[In Case You Missed It...][6]

Bible Study
Bo Giertz
Book Reviews
C.F.W. Walther
Current Events
Daniel Preus
Dog Days
Dr. John Kleinig
Evangelizing Evangelicals
Facebook Theology
False Teachers
Friedrich Carl Wyneken
Germans Like Latin
Herman Sasse
Holy Sacraments
Luther's Commentaries
Lutheran Doctrine
Lutheran Podcasts
Lutherandom Musings
Lutheranism 101
Martin Chemnitz
Martin Luther
Matthew C. Harrison
Office of the Holy Ministry
Pop Culture
Prayer Requests
Propitiation Posts
Rock N Blogroll
Salomon Deyling
Seeking Seminary
Twitter Patter Five
What Luther Says

A Christian Man Who's Missing Modesty (A Closer Look At Vanity And Virtue)

Please forgive me for the absence of new material in this space lately, but a busy week with church responsibilities, family ministry work, and school graduation celebrations (in addition to my 9-5 job) have made it very difficult to research, study, and write anything here I'm afraid.

I'll begin by acknowledging that I already know that this will be deemed a "controversial" commentary here at Lutheran Layman. For that matter, it will definitely be viewed as being "politically incorrect" I'm sure too.

However, I propose for your prayerful consideration that it will only be labelled that way by those who this message actually convicts with the truth.

I hope you'll forgive me for the length of this message and study, but I wanted to be as comprehensive and thorough as possible given the nature of what we're going to look at together.

We'll start with a question. I saw this question presented online today.

QUESTION: Can You Be A Lady Without Being Modest?

In short, no you can't. Not in the Biblical sense of what "being modest" means that is.

Now, I shouldn't have to point this out, but I suppose in this day and age (even within the Church) there will be cries of "sexism" here.

Well, for starters, it wasn't a man like me who asked and answered that question, but another Christian woman who is just as concerned about the lack of modesty in our culture (and the Christian sub-culture) as we men are. Here's a brief excerpt for you.
I saw a girl over my lunch break the other day that was wearing a teeny-tiny little dress. It was a strapless dress that she kept tugging to stay up, and it barely covered her bottom when she sat down. With summer upon us, I think it is an excellent time to talk about modesty. Last summer I was at a baseball game on the 4th of July in Kansas City and it was HOT. It was so hot and humid and miserable that I wanted to strip down to my underwear and run through a sprinkler. But I do know even though it is difficult and takes effort, it is possible to dress modestly even on the hottest days.

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” - Matthew 5:28

I didn’t use to really think anything of this verse, as it seems to only address guys. But do you notice that it says he has committed adultery with her? Would you commit adultery with that grandpa you pass on the street, or the teenage boy who bags your groceries? I didn’t think so. So why do we as women think it is ok for us to dress in a way that invites them go there with us in their minds?

Because we have such a deep desire to be seen as beautiful we are often willing to sacrifice the purity of the men around us on the altar of our own beauty.
Women will flippantly say that it’s the guys problem not theirs, all the while selfishly enjoying the attention their clothing choices gain them. But it’s not just the guy’s purity we are compromising when we ignore God’s way in the area of modesty, it is our own.

Modesty is definitely a heart issue. How we present ourselves stems either from how we view ourselves or how we desire to be viewed. Whether you like it or not, the way you dress speaks louder than what is coming of your mouth. You can talk all day long about how you “deserve” to be treated, or how you wish there were more chivalrous gentlemen in the world, but until you change how you dress, you won’t gain their respect.

Guys aren’t the only ones who can lose respect for a woman who dresses immodestly. I personally have a really hard time hearing any kind of advice from a woman who dresses for that kind of attention. If you consistently fail to present yourself in a way befitting a lady who professes to worship God (1 Timothy 2:9-10) how can I trust your advice on matters of the heart?


There's so much more she had to say that's worth noting so please make the time to read it. Her commentary prompted me to recall a couple of personal studies I've done on the very same subject (and from the very same concerned perspective) over the course of the past 2 years.

Although this will be a lengthy entry, it's also an extremely important one, which is why I thought it was worth sharing with all of you here today.

Anyway, that honest commentary from another Christian woman certainly struck a nerve with some people. In fact, this was later posted at the bottom of that column.

Update (6/18/2013):

There have been many questions and comments in response to this post, so let me clarify a few things.

1. A man is always responsible for his own actions and thoughts. An immodestly dressed woman can not “make” him go there. However, if we desire to honor and glorify God, we will care enough about our brothers in Christ who were made with a strong desire for the female body, and will dress appropriately. Dressing to please God puts His will above your own, and your brother in Christ’s well-being above your own preference. Being considerate of a brother’s weakness does not justify his sin.

2. We are not about to start making up rules for dressing modestly. The standard we need to hold ourselves to is God’s Word -- not man-made guidelines. God did not outline the exact details of what we should or shouldn’t wear, but he does require modesty and decency of dress for a godly woman. It is up to each female Christ follower to examine her heart according to God’s Truth. Who are you trying to please with what you are wearing? And if God prompts your heart that what you are wearing is immodest, are you willing to get rid of it to please him?

Our value and worth comes from the fact that we are made in the image of God. Nothing can change that. We were bought with a (very high) price ladies -- therefore, let us honor God with our bodies.

Amen? Amen! Amen indeed.

Here's more for us to prayerfully consider as we continue.

QUESTIONS: Have you ever really given any though to modesty and virtue? Would you be hard-pressed to come up with a good definition of either one? For that matter, would you be able to think of someone you know who truly exhibits modesty on a daily basis?

Some say that June 21st is the "official" start to the Summer. For me, it's always been the last day of school, graduation parties, or the 4th of July for some reason. Well, now that the calendar is about to switch from June to July in just a couple of weeks, I think it's safe to say that the summer season is officially upon us. Plus, people are dressing according to the season.

As a Christian, this time of year always gets me thinking about vanity and virtue, but I never quite go too far with it. For starters, no other Christian (at least none of those that I know) wants to have this discussion with me. The situation is even more delicate with Christian family members and friends.

My guess is that it's because it hits a little too close to home for some of us. I get that, but that doesn't mean we should ignore the subject outright. By the way, before we continue here, you should know that my wife and I are equally convicted by this topic so please don't think I'm simply pointing the finger at everyone else without looking in the mirror first (2 Corinthians 13:5; Matthew 7:3-5).

Even though I'm confronted with this issue each and every Summer, it wasn't until 2011 when I first felt burdened to explore the subject on my own in a commentary aptly titled "Vanity Or Virtue? Missing Modesty." I want to borrow a few things from that piece to help put us all in the right frame of mind.

To reiterate, I fully expect this to be "controversial" with some (most?) who are reading this. Yet, it will only be "controversial" to those that it strikes a nerve with, because it convicts them of the truth. Plain and simple. I can state that with complete confidence, because I know I will be merely quoting what the Bible says on this subject and not merely sharing my own opinions on the matter.

That being said, please don't think I'm writing this out of a place of "righteous anger" either, or simply looking to "attack" my dear brothers and sisters. No, far from it, my dear friends! Like I said earlier, this is about encouraging the faithful, about speaking "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15), and it's as much a reminder for me and my family as it is for everyone else.

Basically, I just want to try to call attention to something that's crept into Christianity, and it's something I'm seeing more and more these days, year after year, and yet, we rarely hear sermons preached about it.

Worse, I believe it's an obvious sign of the times since it undeniably proves that modesty is missing even in contemporary Christianity. In other words, there's a "form of godliness" without the true power of godliness being exhibited in these cases (2 Timothy 3:5).

QUESTION: Vanity Or Virtue?

That is the choice before all of us -- each and every one of us, each and every day of our lives! Due to a compelling 2-part video I saw recently (embedded below), I want to specifically speak to my fellow brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who are part of this virtual community. Please allow me to lay the proper foundation first so that you know where I'm coming from.

The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. He is embarrassed that the Church folks no longer cry in their despair before a devil-ridden, sin-mad society, "Why could we not cast him out?" (Matthew 17:19). Many of us have no heart-sickness for the former glory of the Church because we have never known what true revival is. We stagnate in the status quo and sleep easy at night while our generation moves swiftly to the eternal night of Hell. Shame, shame on us!

*- Leonard Ravenhill [1907-1994]

Ouch, right? But it's true, isn't it? The words "grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church" resonated deeply with me. So, now you know the frame of mindset I'm in today.

I'm writing from a genuine place of heartfelt concern for all you Christian men and women out there who are bombarded on a moment-by-moment basis with images, messages, and thoughts that would seek to tear you down rather than build you up. But what are we told rather explicitly?

Colossians 3:2 (ESV) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

How can we "set our minds on the things that are above" when those we rely on to know better (our dear fellow Christians) are doing the very things that tempt us to set our minds "on things that are on earth" instead?

I'm serious. It's a legitimate question, is it not? I strongly encourage you to take a moment to prayerfully consider this next message I wrote in 2011 when I first attempted to address this subject.

While it was specifically written for Christian women, it does have many Biblical truths that need to be acknowledged by each and every one of us before we continue here today.

2011: Vanity Or Virtue? Missing Modesty

It's really just another sign of the times, isn't it? Whenever we Christians stray from the crystal clear teachings of the holy Scriptures, especially when we should know better, then it's a symptom of the prophesied apostasy.

Vanity or virtue? We might as well capitalize that fi rst word as if it were a proper noun, or a living entity even. I mean, after all, we've seemed to let it have the power to rule (and ruin) our lives; the lives of so many beautiful women who have listened to the world instead of listening to God through His Word.

Jeremiah 4:30 (NKJV)
And when you are plundered, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with paint, in vain you will make yourself fair; your lovers will despise you; they will seek your life.

Proverbs 31:30 (KJV) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

1 Timothy 2:9 (NKJV) in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV) Do not let your adornment be merely outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Those are just a few key examples of what God's Word has to say about vanity (and there are many more), but hopefully they serve their purpose here. In addition, it's worth reminding ourselves what Charles Spurgeon once preached about "being separate from the world," which certainly applies in this case.
"Be ye separate" -- 2 Cor. 6:17

The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world. He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life. To him, "to live", should be "Christ". Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God's glory. You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal. You may strive to be rich; but be it your ambition to be "rich in faith", and good works. You may have pleasure; but when you are merry, sing psalms and make melody in your hearts to the Lord. In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should di ffer from the world. Waiting humbly before God, always conscious of His presence, delighting in communion with Him, and seeking to know His will, you will prove that you are of the heavenly race. And you should be separate from the world in your actions. If a thing be right, though you lose by it, it must be done; if it be wrong, though you would gain by it, you must scorn the sin for your Master's sake. You must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity. Remember, O Christian, that thou are a son of the King of kings. Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world. Soil not the fi ngers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in His beauty -- let not those feet be de filed in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets -- let not those hearts to be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be fi lled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.

*- Charles H. Spurgeon / 1834-1892

To help clarify, and to put that into modern day terms we can easily understand, we could say it all boils down to this one simple fact.

This law of the dying of SELF, and the magnifying of Christ is the only way to true usefulness. Not until self has been renounced, is anyone ready for true Christian service. While we are thinking how this or that will aff ect us, whether it will pay us to make this sacrifi ce or that self-denial; while we are consulting our own ease, our own comfort, our own interest or advantage in any form we have not yet learned fully what the love of Christ means.

This law of the dying of self and the magnifying of Christ is the secret of Christian peace. When Christ is small, and SELF is large, life cannot be deeply restful. Everything annoys us. We grow impatient of whatever breaks our comfort. We grieve over little trials. We fi nd causes for discontent in merest trifles. We resent whatever would hinder or oppose us.

There is no blue sky in the picture, of which SELF is the center. There are no stars shining overhead. It begins and ends in a little patch of dusty floor, with gray walls surrounding it and shutting it in. But when SELF decreases , and Christ increases, then the picture is enlarged and takes in all of heaven's over-arching beauty. Then the stars shine down into its night and sunshine bathes its day.

Then the life of friction and worry is changed into quietness and peace. When the glory of Christ streams over this little, cramped, fretted, broken life of ours, peace comes, and the love of Christ brightens every spot and sweetens all bitterness. Trials are easy to bear when self is small , and Christ is large.

This lesson has its very practical bearing on all our common, every-day life. Naturally we want to have our own way. We like to carry out our own plans and ambitions. We are apt to feel, too, that we have failed in life, when we cannot realize these hopes. This is the world's standard. The successful worldling is the one who is able to master all life's circumstances and make them serve him in his career. He is the man who "increases" until he fills a large place among men. The world has little praise or admiration for the man who "decreases" in his property, brilliance, power, or prosperity.

*- J.R. Miller

When it comes to a discussion about vanity and virtue, I'd say that dying to self is really the issue here, isn't it?

All of that is to simply say that it saddens me deeply as a man who's blessed with a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, and many female friends that far too many Christian women still allow the world to influence their perception of themselves.

Why do you continue to do that to yourselves? Why do you continue to let Satan's playground pollute your heart and mind on a regular basis? What a tragedy!

So, I want this to serve as a friendly reminder that we need prayerfully consider the above verses, and we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to allow us to see ourselves the way God see us once we become "born again" as a "new creation" in Christ Jesus.

And please don't misunderstand me here either. This is not my own brand of the un-Biblical "Born This Way" Lady Gaga Gospel. Hardly! No, all I'm saying is that if we are careful to read and study the Scriptures daily -- even just a little (like all Christians are called to) -- then it will begin to wash our heart and mind with the truth and that's what we desperately need right now.

What is the "truth" when it comes to the topic of "beauty" and "vanity" and "virtue" in this life? I can tell you for certain that it's not what this next video shows -- that's for sure -- although so many Christian women are still being deceived.

Natural Beauty? 365 Applications Of Makeup In 1 Day

Doesn't seem so appealing or "natural" anymore, does it?

The point I want to make is that we should pursue spiritual holiness and spiritual righteousness by pursuing Christ more than we pursue physical beauty that we all know is only skin deep anyway.

By the way, speaking of the beauty of Jesus Christ, this is what I mean about getting our priorities in order and understanding the truth of this life as well as our intended relationship to the Lord and Savior once we become "born again" and a part of His family.

Bottom line, someone once said that Jesus Christ is not only the model of self-denial, but also the source of power that enables His followers to deny themselves.

I asked the question earlier and it's worth repeating again. What is the "truth" when it comes to the topic of "beauty" and "vanity" and "virtue" in this life and the right way we ought to view ourselves? Furthermore, what is the proper Biblical response for us to the lies of the lost world?

First and foremost, the Holy Spirit regenerates us (Titus 3:5) and allows us to see our sorry fallen state as creatures of sin (Psalm 58:3). What I'm hoping for is that Christian women will continue to submit to the Holy Spirit after salvation (Hebrews 12:2; James 4:7), after being "born again" (John 3:3), so that He can sanctify them and continue to teach them the right way -- God's way -- of viewing themselves and thinking about themselves as "a new creature"(2 Corinthians 5:17).

That's my heartfelt prayer for all of you.

At the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best...unless your intention is to make yourself feel good let alone to draw attention to yourself.

Such an attitude and behavior is worldly more so than it is emblematic of being a mature, Christian woman. Remember to prayerfully consider the truth contained in three simple Bible verses.

Proverbs 31:30 (KJV) Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

1 Timothy 2:9 (NKJV) in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV) Do not let your adornment be merely outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

While we've said so much already, I feel burdened to conclude with a few closing remarks about these three specifi c passages.

By now, I hope it is clear that God wants you to purse the beauty that is embodied in His Son Jesus Christ rather than the beauty that worldly men and women desire. By now, I hope it is clear that God wants you to pursue virtue rather than vanity. True holiness and virtue command permanent respect and a ffection, far more than charm and beauty of face and form. That's not this man's opinion, that's what God's Word says in these three mere verses.

An interesting point to note during this discussion is that if we're being completely honest, then we'd have to admit that the determiner of what is "right" or "wrong" (or merely "appropriate" as some would like to label things) is no longer God and His Word, but rather the lost world. That's a problem my dear friends, and it's also a clear sign of the times I'm afraid.

Let's look a little more closely at that verse from 1 Timothy 2:9. "Adorn...modest apparel" is interesting because the Greek word for "adorn" means "to arrange," "to put in order," or "to make ready" even. A woman is to arrange herself appropriately for the worship service (for daily life in general as its own form of worship to her Lord), which includes wearing decent clothing that reflects a properly adorned chaste heart.

"Propriety and moderation" is interesting too because the Greek word for "propriety" refers to modesty mixed with humility, which carries the underlying idea of shame. It can also refer to a rejection of anything dishonorable to God, or refer to grief over sin.

"Moderation" basically refers to self-control over sexual passions and I personally fi nd it fascinating that there's this link here between being mindful of one's outward appearance and sexuality. Simply put, godly women are to hate sin and control their passions so as to not lead another into sin.

"Braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing..." speaks to the reality of how there were specifi c practices that were causing distraction and discord in the church. Women in the 1st Century often wove "gold, pearls" or other jewelry into their hairstyles ("braided hair") to call attention to themselves and their wealth or beauty. The same was true of those women who wore "costly clothing" too. By doing so, they would draw attention to themselves and away from the Lord (a sin), likely causing the poorer women to be envious (enticing those other women to sin). Paul's point was to forbid the preoccupation of certain women with flaunting their wealth and distracting people from worshiping the Lord.

If we focus our attention squarely on 1 Peter 3:3-4, then we see even more of the same truths being promoted. Peter was not condemning all outward adornment. His condemnation is reserved for those women who have an incessant preoccupation with the outward to the disregard of one's character. Every Christian woman is to concentrate on developing that chaste and reverent Christlike character and that cannot be achieved apart from submitting to the Holy Spirit and apart from "dying to self" either.

"Gentle and quiet spirit..."
we read in these verses. Here is beauty that never gets old and that never decays like the outward body does!

This subject is so important because the alternative is so dangerous. The risk of continuing to allow the fallen, non-believing, sinful world to influence your precious heart and mind about what is and what isn't "beautiful" can only lead to anxiety, depression, stress, hopelessness, and unhappiness. That's not the life we are called to live as Christians! None of those things are fruits of the Spirit!

Concern yourself with improving your character to the point where you truly fear the Lord as Proverbs 31:30 says. Forget about your outward clothing! Let your "inward clothing" display divine wisdom, and give you confi dence to face the future with its unexpected challenges because you are in Jesus Christ. May you rest in Him and see yourself through His eyes always.

I know that was lengthy, but if nothing else, I want to try and do my part to ensure that this blog routinely offers up spiritual meat and not just spiritual milk. With that in mind, I would like to expand upon those truths a couple of years later.

I was unfamiliar with Albert Martin until recently, but I'm so thankful that the Lord led me to this man of God and his sermons. Someone threw together a 2-part "Sermon Jam" of a message he preached on "Modesty" that I watched for no other reason than because you rarely see this subject preached these days. That should be a crystal clear indication as to why this message needs to be shared right now.

Anyway, what he had to say was refreshing in that despite it being "politically incorrect" or even "taboo" with probably a majority of people who watch it (and what I shame if that's the case with you, my friend), he was unashamed of the Gospel and pressed on (Galatians 1:10), but he did so in a manner that is also rarely seen from the pulpit anymore. He did so with genuine, heartfelt concern, and grace, and mercy, and he pleaded with his hearers to respond to the truth of the message he was delivering to them rather than continuing to choose to ignore it again and again because it made them feel uncomfortable.

Please listen to the ENTIRE 2-part message. Ladies, please listen with humility, and receive this Biblical wisdom from a beloved Pastor concerned for the glory of God as well as for your souls. Men, be honest about what this man of God says because it's absolutely true. Examine yourselves!

I will warn you ahead of time that your sensitive ears (a.k.a. your fallen, sinful flesh conditioned by a wishy-washy style of "preaching" like you can get from someone like Joel Osteen let's say) won't want to listen. Mine didn't, at first either.

In fact, I can almost guarantee that some women will initially respond by saying that Martin "unfairly attacks us" ("The male, chauvinist pig that he is!"), and some men will initially respond by saying that he "is making a big deal out of something that's normal for us" ("He's an old guy who should know that this is just how us men are...").

Sorry, but both responses only elevate and preserve the SELF over and above the LORD and HIS WORD. So I urge you to watch the next two 10-minute video clips intently and without interruption so you can soak up the sanctifying truths that are present in them for each and every one of us -- women and men, or sisters and brothers in Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 (ESV) 1 Finally, then, brothers,a we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification:b that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Albert Martin: Modesty [Part 1]

Albert Martin: Modesty [Part 2]

Martin said, "I'm not a dirty-minded old man trying to rob you of your Christian liberty! I'm a Pastor, determined that in this place, women shall appear modestly to the glory of God, and to the good of their precious brothers."

Wow! I pray that impacted you like it impacted me when I first listened to it. For anyone reading this who is a woman, or who has a young daughter (or granddaughter for that matter), I came across another good video geared towards 6th through 12th grade girls (pre-teens and teens let's say), and one that has been used as an icebreaker for some candid talk about real modesty.

Specifically, it communicates what young Christian guys actually think about what girls wear, and most importantly, what God thinks about it.

Modesty: A Guy's View

I read that after seeing that video, many of the girls stated how refreshing it was to get a guy's opinion about things, and how the guys noticed things that they themselves had never even thought about.

As a father of a soon-to-be 7-year-old girl (and an uncle to two others), I hope it's a video that can be used to help young ladies like them everywhere realize how important it is to respect their own bodies and to glorify Jesus Christ in the process.

As a young man who was once enslaved to an addiction to lust and pornography (mental and spiritual adultery really, and, of course, despicable sins), my heart breaks for the Christian men who go to church each week fully expecting it to be a "safe place" for them only to discover that many women there are not being considerate of the fact that how they dress just might tempt those men in their hearts and minds, because I can identify with them.

It's di fficult to be the Christian man that God wants me to be sometimes when around each and every corner, especially in the places where you'd least expect it (and where you'd think you are safe), you have to keep your guard up and wage war with your eyes, your heart, and your mind to remain pure.

Please, my dear sisters in Christ, I pray that your response is a concerned one that's wrapped in humility, and that you look at this subject with a new perspective than the one you've perhaps carried around all these years.

I'm not suggesting for a single second that we men are not responsible for our own actions and thoughts (i.e. our response to those women who may be dressed immodestly) -- and I'll address Christian men in the next post, God willing -- but to simply respond to all of this as though it's "your problem, not mine" (or "their problem, not ours") to deal with, removing yourself from the equation completely, is the wrong response. Read Proverbs 30:20 and then see if you feel the same way.

At this point, I can almost hear the protests and shouts by some reading this reverberating throughout the Christian blogosphere, but I'm merely trying to navigate a sensitive subject with the heart and mind of God using His Word at all times to guide me here. I pray that my sincere concern is being communicated Biblically and lovingly.

"Jeff, who do you think you are!?! A man is going to tell women how they need to dress!?! Are we back in the Dark Ages, or Victorian Times, again!?! Right, so it's our fault that men commit sin by lusting after us secretly in their hearts and minds? Gimme a break!"

Again, I would kindly refer you to 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and Proverbs 30:20. But I would also ask you to prayerfully consider what I've heard some other Christian men and women remark in layman's terms: "Modest is the hottest!" Amen to that!

Look, I'm not about to excuse myself or my brothers in Christ who commit secret sins in response to how a woman is dressed. That's equally sinful.

Yes, us men are equally condemned for our sins in this area of life. I'm calling attention to this issue today with an emphasis on speaking to my dear sisters in Christ, because I see more men at least admitting the truth about their struggles in this area while exhibiting a genuine desire to want to remain pure, but I don't see that many women who seem to understand that they have a role to play in that process whether they like it or not. That needs to change.

So, until we can say that we're starting to see a marked change in ourselves and in each other and in our churches, then I will continue to be a Christian man who's missing modesty.

My dear friends, if you've been convicted by this message today, then now is the the time to repent of your sins, and to turn from them (Proverbs 28:13: 1 John 1:9).

What Jesus did on our behalf on the cross guarantees forgiveness and restoration through repentance and faith.

Whether you realized the seriousness of modesty and immodesty or not, what are you going to do with this new knowledge of Biblical truth?

Until next time, God willing, grace and peace unto you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

Start typing and press Enter to search