Saturday, June 14, 2008

Modesty-Mary Mohler

"...Don’t blame the men around you who happen to be unfortu­nate enough to be within sight and say that they need to get their minds out of the gutter. Proverbs 30:20 says, “This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, ‘I have done no wrong.’” Ladies must remember what battles men face to stay pure as they are stimulated visually by women. They should never have it flaunted in their faces and to have it done at church is an abomination…..

Am I saying that my teenaged daughter cannot wear jeans, tee shirts, shorts, a bath­ing suit or skirts that are above her knee? No, there are times when certain garments within those categories are appropri­ate.

Am I saying that never, ever, not even once can she wear a halter top, tube top, cropped top, mini skirt, skin tight shirts, anything that shows cleavage or midriff, hip-hugger jeans and shirts that don’t meet, that she can’t even go into an Abercrombie store, that she can’t keep Clinique in business when she is 14, and that her Sunday clothes are going to be different from her other clothes? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Unlike the discount store whose tags say, “there are no rules,” her father and I believe there are rules. There are absolutes. There is a line that you just don’t cross. I hasten to add that it wouldn’t matter if her father was a seminary president or a ditch digger, the rules would be the same.

Do I sound like an authoritative parent? Good. Parents are to love, shepherd and nurture their precious children but they are also commanded to teach and admonish them, because they are still children. They need direction. So many parents have the nurturing part down, but they abdicate the whole authority issue. They allow their daughters to go out and “go along with the crowd, express themselves and develop their own personalities,” and when they come in looking like harlots, the parents throw up their hands and say, “She doesn’t seem to think like we do about fashion.”

Mothers of sons have often asked me, “What can we do? We don’t have daughters that we can influence, but we have sons that are looking at how your daughters dress.” Men of all ages struggle with this. It is our job as mothers of daughters to make sure that our daughters’ appearances are not causing males to stumble or causing females to point to them as examples to make their cases.

Richard Baxter, the great Puritan preacher, said to women, “And you must not lay a stumbling block in their way, nor blow up the fire of their lust, nor make your ornaments snares but you must walk among sinful persons as you would do with a candle among straw or gunpowder, or else you may see the flame which you would not foresee, when it is too late to quench it.” What a timely warning.

On the one hand, there is a world that says there are no rules and anything goes. Then you have some libertarian type Christians who cry, “Liberty, liberty, we are not under law, we are under grace. It doesn’t matter. Wear whatever you want to…”

Does God care how we dress? Yes, He does. He cares about every aspect of our lives. We are called to holiness, holiness in what we do, what we say, where we go, how we act, how we think, what we listen to, what we read, what we sing, and yes, how we dress. Scripture bears this out. Read Ephesians 5:8-10, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 and 1 Peter 1:15 for starters. May God give us both the desire and the wisdom to live lives that are holy in every aspect. A lost world is watching." Mary Mohler

for the whole article, click here

to read a very convicting and encouraging excerpt from the book, Biblical Womanhood in the Home, on the topic of True Beauty by Carolyn Mahaney, click here


Stephanie said...

As a mother of sons I say, "Thank you!Long Live Modesty!"...I hope in return that my threat to my sons that if I ever see underwear showing above the pants (especially at church ) I will walk up behind them and pants them.

Kari said...

ha! Good job, mom! :) I think it's just an issue that we as a church body (church as a whole) struggle with. We're not sure how to address it, we're not even sure where the lines are, I think. What's modest? The answer differs from one person to another, but truthfully, we all know what's modest. And, beyond that, I think that the question of "does this glorify God or myself" is extremely eye-opening. It was very hard in Southern California, where we lived for five years, to even go to church sometimes. I'm still praying for a heart of love that I sometimes lack for women who struggle to dress appropriately in the church. And, more importantly, I constantly have to examine my own heart and my own motives for my clothing.