Hanging Up on "No Hang Up's"
“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” the blond woman shouted into the microphone. Her tight shirt crept farther upward as her right hand shot into the air, wholly unveiling a swollen pregnant stomach. I struggled to keep my jaw from dropping open.
Was it just my Middle American sensibilities showing through—my Bible belt upbringing? Guilt flashed through my mind. Who was I to disapprove of her clothing? Was I being judgmental? Her purpose on stage was to reach the lost for Christ, yet at the same time, I wonder if the woman knew how much more she was communicating, beyond “Praise the Lord.”
But this brings one to wonder, how does modesty relate to Christians from other backgrounds? A friend of mine once asked a relative from
In my observation, many who choose to dress modestly do so that their “freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1 Cor. 8:9) This is an admirable, Biblical pursuit. But I believe if all of the guys on earth were blind, unfeeling, and devoid of all visual “hang-ups,” there would still be a need for modesty. Why?
God desires it of us. “I desire then….that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:8-10. Italics mine.)
These verses are not banning jewelry, but highlighting the heart. In his sermon, “The Soul of Modesty,” C.J. Mahaney said, “Your wardrobe is a public statement of your personal and private motivation.” If humility and worshipping God is given first priority, our clothing choices will naturally reflect that.
This perspective changes the situation, doesn’t it? Instead of dressing according to the "hang ups" of those around us, we’re choosing our clothes carefully as a form of worship to the God of the universe. Instead of being accountable to men for our actions, we are accountable to God for our hearts.
For women professing godliness, whether in