OceanSide church of Christ
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THE HEAT IS UP – THE CLOTHES ARE OFF
Victor M. Eskew
The months of winter can be very difficult for humans. The cold temperatures, the long nights, the inactivity, and sicknesses associated with winter play their part in winter’s hardships. Individuals look forward to spring. They long for the warmer temperatures, the longer days, and the budding of plant life. Thousands of cooped up humans exit their homes and begin to enjoy the many outdoor activities associated with the warmer temperatures.
One of the interesting correlations with warmer temperatures is the removal of clothing. Coats are cast aside. Short-sleeved shirts, shorts, and flip-flops are the daily attire. Sadly, many remove too much clothing. They cover only the most private parts. Legs, thighs, shoulders, chests, and backs are bared for all to see. Almost nothing is left to the imagination. Unfortunately, some Christians get caught up in the summer phenomenon. They parade their nakedness as if God has never spoken on the subject of modesty.
God has spoken on this matter. The plainest passage is found in I Timothy 2:9-10. Paul wrote: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or cost array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” There are four words or phrases in these two verses that set the limits upon the Christian’s dress: modest, shamefacedness, sobriety, and professing godliness.
A. Strong (2887): orderly, that is, decorous, also translated as “of good behavior”
B. Thayer: well arranged, seemly, modest
C. Vine: harmonious arrangement
D. Robertson: well-arranged, becoming
A. Strong (127): (through the idea of downcast eyes) bashfulness, also translated as “reverence”
B. Thayer: a sense of shame or honor, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect
C. Vine: a sense of shame…that modesty that is rooted in the character
D. Vincent: a respectful and reverential attitude toward another
A. Strong (4997): soundness of mind, that is, (literally) sanity or (figuratively) self-control
B. Vine: sound judgment…it is that habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to their arising…
C. Vincent: the entire command of the passions and desires; a self-control which hold rein over these
A. Strong (2317): devoutness, that is, piety
B. Thayer: reverence toward God’s goodness
C. Vine: the fear or reverence of God
These words should assist all Christians with their clothing choices. They should cause one to ask many questions about their manner of dress.
1. Are my clothes well arranged?
2. Do my clothes reflect good behavior?
3. Do my clothes show that I dress with a sense of shame with regard to my body?
4. Do my clothes reflect an honorable character?
5. Do my clothes demonstrate self-control and self-government?
6. Do my clothes show that I seek to control my passions and desires?
7. Do my clothes reflect my reverence toward God?
8. Do my clothes reveal to others that I am a child of God?
9. Would I want the Son of God to see me in these clothes?
Many types of clothes that are worn in our society cannot be worn by the Christian because they do not meet God’s clothing standards. Halter tops, tube tops, low cut blouses, short-shorts, short dresses, bikinis, light see-through garments, and clothes of a similar description are immodest, display no sense of shame, do not demonstrate a control over sexual appetites, and do not bring honor to the God of heaven.
Some individuals believe that this type of teaching is old fashion. Some will ignore it. Some will argue against it. Some will go to places where the subject is never mentioned. Sadly, they fail to see that how one clothes himself can involve one in sin. This sin can adversely affect both the individual and others. We exhort all Christians to give heed to Paul’s words: “…adorn themselves with modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety…”