Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be 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 Peter 3:3,4
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.
1 Timothy 2:9,10
Blow the Trumpet
Let us cease the silence and blow the trumpet to warn our dearest ones against immodest fashion. For we are reminded by Scripture as the Lord speaks in the days of old:
“If I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do no speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 33:8)
After the fall of mankind, we inherited a weakened will, a darkened intellect and a disordered appetite from our parents Adam and Eve. As a consequence of these facts, our emotions were disordered, leading to our fallen moral standards.
“Then the eyes of both [Adam and Eve] were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:7)
From this point of history onwards, immodest fashion aroused. The fig leaves aprons that our parents made would have covered them incompletely. They would have been dressed immodestly, causing immoral temptations. God was not pleased with their aprons. Hence, He made new garments for them that would cover them completely and decently.
“And the LORD God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)
Here, we read that God “clothed them”, this is a clear demonstration of His will to have us dress (clothe) modestly, according to His perfect standards, to avoid lust and immorality.
Again, God gives another instruction about the mode of dressing for His people.
“You shall make for them linen breeches to cover their naked flesh; from the loins to the thighs they shall reach.” (Leviticus 28:42)
It is very clear that God wants our flesh to be covered so that temptations will be reduced and sin avoided. It is also written that:
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)
We may argue that Christians are not bound by the Mosaic Laws (cf. Romans 3:28), that is true, however, the morality behind them are still applicable. (e.g. The Decalogue or 10 Commandments) Another argument might be raised on the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning clothing.
“Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25ff)
The context of this passage if well understood, teaches us not to overemphasize the importance of clothing. It does not in anyway promote “Christianity is about the heart, not the appearance”, that many people chant daily as slogan, to justify immodest dressing and other immoral behaviours. Scripture has demonstrated that clothing can be very positive and sacred. It goes on to show that it can beautify the wearer and glorify God as well.
“And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” (Exodus 28:2)
We should remember that clothing reveals hidden attributes about the wearer. It is a powerful means of conveying messages about oneself. What are men saying when they dress shabbily? Are they saying they are irresponsible? Now to our dearest women, what are they communicating when they dress in skin-tights, mini-skirts, low cut jeans and bikinis? What about those who pierce and tattoo their navels and other private parts? What about those who artificially inflate their breasts, buttocks and lips medically? Women must always remember that men are very visual beings, and their body language usually dictates how men should treat them. If women dress with dignity and carry themselves with elegance, most men will approach them with respect and honour. On the other hand, If women dress immodestly (short skirts, tight jeans, etc), men will often view them as sexual objects to be played with. Scripture tells us that:
“You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and of her daughter, and you shall not take her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter to uncover her nakedness; they are your near kinswomen; it is wickedness.” (Leviticus 18:17)
When women dress immodestly by revealing their legs, stomachs, breasts and other priceless precious private parts, they are actually uncovering their own nakedness and leading many people to serious sin. Anytime women consciously choose to dress without discretion, they spoil their true beauty.
“Like a gold ring in a swine's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22)
In Scripture, nakedness has been shown to signify shame.
“Take the millstones and grind meal, put off your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen.” (Isaiah 47:2-3)
However, in modern society, some women view nakedness as a symbol of pride and authority. The Apostles tells us “never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Romans 14:13, 21; cf. 1 John 2:10) It is said that the olden days prostitutes dressed more decently than many women today. This is very unfortunate. Anytime women choose to dress like prostitutes, they cause psychological problems for men who encounter them. Men stumble a lot when they see such women, and such stumbling block can hinder the eternal fate of them. Women are aware that when they dress immodestly, they drive men to view their bodies for immoral purposes. They usually say “use what you have to get what you want”, that is nonsense. When stable men approach them, they usually reply “I am aware”. These corrupt mentalities should be rebuked.
“To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted.” (Titus 2:15)
It is wrong for women to use the sexual characteristics of their bodies to control men both psychologically and emotionally. Scripture warn us about loose women and their manipulation of men into grave sin.
“For the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol.” (Proverbs 5:3)
Whenever women dress immodestly, they wage war on the souls of men. St. Peter reminds us that:
“Beloved, I beseech you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
Our Lord Jesus also says “everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
Men have the responsibility to give in their disordered passions to Jesus Christ. They should resolve not to look lustfully upon women, and always remember what is written in Scripture concerning this issue.
“I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I look upon a virgin?” (Job 31:1)
Also, women have the responsibility to correct their defective mode of dressing which allures men. They can help men to give up their lustful behaviours by dressing decently.
Finally brethrens, let us pray for grace to be able to help one another in tackling this serious moral issue. For we are not our own, our bodies solely belong to God our Creator.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (1Timothy 6:7)
Let us choose to glorify God in the way we dress and carry ourselves from now onwards.
Adadzie, Godwin Delali (GADEL)