Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Adorn it with Modesty

I've been reading in Titus recently.  Today as I re-read chapter 2, about the instruction which older women are to give to younger women, I was challenged.  And I was sad.  Because we don't seem to be as concerned with these characteristics anymore. 

Here are some thoughts.  As I read the characteristics in Titus 2, I realized that many of them are in real shortage today.  I may step on some toes.  But verse 15 says to speak these things. I am not claiming to be perfect on any of these areas.  We can always improve.  But I want my life...and yours...to "adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things" (verse 10).  If that means that we need to change something, then so be it!
I have ben kind of discouraged lately by the utter lack of modesty that I find all around me.  I expect it from the world.  But I expect the church to be a safe place on this topic...a community all in agreement with God's principles of dress and modesty.  As I talk with others I find that this apparent disregard for modesty is everywhere.
:: Behavior that is Holy (verse 3)
This encompasses so much!  My words, my attitudes, my child rearing.  The books I read, the movies I watch.  My time management, and how much time I spend in God's Word.  And the things I wear.  Holy means set apart.  Set apart from the world and unto God.  I cannot be holy if I am blending in with the current fashions and trends in clothing.
:: Sober (verse 4)
Serious minded.  Not flippant.  Not foolish.  Not happy-go-lucky in all things.  But considering the serious ramifications of choices that we make.  It doesn't mean we have to be stern or grumpy or never smile.  But I do think we could use some more soberness when it comes to mothering, child-rearing {and discipline}, homemaking, and yes, even clothing.  Let's get serious about what our choices in apparel reveal about our heart.
:: Discreet (verse 4)
I struggle with this area.  I don't always keep secrets well.  Sometimes I say things I shouldn't...because I feel like I need to say something.  Discretion also encompasses clothing.  I selected the picture at the top of this post because I think that we could all use more discretion in how we dress.  We need to consider with each garment whether or not it will be a stumblingblock.  Will it cause a brother in Christ to struggle with his thoughts?  It's not just about pants vs. skirts, or high necklines and loose clothing. It's about discretion.  Does this dress "adorn the doctrine of Christ?"  Or does it cause me to blend in with the world?  Is it modest, and holy?  Is it discreet?
:: Chaste (verse 4)
This is a word we don't often use anymore.  It is defined like this:  pure in thought and act, modest.  Our clothing choices must be chaste.  Many times I blush in embarrassment for others at how much their clothing reveals.  Too many times I have to warn my husband not to look.  And it's not just in society any more.  Sadly, sometimes it is at church too.  Let's be the kind of chaste women who dress how we would want other women to dress around our husbands.  Let's start a new trend of chastity and modesty.  Let's be above reproach, "that the word of God be not blasphemed" (verse 5).  Let's give no room for someone to point a finger at us.  Let's choose to put aside our own likes or fashion desires for what God wants, and for what will benefit our Christian brothers and sisters.  Is it really such a sacrifice to give up an article of clothing that may be "on the line?"
I remember when I was growing up that everyone at church dressed the same way.  It was a safe place.  Everything we were doing, in an effort to line up with God's Word, was supported by a community within the church that was doing the same thing.  I didn't feel awkward in my long dresses and high necklines.  Everyone else dressed the same too.  Now it seems as if we try to "push the envelope", getting as close to the line of immodest as we can without actually stepping over.  But many times we do step over.  Let's not flirt with sin.  Let's steer clear of the line.  I think it's time to be Titus 2 women.

1 comment:

Lou Ann said...

Excellent. I didn't think about the church community as a safe haven of modesty before. It should be! It's true that modesty isn't adhered to or even preached much any more. I think we're missing something. I'd call it "respect." Respect for God, men, other women, our own bodies. . . . When I think of you, I think "modest." I was especially thankful for that the summer you were with us. :o) Good post!