Email or in person, It’s always awkward. It’s usually in summer. It’s usually a woman. 98% of the time, she’s over 60. (For the record, so am I.)
“Pastor Keith, don’t you think ______ was revealing too much this morning?”
“Pastor Keith, you ought to preach on how women should dress.”
“Pastor Keith, with how some of these women at church dress, my husband’s problem with lust is worse at church!” (Does he never watch TV? Go to the beach? Walk around the mall?)
The problem is not that she’s wrong, it’s that the solution is not as simple as preaching how a woman should dress. I have vivid memories as a boy of horrific sermons on dress dripping with legalism that never mentioned the heart. And frankly, as a pastor I am keenly mindful of much more pressing issues to address from the pulpit.
But what we wear does matter to Jesus; what we wear matters for Jesus. While we cannot say modest dress is exclusively a female issue, it is especially a female issue for two reasons: 1) on the scale of anatomies that look good, a woman is a 10 and a man is a 4 (yeah, yeah, some of us are 2’s!), and 2) a woman’s form is a powerful magnet to men’s eyes whereas the male form doesn’t typically have the same effect on women.
A couple of weeks ago NBA superstar wife Ayesha Curry tweeted some interesting words on modest clothing that sparked a twitter debate. See Kim Cash Tate’s excellent take on it over at Desiring God. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/modesty-lets-our-light-shine.
2 thoughts on “Getting Dressed for the Gospel’s Sake”
I remember at least one sermon you did on modest dress. It was helpful. However, I don’t want simply follow the rules. I could dress like a nun and go home abusing my children. What gain is there in modesty then? In the article it said, “…we seek to clothe ourselves outwardly in a way that reflects the holy work being done inwardly”. I agree it can be troubling to be surrounded by certain fashions. The deterioration of modesty in our culture is a burden, but it’s a maturity issue that changes over time in a believer. I find grace the best way to handle an offense-to pray for the individual. I’m so thankful for anyone who prayed and is praying for me-whenever my sins were and are exposed! A loving hand to guide us into holiness is far more powerful than a strong arm of law. After all, the source of immodest dress is really a need for true love.
Those of us who are threatened by the beauty of another should search our own reactions as to why. What of our opposing insecurities? It’s the Holy Spirit working in us also to change us-not just the one who is offending.
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