Beyond Immodest

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
shamefacedness and sobriety.
(1 Tim. 2:9)

The hemlines rise as the necklines plunge. The dresses are so tight and
short that sitting down is very difficult. In others long slits expose the legs well above
the modest hemline. Short tops leave the naval exposed. Tight fitting tops with soft
underclothing reveal every detail.

Who wears such clothing? While our first thought might be of those we
see in the world everyday, I am thinking more of professing Christians I have seen in
local assemblies and other Christian gatherings.

This type of dress goes beyond being immodest and enters the realm of
being immoral. The Lord himself said, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old
time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a
woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

The truth is, there are young, and even some older, sisters who dress
in ways that not only draw attention to themselves (immodest, 1 Tim. 2:9–10), but who
unknowingly, I trust, encourage young men, and some older ones, to sin. Their dress is so
revealing and provocative that it is very difficult for the opposite sex not to take that
second look.

Dress among professing Christians has gone from casual to sloppy and
inappropriate, and now to immoral. It is time for older sisters to approach younger
sisters and speak to them on this issue. In some cases, elders may need to address this

It is not only women who are dressing immorally. Young men also need to
take into consideration the temptation they place before the opposite sex. Many young men
also dress inappropriately for assembly gatherings. This is not to say that a jacket and
necktie are mandatory, but looking like one just came off the ballfield or basketball
court is not appropriate for an assembly gathering of Christians. These same young men
would never dress in this fashion for an employment interview, or to attend a wedding, but
have no reverence for meeting with the Lord’s people in the Lord’s presence.

Perhaps of even greater concern is that Christian parents seem to say
little or nothing to their children about their dress, and it would be reasonable to
assume that they supply the clothing that is worn. Is it because they condone this type of
dress, or is it that they are simply afraid of speaking about this subject?

Some in assembly leadership may be fearful of driving the youth away by
addressing such issues. What a shame it would be if in an effort to keep our young people
we ignore the obvious. (1 Cor. 13:6) We may keep them, but what will be the product of
such thinking? Certainly not mature and godly young people. The same grace that saved us
also teaches us "that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world," and we need to teach it as well.

Given the atmosphere of the day in which the guilty often claims to be the victim, it
may well be that those who do speak to the issue will labeled as legalistic, or worse. Let
us not allow such labels to deter us from speaking the truth in love concerning the
immoral dress which is evident among professing Christians. Brethren, these things ought
not to be.