MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

But Women Don’t Wear Hats Anymore!

July 5th, 2007 Viewed 8904 times, 1 so far today

One of the most difficult things to address in terms of modesty and what to wear is the fact that fashion and what society wears changes over time.  We’ve previously discussed the concept that men have not always worn pants, and the cultural bearing on what we wear, but I’d like to look deeper into what’s going on in our world today.

The Sexualization of Society

I find it interesting that the very first thing that happened when Adam and Eve fell was that they found out that they were naked.  Certainly this had to be a strange thing for them– they probably expected to die from eating the fruit, but instead they were overcome with shame and wanted to cover their bodies.  This is one of the things that I find interesting about evolution.  If we’re all descended from animals that don’t have shame nor do they cover, why do we?  How did we evolve shame?  But I digress.

From that time until this, people have had a natural desire to hide their shame and cover their bodies.  Now, granted, each time period has things that they want to show, for different purposes at different times, but that doesn’t stop the natural inclination to cover up.

There has been, through time, clothing that indicates the intent of the heart.  As early as Jacob and Tamar we see that if a woman covered herself and wore a veil that it signified that she was a prostitute looking for “work”.

Today we have seen sexual desire– a very powerful and good thing within marriage– being used to sell beer, cigarettes, auto loans, Internet domain names, and even used to get people to church!  It seems that sex sells everything– and it’s gotten to the point that the image of the woman that is baring it all is reinforced from all corners.

Beauty vs. Body

The difference is that every woman is given a body, but not every woman is given true beauty.  You see, just like Tamar looked the part of the harlot– which attracted Jacob physically– she could also dress the part of the widow and carry sobriety and reflect her true person.

What you wear has the effect of telegraphing the message of what you are inside.  Just like the bride’s gown shows that she’s about to or just has gotten married, what you wear and how you carry yourself have a big impact on what you are advertising– more so than you would imagine.

You see, to me, a lot of the conversation in this area has to do with “how long a skirt should I wear”, “how tight is too tight” and “does this blouse go down too far.”  Those are really the wrong questions.  For one thing, if it’s so close that you’re asking, don’t wear it!  Secondly, a lot of things that could be borderline can cross simply by who you are on the inside.

This is why you get questions like “Can Pants be Considered Modest?”  The answer is more obvious than is seems– it depends on who the woman is that is filling them.

Attitude is Half the Battle

Brunette ModelTake, for instance, this picture on the right.  By all accounts this could be considered to be a modest top.  The sleeves are capped so no shoulder is showing.  There’s no obvious cleavage, though it does show a lot of chest.  This would be borderline in my book.

And yet look at her eyes and her face.  Obviously this is the look the woman was going for– a “come hither” look.  And that’s what makes something that could be considered borderline go over the edge.  Now this picture says to me that the girl is teasing, and is going too far.

But I’m Just Trying to Stay in Fashion!

Have you ever really taken a look at what’s coming down the runways.  I’m sure there must be a blog somewhere poking fun at some of the more ridiculous things that people wear that’s declared high fashion.  Some of it I’m sure they’re only able to squeeze into once!

But I know what you’re saying.  No woman (or man for that matter) wants to look like his clothes are frumpy.  However, we must have these things in mind when looking at clothing:

  1. They’re selling clothes to make women think they are sexy.  They are selling the tease.
  2. They do not care whether or not you are modestly dressed, whether it fits, or what body parts are displaying.  They are interested in sales.
  3. We must search for things that are modest without question.

If we keep these things in mind, and cultivate a pure heart, we will be radiating the beauty from within– and any attention that we get will go to the One that made us.

Modesty: A Look Into What We Wear and Why

June 21st, 2007 Viewed 11768 times

What are you wearing?  No, seriously, stop to think about what you are wearing and how you chose the outfit you are wearing today and how you select what you will wear from the store.

What we wear says a lot about who we want people to think that we are.  The colors, styles and fit say more about us than we think– even if it says that we don’t think!  Because your clothing is what you are wearing at any given point in time, and since most of us have chosen what to wear since we were at least a teenager, we pick how we face the world.

With this new series we will be taking a look at the following topics:

  • Clothing’s effect on us and those around us.
  • Modesty and the cultural shift
  • What Bible passages challenge us to be modest.
  • Dual responsibility when it comes to temptation and sin
  • How to define a modest outfit
  • Modesty in more than clothing
  • Modest Clothing Resources

Fashion’s Effect on Men and Women

August 31st, 2006 Viewed 41424 times, 1 so far today

Warning- You may find the original photo offensiveIt is no secret that the culture today is pressing onto men and women a certain look— and that look is not one of inner beauty, but it is an appeal to the carnal desires of the world. God made men and women to be appealing to one another to look upon– for obvious reasons. But ever since the fall, there have had to be barriers put into place to protect us from inappropriate desires and to lead to sexual thoughts and sin.

Indeed, for as long as there has been modest clothing, there has been immodest clothing. If we take a chance to look back through history we will find that prostitutes (no, it’s not the world’s oldest profession, since Adam could be considered a farmer or engaged in husbandry even before there was a woman on the face of a planet) were identifiable. Why these women chose to do this is a discussion for another time, my point is that they dressed in a way to advertise what they were selling, and it was clear what they were doing.

Must Women Wear Skirts?

November 23rd, 2004 Viewed 18954 times, 1 so far today

Young Girl in GrassFor this Christmas, my wife said that we were overdue on getting new clothes. I think that it’s easy to neglect this area (especially being a man) unless circulation between parts of your body is being cut off! So, we’ve been shopping online and at the mall together to try to get at least her wardrobe more up to date. In doing this, she has expressed the desire to add to her collection of feminine fashion in the way of skirts and blouses. That’s what brings me to today’s entry talking about the Biblical commands for apparel.

A lot of the discussion centers around a command in Deuteronomy 22:5 in which God through Moses states that it is an abomination to the Lord for a man to wear women’s clothing and for women to wear men’s clothing. In essence, God created them male and female and He wants them looking the part. (Contrast this to current society’s desire for genderless bathrooms, cross dressers, etc…)

I guess I should start with the men. This means that, guys, you’re going to have to take to liking skirts and stop your sisters in Christ from wearing that which pertains to a man, since further down in the same passage God commands: “A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.” (Deut 22:30) One web author goes on to say the following (I did the linking):

There are many more Bible verses for men wearing skirts than women wearing them! The Bible speaks of men’s skirts twelve times (Dt 22:30, Dt 27:20, Ru 3:9, 1 Sa 15:27, 1 Sa 24:4, 1 Sa 24:5, 1 Sa 24:11, 1 Sa 24:11, Eze 16:8, Hag 2:12, Hag 2:12, and Zec 8:23).

Now, obviously I’m attempting to shock you into thinking! I’m obviously not advocating that men should start a new fashion trend. What I am saying is that you can’t determine a specific article of clothing from this passage. This passage does not say that women have to wear a dress or a skirt and cannot wear pants.

There is a good principle in there, though, which I’ve alluded to before. There should be a difference in your dress than the opposite sex. Now, many people have different opinions of what this should be. An opinion is fine, but falls under what we talked about earlier in the Romans 14 passage about Christian Liberty. For sake of discussion, I’ll talk about some of the main ideas:

Mrs. Alta Jorgensen has some definite views about women’s clothing. She worked temporarily in fashion design and illustration and has some drawings on her site. Her argument is that the fashion designers are trying to make women look like men intentionally, and don’t flatter women’s lines. She encourages women not be sucked in by current fashion trends and to be feminine.

Having attended a conservative Christian University whose dress code was for women to wear skirts/dresses most of the time, I can attest to the fact that going to the mall was quite the adventure “women in jeans!” Does this have an effect on men? Sure.

M. Thaxter Dickey talks about modesty in his web article. He has five reasons for being modest in dress stating that when women dress provocatively:

  1. It is unfair to men
  2. It is a dangerous threat to Chastity
  3. It is unfair to women
  4. It is an indicator of uncertain character
  5. It reflects poorly on one’s vocation as a Christian

There are others, and I’ll give links of need be, but I think you’re seeing my point. God wants a difference, and he puts high value on modesty. Compared to the one passage about looking different, modesty is everywhere in Scripture. There are groups that are willing to make their members wear skirts, but don’t care how modest. We need to be concerned about modesty first and foremost.

* Correction made before the five points– spotted by Red State Rah Rah.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.