"Ten minutes until we leave for church, everyone!" Emma Jones heard the voice of her dad down the hallway from her bedroom. She heaved a sigh as she held up a skirt to the mirror. It was her favorite blue skirt, but she had not worn it since last summer. She had been delighted to find it in the back of the closet that morning, but disappointed when she tried it on.
Emma had grown several inches taller since she had last worn the skirt, making the skirt several inches above her knee. Standing up, it still appeared to be modest, but sitting down, she knew that it showed too much.
Still, she fought with the idea of not wearing it. Short skirts were in style, and this one was particularly flattering. Besides, she would be seeing Nathan Davis at church. His family had recently joined Emma's church, and ever since he came the girls had been flocking around him. Every time Emma was around the group, she felt painfully "un-cool."
Staring into the mirror, Emma asked herself aloud, "Why not?"
As I hope I established in my last post, immodesty is rampant among young women of the world. This is not unexpected. After all, John 15:19 clearly states that the world hates things of God, and will act contrary to His teachings: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."
Unfortunately, many Christians have chosen to be like the rest of the world in their opinions on modesty. I remember when a professing Christian woman said, upon being confronted concerning her and her daughter's clothing choices, "We just don't do the modesty thing." But as young ladies who are daughters of the Most High King, we have been called to something greater than the world. We have been called to be set apart as the pure and blameless Bride of Christ. We are called "to dress modestly, with decency and propriety." (1 Timothy 2:9) We have been called to "do the modesty thing."
Some argue that modesty is a prudish behavior adopted only by legalistic Christians and conflicts with the liberty found in Christ. But Christian liberty is clearly not a viable excuse for leading others into temptation. As it says in 1 Corinthians 8:9, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak."
Dressing provocatively does just what the word suggests--it provokes sexual temptation and lust. For Christian men who are dedicated to pleasing Christ, immodest clothing is an assault on the eyes. Although it is the responsibility of Christian men to guard their eyes from temptation, we, as Christian ladies should not make it difficult for them. If we love our brothers in Christ the way that Philippians tells us to love, doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, and looking not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3,4) then would we dress immodestly? Would we dress in a way that might lead our brothers in Christ into temptation, and in lure them to draw away from Christ? If our goal is to please Christ, we should dress in a way that is considerate of others, even at the expense of being in style.
You may have wondered what Emma Jones chose to wear to church, but I am not sure. You see, Emma Jones is not only a made-up character. She is every one of us, faced with the choice of what to wear. We can each shrug off the decision as "what everyone is doing" or we can choose to honor our Savior with quiet obedience.
The choice is yours.