought to be attracted to is one “professing godliness with good works”, and “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Pet 3:4).

 

There ought to be two goals of modesty:

 

#1: TO GLORIFY GOD 

 

1 Cor 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Cor 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 

How I wear my ________” is all about glorifying God. When a Christian gets dressed, that person is dressing a body that belongs to God!

 

#2: TO PLEASE GOD 

 

2 Cor 5:9, “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

1 John 3:21-22,”Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

 

 “Do I please God with what I put on”…“Am I covering my nakedness, and am I setting out to be modest”…these ought to be our questions.

 

Modesty matters – It’s the Bible Way – and it begins in the heart…it’s a heart issue. Modesty is behaving according to a standard of what is proper, decent, and pure…especially in the display of one’s body…

And that’s all that God asks for.

Advertisements

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Modesty – It Matters: Immodesty

Posted by Pastor Szekely on May 6, 2008

[This is post #2 of 3 – please click here to begin at post #1 on “Modesty – It Matters”]

Before the fall, man and woman were both naked and they lived that way without any shame: Gen 2:25, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” But after their fall into sin, it was a different story: Gen 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” God “clothed them” with “coats of skin”. Coat – means to cover, and God covered up their nakedness! Right here, at the fall of mankind into sin, God gives to us a good pattern for modesty!

What’s the reason for modesty? When mankind fell into sin, the heart became darkened and wicked. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” And God replied, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” God knows better than we of how wicked our heart can be! And so because of sin, man knew that he was naked, he then knew what it was like to know shame, and he became immodest. This means that he became unchaste, lewd, impure, and obscene.

 

Before the fall = innocence and purity, but after the fall = obscenity and impurity!

 

So a real reason for modesty is that it curbs immodest behavior that increases sin! Immodesty increases sin [see Prov 23:27-28], but modesty curbs lewdness, impure and obscene thoughts, and an unchastely behavior.

 

We need to be modest:

–In the way we act – not boastful and excessive, but restrained by remembering “Who owns us” [Phil 4:5, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.”]

–In the way we think – immodesty and the filthiness of sin ought to make us blush, and it ought to be embarrassing.

in the way we look – “What in the world do we wear, and how do we wear what we wear”?

 

Now the Bible gives to us a clear contrast between modesty and immodesty, or modesty and “the strange woman” / the immodest womanProverbs 7:1-21 gives us a good description of immodesty.

 

Briefly through this text, the Bible says that this ‘strange woman’ / this immoral and Immodest Womanimmodest woman is different in attire, or in the way she looksvs10: “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot…” She has the “attire of an harlot”: skimpy, tight, suggestive…clothing that would draw attention to herself in an intimate way! But a modest woman would be clothed in such a way so as to NOT draw undue attention to herself in an intimate way.

 

She is also different in attitude, or in the way she thinksvs10b-11: “…and subtil of heart. She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house”. She’s sly, and her loudness and stubbornness reveal her attitude, or the way she thinks – disobediently and rebelliously! Her face shows an attitude of being shameless – vs13: “So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him”. A modest woman is adorned with a “meek and quiet spirit”: her temper is calm; she’s content; she has a heart free from lust, pride, envy, and irritability.

 

She is also different in approach, or in the way she acts – [read through Prov 7:11-21]. She has a strategy (vs12-13) and a speech (vs14-21) to cause the soul to sin. This IS NOT a modest woman! (Remember: Immodesty means unchaste, lewd, impure, obscene)

 

*So then MODESTY means: orderly and decorous; well-mannered and respectable; of good behavior.

 

Seeing the contrast of immodesty and modesty in Proverbs 7, and knowing this, is very important when we ask “how to be” modest and when we set out to be modest! God introduced modesty in the Garden. Adam and Eve weren’t ashamed before the fall: they were orderly; decorous. But because of their fall into sin, immodesty was also introduced, and God had to make provision for their modesty. That’s the way He wanted them to be – modest!

 

Again, it’s more important to know why we wear what we wear…Because if we know why, then we’ll know what to wear!

 

Next and final post on Modesty: The NEED for Modesty…coming soon!

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Modesty – It Matters: Nakedness

Posted by Pastor Szekely on May 6, 2008

I’d like to write three posts [counting this one 🙂 ] on the subject of MODESTY, and they can all be filed under the main title: “Modesty – It Matters”, or “What in the World do We Wear?”. Here it goes…

INTRODUCTION

In many Independent Baptist Churches and with many Independent Baptist people, what we wear garners just as much, if not more attention and more energy than evangelizing the lost, praying for the Pastor and missionaries, or being discipled on why and how God wants us to give. What we wear, in many circles, has become the mark of spiritual maturity and the mark of personal separation.

Please don’t get me wrong: what we wear IS important, and I’m not trying to minimize the issue. It needs to be taught and preached in our homes and in our churches. But what is important about what we wear? Is it: What we actually wear, or why we actually wear what we wear?

What we wear cannot be more important than why we wear what we wear. For example: What a person may wear can be “right”, but that person may be wearing something “right” and won’t know why! Then whose conviction is it? Or, that person may wear something that’s “right”, but it may be worn “wrong”! I believe it’s more important to know why we wear what we wear…because if we know why, then we’ll know what to wear! IF WE KNOW WHY…THEN WE’LL KNOW WHAT…

NAKEDNESS

In the Garden of EdenWhy do we wear clothing? First of all, we wear clothing to cover up our nakedness! After Adam disobeyed God in Genesis 3, Man and Woman both knew they were naked, and they went about to cover up themselves: 3:7-11, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”

Of course, man’s work at trying to cover up his own nakedness was truly insufficient, so God clothed them: 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

How does the Bible define nakedness? Yes, the Bible DOES define what it means to be nude, and we ought to follow the Bible’s definition and not go by how the world defines the term! Let’s look at just 3 passages of Scripture to understand the Bible-definition of nakedness:

#1: Isaiah 47:1-3, “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.”

Babylon had been considered like a delicate woman (vs1), but because of her wretchedness, she would be reduced to disgrace and would reap God’s vengeance!

This passage of Scripture is a similitude – Babylon is being represented as a woman…a woman who goes from honor to humiliation…so: What was part of the humiliation? Her nakedness!

How does God explain (in similitude) a way that a person is naked…in God’s eyes? Read again Vs2-3a, “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen…” When the legs were bare to the point of the thighs being uncovered, her shame and nakedness were seen!

 

“Cover up your thighs or you’ll be naked?” Maybe not in the eyes of Man…but it “looks” that way in the Eyes of God!

 

 #2: Exodus 28:40-43, “And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty. And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.”

 

God wanted the priests to wear breeches. Breeches were undergarments to conceal the private parts of the body. And the Bible says in this passage that the private parts of the body which were to be covered were “the loins even unto the thighs”! So we can say: “the [uncovered] loins even unto the thighs” would equal nakedness [see the underlined vs42 again].

 

#3: John 21:3-7, “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.”

 

Naked in Scripture doesn’t always mean and what we think of as being ‘fully nude’. Before he jumped into the sea, Peter grabbed his fisher’s coat, but the Bible says that he was naked. Was he “fully nude” in front of the other fishermen? Not so. Undergarments and Tunics were worn during these times. So why then did Scripture call him naked? Maybe his thighs were uncovered; maybe his chest wasn’t covered. We do know that Peter took his fisher’s coat to cover up his nakedness to go unto the Lord. This could very well tell us that even our upper torsos ought to be covered to be modest!

 

We wear clothing to cover up our nakedness; and nakedness, or to be nude and immodest, Biblically-speaking, is to have our thighs and upper torsos uncovered. Remember, if our thighs and upper torsos become uncovered, our “private parts” may be revealed. Modesty protects our privacy. We definitely see the opposite today in this world with immodesty and a lack of the body’s privacy!

 

So if it is understood what God calls naked, and if it is also understood why we wear clothing [to cover up our nakedness], then the next question should be: How should we wear this clothing to cover up our nakedness? When we answer this question, then ultimately we’ll be able to answer, “What clothing should we wear to cover up our nakedness?” How should we wear this clothing to cover up our nakedness? The answer is modestly. This will be explained…

 

Next post: The Contrast between Modesty and Immodesty…stay tuned!

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »