For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 14:7-13
It’s summer again, so it’s time for a reminder about clothing and modesty. Each year around this time, men and women alike express concerns to members of church leadership about visible underclothing, short skirts and shorts and low neck lines. Here are a few rules of thumb for being beautiful and stylish while remaining modest.
If you have a full length mirror, use it. If you don’t have a full length mirror, get one. Looking at yourself before you head out the door is the most practical way to avoid embarrassing “wardrobe malfunctions.”
This season, sheer clothing is “in.” But when wearing this style, please remember to check what is showing beneath your sheer top. If your bra is showing, remember that it’s called underwear for a reason and keep it covered. If your shirt and your bra are sheer, then people can see more than just your cleavage.
Tank tops and camisoles are wardrobe life savers, especially for women who have more difficulties finding clothing that covers cleavage appropriately. It is possible to purchase clothing that is stylish but not distracting.
If you aren’t sure about an outfit, ask someone. If no one is available to check an outfit, a good rule to remember is “When in doubt, don’t.”
Do a “Bend and Squat” (not Bend and Snap) Test. If you can’t bend over or squat without body parts hanging out, it’s best to change your outfit.
The best thing to remember is “Keep your cracks covered.” That covers about everything.
Please know that these reminders are not about legalism at all, but about our helping everyone at church (and elsewhere– we’re Christians seven days a week and represent Christ everywhere we go) without distraction. As sisters in Christ, we need to do everything possible to make church an especially safe place for brothers and sisters to gather for worship without being worried about seeing more of one another than we need to.
Below you will find a couple of links to some excellent resources concerning modesty. If you have a teen (or an adult!) you would like to approach with love and grace about their clothing choices, the video “What Guys Think About Modesty” is an actual letter from a young man who expresses his struggle with remaining pure in his thoughts when we practice our “rights” to wear whatever we want.
The Lord wants us to do nothing that causes others to stumble or that would bring dishonor to Him. Let us always pray and encourage each other to be God’s women, holy and modest in all we wear, and in all we do!
CJ Mahaney’s Series on Modesty