Monday, January 26, 2009

Dressed to Kill

My recent shopping trip with my husband got me thinking again about the whole dress issue. No, you haven't read any posts about dress yet from me, but we've all heard about it a million times from a hundred different sources.

We women can be strange creatures, really. We dress up to impress the guy we want to ask us out (or to talk to our father, for those that practice courting). After we get married, we think it's just fine to wear old clothes around the house because we "already got him". We want our wedding gown to please our groom, but later we bristle when he raises a question about an outfit we like. We are careful on dates to dress modestly so our boyfriend won't be tempted or think we are "bad", however we aren't as careful to dress modestly around other Christian men to whom we aren't even married. After all, it's "their problem, not ours".

Maybe I'm a bit old-fashioned, but my father always evaluated my wardrobe when I lived at home. If he thought something I was going to buy was immodest, I trusted his opinion because he was a man and knew how men think. Now my husband does the same thing. Unfortunately, I haven't always appreciated their concern. However, I've come to realize through the dealings of the Holy Spirit that my husband treasures me, therefore he wants me to be seen as his and his alone.

I heard Nancy Leigh DeMoss speak once about a side of the issue that had never occurred to me (I'm a little dense sometimes!). A woman needs to not only consider her Lord and her husband as she dresses, but her Christian brothers as well. They have the responsibility to keep themselves pure in a world full of perversion and lust. When they come to church, they should be able to relax, so to speak. The church should not be a place to fight temptation but a place to refresh themselves from the temptations they have faced through the week.
Nancy says it like this:
She [the Christian woman] needs to walk as she would with a candle, if she were holding a candle, into a room filled with straw or gunpowder. She needs to be careful about how she exercises and exhibits her feminine wonders.
... "If she's not careful, there may be an explosion; a flame after it's too late to do anything about it."

No, of course it isn't a physical explosion. It goes much deeper than that. Our stubbornness about that favorite outfit can cost a Christian brother his soul and lead him to adultery. Yes, adultery, because Jesus said all it takes is a look to commit the sin of lust.

Will you join me in carefully honoring our husbands by allowing them to voice their concerns and even to make changes in our wardrobes? Someone's life might depend on it--spiritual life, that is.


  1. I really appreciate this post. It's a constant struggle for me, because not too long ago I was that woman that might make other whisper when they came to church. I was more concerned with flattering my "features" than honoring my brothers or Father. But He hasn't given up on me yet and I've become more "aware" of the consequences that could occur. Thank you for the encouragement in this matter.

  2. Jennifer,

    I'm backing you 100% with this post. It's brilliant.


  3. Very good thought... gives us all something to think about and do our best to pay attention to!

  4. Our adult Sunday School class was about this very subject this Sunday! Unfortunately I didn't hear all of the class...but I think you have touched one of the very important points.

    I will strive to listen when my husband voices his concerns and respect them too.

    Thanks for such a great post!

  5. Very good post, and timely. This very subject has been on my mind a lot lately, and I've started what will probably be a series of posts on Biblical modesty.

  6. Go ahead and feel free to "flatter your features", Mrshester. Just do it for your husband's eyes only!

    One thing I love about the Lord is that He was already talking to many of us before I posted this. I didn't mention one specific thing, but He applied it to each of our hearts for what we needed personally.

    Tammy, keep us posted on your series. I'd love to read it!

  7. Jen, I posted "What is Modesty? Part III" last night. Come have a look!


  8. I'll definitely check it out, Tammy. I'm getting company today so I won't be on the computer much, but I'll get to it next week sometime.

  9. Thank you, Jen. This is a great post and written very well, like an appeal, not a judgment.

  10. Love it! You have very wise, kind words. I appreciate the delicacy and tone to which you approached this subject...may God bless you for it!!

  11. Thank you CristyLynn and Joy! I seek to always encourage, never to cast judgment.

  12. What a good word. It's easy to take for granted that our husbands should like us no matter what we look like. I know I care about how he looks.