Summer Temptations: Immodesty

Summer is a time when we see immodestly all around us. At the mall. At the pool. Pretty much everywhere we go. Sadly, we even see it in the church. Take a look at our culture–immodesty is the cultural norm. Really, what difference does it make if I dress immodestly? Why should I even bother trying when so many other women around me choose to dress immodestly.

These questions are ones I have wrestled through. Why should I even bother? Does it really matter? It does matter. Listen to what C.J. Mahaney says about modesty.

Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It is a desire to serve others, particularly man, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

Here are a couple of things to consider:

1) Modesty cares for and protects our brothers in Christ.

When we choose to dress immodestly, we are seeking to draw attention to ourselves. It by no means serves our brothers in Christ when we show up to church or to any event, dressed in a low top and a short skirt. As sisters in Christ, we are called to care for our brothers in Christ, not causing them stumble. As Paul tells us in Romans 14, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Although this passage is specifically talking about food, it applies to modesty as well. Every time a woman dresses immodestly, a man struggles with lustful thoughts. It causes him to stumble, putting a hinderance on his relationship with the Lord. Let us not cause our brothers to stumble! Modesty should be the way we dress wherever we are and whomever we are with.

2) Modesty reveals a humble and self-controlled heart, a heart that trusts in the Lord.

When we choose to go against the tide of the world and dress modestly, we are cultivating humility instead of pride. We are dependent on the Lord for his attention above the attention of man. This attitude of heart glorifies the Lord and shows that we value his approval above the approval of the world. Praise God for the grace he gives so freely!

Now, here are a few great resources we’d like to direct you towards that have been helpful to all three of us.

1) Remember the Worldliness book study last year? Well C.J. Mahaney had a great chapter in this book entitled, “God, My Heart, and Clothes”. It has been very helpful to me! Click HERE to visit a past post for the download of this chapter.

2) The Rebelution had a modesty survey a couple of years ago. Thousands of guys wrote in on what causes them to stumble. It is very helpful. You can visit that site HERE.

3) Girl Talk has a very helpful pamphlet called the Modesty Heart check that is great to take along to the clothing store. It has several questions to ask yourself before purchasing a clothing item. You can read about and download the Modesty Heart check HERE.

4) One of the best resources is your dad. Get your dad’s opinion on what is modest. Get his approval on what you wear. He is a guy after all and knows the struggle. This is the best way and it honors your dad when you consider what he thinks.

Lastly, please don’t fall into legalism about modesty. Modesty does not earn our way to heaven, that work has already been done. Seek Christ and pray when you have questions. Seek the wisdom of older women who have gone before you. Most importantly, keep your eyes on Christ crucified. May the Lord be glorified!

Summer Temptations: Laziness

Summer.

A time of freedom and endless possibilities. During the summer you have the time to do what you’ve always wanted to do (especially if you’re still in school!), pursue a new hobby, start a project, be outside, start a good book, try a new recipe, etc.

I make a lot of plans every summer. I have books to read, friends to hang out with, recipes to try, but how do I actually spend my summer? On facebook. Now, facebook is not wrong but it can (and should) be called the biggest time waster in human history. I spend more time than I should on FB (oh look, I even have a nickname for it, how cute!). Facebook can be a great way to stay connected with people and I believe it can be a great ministry tool. But, it can also be a means of distraction; a means of laziness.

I’ve come to realize that I’m a very lazy person. I like to be easy on myself. I don’t like stress, I like relaxation. Why start a project when I can just zone out on the computer?  Why read a book when I can go online and read the latest LOST article?

I have really been convicted of how much time I spend on my computer. Again, it’s not wrong to go on the computer, it’s not wrong to go on facebook, it’s not a sin to read the latest LOST article (thank God!) but these can all be sinful when I am using it to fuel my laziness.

I don’t want to waste my summer on the computer. I want to do things. The awesome thing is, God can give me the grace to lay down my laziness. He can give me the strength (and energy!) I need to do something. By God’s grace I can put aside my idol of comfort and pursue Him more and seek to serve others. All I need to do is ask.

I really want to look back on Summer 2010 and be happy with how I spent it. And by God’s grace that is completely possible.