I like dressing up: fashionable clothes, jewelry, a scarf or even a hat, makeup, curled hair, bags and shoes, oh, shoes… A girl cannot have enough shoes! That’s me. When I lived in Europe I dressed up almost daily. California relaxed lifestyle taught me to appreciate comfort and functionality of jeans, yoga pants and t-shirts on occasions I am running errands or relaxing. When the weather gets hot I also like wearing short summer dresses. I live in a beach community after all.
When I am going to spend a day at the ocean I wear one kind of clothes, when I go to work or church I wear different type of attire. Bathing suit is appropriate when you are lounging on the beach, but it will be highly improper elsewhere.
Why is it I’ve decided to write about dress styles? I think I owe you to explain.
I had conversations with a few Christian men and older women over the years and decided to write on this topic to help women understand why they need to dress modestly in church. Sometimes ladies allow themselves to wear revealing clothes in places of worship. I’m not waging a war on fashion or suggesting you should wear shapeless ugly clothes. I’m talking about being compassionate towards guys who may be tempted by watching you in church. It may be easier for them to avoid temptation in a movie theater by walking out when there is a racy scene in a film or switching a TV program when it becomes provoking, but what are they to do if there is a girl in a see-through dress or a tiny tank top worshiping in church right in front of them?
I realize I might be criticized for my motives. I am also well aware that I am not a paragon of modesty and goodness day in and day out. I had to examine my heart: am I thinking about this subject because I am jealous of other women’s good looks and youth? The answer is: I don’t think so.
This subject can be more serious than we may think. I am no expert on morals or fashion, but the verse from the Gospel of Mark comes to mind: a person who causes one of believers to sin would be better off being thrown into the ocean with a milestone tied around his neck. Pretty heavy stuff…
Young Christian girls pull up their skirts and wear revealing tank tops often because they do not realize fully what effect they make on men. It also might look like a challenge for them- to rebel against adults. The world is bombarding us with images of sexy, opinionated, stubborn, and rude women, both young and old. Is everything all right with the “role models” media often feed to the viewers? The challenge is not to be influenced by them.
There is a saying that a man loves with his eyes, and a woman loves with her ears.
Have you read a story of Ester in the Bible? The king requested his wife to come to his party wearing her royal clothes to show her off. That is what some guys want to do: they want to show off their women. The queen refused for whatever reason and as a result was removed from her royal position and replaced with a new queen: Ester. Later, Ester, when her life and lives of her people depended on her, dressed up nicely to win favor in the eyes of her husband. She learned that the king wanted to see his woman beautiful and acted accordingly.
Have you seen the movie “Shallow Hal”? I like it very much. In this film, a man named Hal is transformed from a shallow womanizer into a person who could see beyond a surface to recognize and appreciate goodness. I wish all people were focusing on integrity all the time, but unfortunately, the majority of men are visual. We might want that to be different, but it is what it is. Don’t just judge and say that “dirty old men” need to mind their own business and you will wear whatever you want. It is your responsibility not to make them stumble, especially at church.
In 1 Samuel I read that while men look on outward appearances, the Lord looks at the person’s heart. Also, in 1 Peter it is said that beauty should come not from fine clothes and done up hair, but from a gentle heart. There is nothing wrong with one’s want to look nice but we need to focus more on inner beauty and wholesomeness. We also need to think about others. Before you leave your house, please stop and think about where you are going and who might see you today. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Let your beauty shine without tempting others.
I signed up for a woman’s conference on this very topic and I am looking forward to learn about other people’s perspective on this sensitive subject.