Summary: Too often the Christian allows his thinking about clothing to be determined by the pressures of fashion and the tenets of sexual libertinism.
A. Text: 1 Tim. 2:9,10.
B. Too often the Christian allows his thinking about clothing to be determined by the pressures of fashion and the tenets of sexual libertinism.
C. The so-called Sexual Revolution has done more than we like to admit to set our standards for us.
D. As a corrective, in this lesson we will try to make an honest attempt to align our thinking with the biblical principles we have studied previously.
E. If we have understood these principles accurately, it is important that we apply them obediently.
I. BASIC IDEAS ABOUT CLOTHING
A. Proper uses of clothing.
1. To cover nakedness - Gen. 3:7-11,21.
2. To protect from the elements of nature and from injury, etc. - 2 Tim. 4:13,21.
3. To adorn - 1 Tim. 2:9.
a. We adorn ourselves not only for our own sakes, but for that of others.
b. We use clothing socially in a variety of ways: to gain peer approval, to gain respect and credibility, to attract the opposite sex, etc.
c. Within godly limits, adornment for these reasons is normal and acceptable.
B. Kinds of immodest apparel.
1. Perverse = clothing that is transvestite. Deut. 22:5; 1 Cor. 6:9.
2. Revealing = clothing that does not modestly cover the body’s nakedness. Isa. 47:1-3.
3. Suggestive = clothing that is sexually provocative, titillating, lascivious. Rom. 13:14; Gal. 5:19.
a. Clothing that suggests or teases is as tantalizing, if not more so, than that which reveals — e.g. tight, form-fitting garments; clothing worn without proper undergarments; garments which accentuate the private, erotic parts of the body.
b. Consider that the modern swimsuit is immodest for several reasons:
1) It reveals too much of the body.
2) It is often tantalizingly tight.
3) It allows for no undergarments.
4) By limiting its “coverage” to the private parts of the body it thereby draws attention to those very parts.
4. Defiant = clothing worn to “make a statement” and assert one’s independence.
a. It is a bold person indeed who uses clothing deliberately to flout the sensibilities of others.
b. Rom. 12:10; 15:2; Phil. 2:3,4.
5. Unbecoming = clothing that does not befit godliness - 1 Tim. 2:10. E.g. ostentatious clothing.
II. SPECIFIC PROBLEM AREAS
A. We all have a tendency to rationalize our conduct.
1. While we give at least lip service to the biblical principles of modesty, we can most of the time find some way to make an exception for the activities we want to engage in, however much they may be in conflict with those principles.
2. If we are not outright hypocritical, we are blameably inconsistent — and in a nearly impossible position to help a weaker Christian!
B. Commitment to the Lord’s will that has exceptions attached to it is really no commitment at all. Only unqualified obedience pleases the Lord - Jas. 2:10,11.
C. Here are some areas where we may be dangerously inconsistent in the application of our convictions.
1. Double standards.
a. Singles and marrieds.
1) Dress that is thought to be unacceptable for married people is sometimes tolerated in the case of the unmarried. Why so?
2) And why will not some men allow their wives to wear in public what they “enjoyed” them wearing before marriage?
3) Is it less important to dress modestly prior to marriage than it is afterwards?
b. Youth and adults.
1) Parents who themselves dress modestly will often allow their teenagers to make all sorts of compromises in this area.
2) But is there any biblical justification for immodesty in one’s adolescent years?
3) Are peer pressures to dress in style so great as to make immodest fashions acceptable?
4) Do the demands of modesty not apply to school activities ?
5) What kind of thinking is capable of justifying young ladies participating in beauty contests involving swimsuit competition?
c. Male and female.
1) Men who expect women to be clothed decently will often be unconcerned about applying the same principles to themselves, and women who try to dress themselves to prevent the lustful look of men will often be guilty of relishing the sight of immodestly clad men.
2) What are the reasons for the biblical emphasis on feminine modesty?
3) Do these imply that men are free to bare their chests, go shirtless, wear tight pants, or swimsuits?
2. Warped sense of modesty.
a. Undergarments versus revealing garments. Why will women who would be embarrassed at home even to answer the door in a slip not be ashamed to appear outdoors in a swimsuit, when the latter is much more revealing?
b. Dressing versus watching. Why will those with scruples against dressing immodestly themselves enjoy watching others dressed immodestly?
3. Special situations.
a. Family. Obviously the inner family circle involves a special set of circumstances, but is it not possible to go beyond the bounds of modesty and propriety even in the home among family members? What attitudes are taught by carelessness here?