My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

09 September 2008

On Modesty

Modesty is a must, everywhere and for everyone but perhaps never more so than in our increasingly proud and licentious society. How does this practically work out in the family? In your family?

Fathers are responsible for what goes on in their home and family; this includes the clothes your daughters wear! My daughter is not yet old enough to need rules and guidelines but I've already tried to think through some, mostly on behalf of the families in our congregation. It's actually a very difficult thing to do. So I appreciate the wisdom of these four guidelines from Michael Hyatt, who's the CEO at Thomas Nelson [of course, I don't endorse much of anything that Thomas Nelson publishes]. But first, a friend sent me a good preamble to keep us from diving off the other side:

Recognizing that God has designed women with beautiful features that should not be covered like the muslim women, consider these guidelines...
  1. If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest.

  2. If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.

  3. If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.

  4. If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest.
A couple thoughts: this list smells like Biblical wisdom to me and I appreciate that it doesn't claim a proof text for each rule, which is a dead giveaway for legalism. If you (ladies) or your wives/daughters (men) don't like it, I'd be interested in hearing why not and what guidelines you use toward modesty.

Finally, it's worth remembering that modesty isn't for women only. Anytime we pridefully draw attention to ourselves-whether it sexual or otherwise, whether it's tight clothes or prominent piercings-we are being immodest. So let's not forget to teach our sons about modesty, too.

11 comments:

Barry York said...

Thanks for sharing these Biblically-wise guidelines. I also might add "If your father or husband raises an eyebrow when you try it on, it is probably not modest." One way for male participation in this issue should be in giving insight to the ladies in their family about how men think.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who like a historical context along with a biblical perspective, I found Jeff Pollard's book Christian Modesty and the Undressing of America to be quite helpful.

Kurt

Jared said...

Three thoughts:

1. Barry, thanks for the additional guideline--it also reminds us that modesty in the home is a team effort, not a top-down dictatorship.

2. Since it was mentioned, let me say that I found Jeff Pollard's book to be inadequate, especially in its fundamentalist reading of Scripture. There really is a difference between seeking wisdom and merely seeking more rules.

3. A friend emailed me privately about this post and suggested the following preamble to the guidelines, which I can support totally: "Recognizing that God has designed women with beautiful features that should not be covered like the muslim women, consider these guidelines..."

Anonymous said...

Jared,

I think the key words were "historical context." If you don't know where you came from, it's hard to see why you are here.

Kurt

Jared said...

Kurt, I appreciate historical context. My problem with Pollard is the speculative nature of his Biblical arguments.

Ryan said...

Thanks for the post Jared. I tend to try to keep things as simple as possible, so I think I will probably adopt Barry's rule. :) It seems to cover just about everything. (No pun intended). One criticism: I would republish your post with the preamble in it. Not everyone who comes across your blog will take the time to read through your comments. And to be honest, the first thing I thought of when I read your post was that you were suggesting that our women wear something similar to what muslim women wear. Just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Jared, I talked to Jeff Pollard at a conference a few years ago. He gave me quite the impression of a very humble and Godly man, and I think it comes out in his book as well.

Anyway, he said he's been meaning to do an update on his book, but hasn't had time, being heavily involved with a very worthy ministry distributing free published materials. He asked for prayers for getting the time to update it.

Kurt

Jared said...

Ryan, check that. Good idea.

Kurt, I have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Pollard is a godly man. My only point is that his book goes overboard in trying to find Biblical rules where we instead need Biblical wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Kinda hard to buy the argument that Jeff Pollard "goes overboard" when he republishes and distributes literature by the likes of Beeke, A. Murray, Piper, Spurgeon, Ryle, and Pink

Anonymous said...

I agree that the rule game came be problematic, if it is all rules a person can find a way to go by the book, and still be immodest.

Like many things in the Christian walk, it comes down to the Heart. I am a big proponent of being modest, just ask my family!!!, but modesty is more than your cloths. It is how you act, say, and behave in those cloths that can determine modesty.

Bart

qishaya said...

abercrombie.us.com beautyWhere are some good spaces to find an Abercrombie Jeans Cologne magazine? One places is magazines. Many wellbeing and beauty magazines propose cologne and odor artifact reviews.Abercrombie Outerwear Some of them even have sample strips that you can open and actually get to smell the fragrance that they are reviewing for the invention line. Abercrombie Hoodies Another great place to find artifact reviews are Abercrombie Pant . EZines are online magazines and often sent to people in the transmit.Abercrombie Polo You can subscribe to artifact study eZines and You will find more information about the Wholesale actual belief jeans, Abercrombie Shirt many people are weird for export the jeans in fresh living.even cologne or scent eZines. Abercrombie fitch Men Many times you can demand from the editor of the eZine to do an exclusive type Shoes are very important to everyone, Our Abercrombie Tees will guard your feet. Abercrombie fitch Women of check for you.Abercrombie bag If you want to grip this effect line, you can ask them specifically to do an Abercrombie and Fitch Cologne review for you and the other readers. Abercrombie Slippers Most editors are forever looking for theme ideas and more than agreeble to help you out. Abercrombie Cap In their food. dealer, abercrombie and fitch (A&F), named the belt in a grievance. Abercrombie Scarves Employment law attorneys representing, Riam Dean, Abercrombie Shorts , cite disability discrimination in the ensemble and are claiming Dean is probable to persist for the next three living.Abercrombie and fitch, a New Albany, Ohio A&F trader, with over 300 food nationwide,Abercrombie And Fitch Jackets, is not unfamiliar with facing discrimination lawsuits. The clothing stored restrict has faced allegations in the gone for the Abercrombie Sweater giant