By John Smith
While on jury duty recently, I had the opportunity to gain some interesting and challenging insight into the attitude of the world toward immodest apparel. (As far as I was able to determine, none of my fellow jurors was a New Testament Christian.) Several times during the two-day trial a female bailiff came into the court bringing papers to the judge. While on break, one of the male jurors said that he was considering writing a note to the judge requesting that the bailiff change clothes. Her bright blue dress was such a distraction that he had trouble concentrating. The dress was a bit on the short side, but that was not the problem in this man’s mind. It was hard to tell whether she had used a shoehorn to put it on or if it had been spray painted on. Simply based on what she was wearing, he and other men on the jury referred to her as “Jezebel.” When one man saw a small cross hanging on a necklace, he suggested that her name be changed from Jezebel to Mary Magdalene.
On the second day of the trial, a female witness came into court wearing a short, tight shirt. Later during deliberations we were discussing her testimony. For some reason she was the only witness asked her occupation by the defense attorney. Discussing this, two male jurors laughed and said based on how she was dressed they expected her to say stripper or exotic dancer.
You see, what you wear or don’t wear reflects on your character and profession of faith. It is sad and embarrassing when professing Christians fail to admit what those of the world readily acknowledge about modesty and character. In the parable of the unrighteous steward, Jesus noted that the children of this world are more shrewd than the sons of light (Luke 16:8).
Warm weather is upon us again and with the coming of warmer weather, clothes begin to shrink and disappear. The world follows rules given by the whim of society’s style and wishes. Little can be done at large for the world’s values but the Christian has a responsibility before his God. This responsibility is to present himself as an example of holiness. The pattern of holiness is not governed by the world but by the word of God. Can the Christian dress in any fashion and be pleasing to God? Certainly not! The Christian has a responsibility concerning what is done with the body and this includes the type of garment worn. God has bought us with the price of his Son and when we disregard his law and wear any kind of clothing we see fit, we fail to glorify him — thus we sin! No one who professes to be a Christian can dress like the world and find acceptance in the eyes of God.
It is not surprising that we find people in the world who dress immodestly and are unconcerned for their example and influence. If it is shameful for people of the world to wear immodest clothing, how much more shameful and inexcusable is it for Christians to do the same! People, not professing godliness, are unconcerned about how they influence others or reflect upon the cause of Christ. But those who profess to love the Lord and their fellow man must not make the same serious, soul-damning mistakes.
Fathers and husbands, God demands that you take the lead in your family and this includes exercising leadership regarding modesty. Any time I see a teenager dressed immodestly, my first thought is not one of condemnation for them (after all they are young, inexperienced, and lacking in wisdom). Rather, my first thought is one of shock that her father let her out of the house dressed like that or allowed such clothing to be purchased. Any time you see a young person or wife dressed immodestly, you know that somewhere there is likely to be a prodigal father or husband. Fathers and husbands, do you really want your daughter or wife to be the object of the lustful gazes of hormone-riddled men? Are you comfortable with the knowledge that you might stand in judgment watching your wife or daughter be condemned by our Lord because of her immodesty, knowing that you did nothing to stop it? In such a scenario, who will be next to hear those awful words, “Depart, I never knew you!”
If a randomly selected group of men on a jury can determine what is or is not modest and can understand the immoral impact of it, certainly those of us who are having our senses trained by the word of God to discern good and evil can do the same.
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