Modesty

     These days modesty is not a valued commodity. In our culture we value fame (and fortune if we can get it). Indeed, for a lot of people the most important thing is to be noticed. I suppose this is inevitable in our entertainment-driven society. We chuckle at the lengths some folks go to be noticed, but living in an immodest world has some substantial spiritual challenges.

     When we bring up the word “modest” we often think of the way we dress. Peter wrote to wives in 1 Peter 3 to encourage them to concentrate on the “hidden person of the heart” as opposed to their outward appearance. That’s good advice for all of us. We all like to look as good as we can and there is plenty of room to be careful about one’s appearance without being immodest. But we have a special responsibility to present Christ in every aspect of the way we live. We are to keep ourselves pure (1 Timothy 5:22) and so we find ways to communicate our faith in reasonable and tactful ways.

     We live in times of nonexistent sexual decorum. Beauty is degraded by overexposure. We know Hebrews 13:4 which says “marriage is honorable in all and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” That sentiment is turned on its head these days. Many folks see marriage as essentially irrelevant; perhaps many more have elevated sexual immorality to the new norm.

     Is this just an old preacher being lost in a spiritual fantasy? Well, this old preacher knows that times have changed. But the changes have not been good. The degradation of the traditional family does not help people materially or spiritually. Solid marriages and solid homes make for good and happy people. God’s way is the best way (Genesis 2:24).

     This brings us back to modesty. Jesus warned men about looking at a woman to lust after her (Matthew 5:28). We fellows certainly must guard against that. We may start down the path of admiration but end up on a road to trouble. A Christian man has to keep his mind under control (Colossians 3:1-2). We cannot be like David on the rooftop.

     This is not always easy, particularly for the younger fellows. Women can help in this matter by being careful about how they dress. Being lovely is a good thing (Philippians 4:8). Dressing for the purpose of tempting others is not. We all need to help each other get to Heaven.